The revolutionary war gave the United States of America the freedom she professed in the Declaration of Independence. On our 241st birthday as a sovereign nation, the freedoms we enjoy are still a reason to celebrate. The division in our country, however, is nothing to celebrate. You, the leader of people, have the opportunity and an obligation to bridge the divide.
In the first novel of the Harry Potter series, the wand maker Ollivander said that Lord Voldemort did great things – terrible, but great. The word great meant something to Ollivander that has led many to question what that is. After all, Voldemort’s reputation was that he was one of, if not, the evilest sorcerer of all time. His Machiavellian reign shouldn’t be something people praise.
When I was in college, one of my professors asked me if I would teach him how to shoot a gun. He had no experience with firearms, and he wanted to learn how to safely handle a weapon and use it proficiently. The request wasn’t too strange since we had developed a close acquaintance. I was a non-traditional student, and I was also already done taking the classes from his department I needed to graduate.
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up. – Ogden Nash
When did you face such a colossal failure in your personal or professional life that you knew it was time to throw in the towel? Did you rebound from that event? Are you still living in the shadow of that failure? Have you stood up to that failure, learned from it, and overcome?
Unless you spent the weekend completely disconnected from the world, you’ve heard about the controversy around the 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, and his refusal to stand for the national anthem. His reason excuse for refusing to stand as a protest to black oppression in the United States is, in the words of our maniacal vice-president, “A bunch of malarkey!”
Kaepernick earns an average of $19,000,000 a year to play football. Obviously he is a skilled athlete who provides leadership on the field and acumen during a play. As a pro athlete, he is an entertainer and a celebrity. It makes sense, therefore, that if he is passionate about a social woe, then he has a platform to make people aware.
Standing up for a social issue affecting thousands and sometimes millions of people is a noble venture. If you really want to make a difference, after all, actions speak louder than words. To that end, Kaepernick’s action or lack of action has spoken loudly.
Do you remember the lengths Brian Anderson, Scott Vincent, Joshua Wilfsong, Ronald Payne, Timothy Creager, Scott Dougherty, Justin Hunt, Jeffrey Lawrence, Rodricka Youmans, Mark Engel, Tenzin Dengkhim, John Matteck, Nathan Clemons, Clifton Mounce, Christopher Winchester, and Bryan Opskar went to for what they believed in?
These are the men from 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion who died in combat during my time in that unit.
These men believed so much in how great our country is that they were not only willing to write a blank check up to their life for the United States of America, their checks were cashed in. These are the men I remember when I stand for the national anthem. These men and many more like them are the reason Kaepernick has the freedom to disgrace my brothers by not standing to honor our nation and our colors.
Our Founding Fathers didn’t win the freedoms we enjoy by idly sitting down so someone would notice their protest. They took action. They started a revolution that has changed the world.
If Kaepernick wants to use his freedom to make a statement about the oppression of the black community in the United States, I would suggest he use some of that $19,000,000 a year salary to help end the oppression he seems so convicted by. I would encourage him to leave the NFL and join the underpaid ranks of public service where he will be able to shape policies that prevent oppression for all people. I would recommend he consider contributing some of his $19,000,000 to the many worthy agencies that honor our nation, her veterans, and the people they help by actually doing something to make a difference and not grandstandingsitting for attention.
Kaepernick’s behavior is a testimony to our celebrity led society. If you want to be a leader who will affect change in meaningful ways, then do the hard work that makes that happen. Kaepernick’s example is a lesson to everyone: Leadership that influences positive change in a society requires more work than words and more action than sitting.
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I love my wife. I’ve loved my wife since before she was my wife. The love I have for my wife grows more each day. In over 15 years of marriage, my wife has taught me what it really means to love someone.
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A huge crowd, laser lights, fog, and a famous performer filled the picture I saw on a friend’s Facebook post. I commented that it looked like a fun concert, and I got a response that shocked me. It wasn’t a concert; it was a church service.