How do you take on Goliath? It must have been lonely for young David as he walked across the plain — all his friends & countrymen cheering him on, hoping for his success — but content to stay in the comfort of the encampment. The same was true for the ones who should have been leading the battle — those with the position, authority and resources to fight. Whatever their reasons they all stayed complacent on the sidelines unwilling to take the risky, bold leadership necessary to see victory.
I think about the Americans who bravely fought our Revolution. Willing to risk their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor” for a cause they knew was just. And the millions of Americans since then who have made genuine personal sacrifice on the battle field and in the public arena to confront corruption and advance the cause of liberty. We know the names of a few. But there are millions more whose names have been lost to history — families who have lost loved ones, people who have been mocked, beaten, jailed. All to whom we owe a great debt. We live in the abundant harvest of the seeds planted by their sacrifice.
But what about the next generations of Americans? “Sacrifice” is a word often lost on a generation raised on self-love. We have reaped the rewards of generations past. But what about those to follow? When we see the rights of individuals being limited and an ever-expanding government living beyond its means, it is because “we the people” have allowed it. We have neglected the sacred duty passed to us from generations who have gone before to ensure the blessings of liberty … for our posterity.
Ronald Reagan said “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
We all know the problems — we can hear the giant’s voice echoing across the plain. We know someone should do something about it and we’re waiting for someone to give the order. But it doesn’t hit us that that someone could be us. As Gandhi admonished us, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
As Chair of the Victoria County Republican Party, I have often told our teams that our enemy isn’t our neighborhood Democrat — our enemy is complacency — it’s busyness — it’s distraction.
Scientists have found that one of the dangers of obsessive video game playing is that the brain can begin to confuse virtual achievement with real world achievement. We can become so accustomed to the taste of easy, fake victory that is becomes more difficult to have the willingness to work toward real accomplishment. In the same way, in a media connected world, we can be in danger of replacing real involvement with placebo action. We can think that watching hours of cable news, or blasting our friend on social media fills our duty as a flag waiving citizen.
The truth is real solutions to real issues aren’t birthed in 140 character discussions.
Real change is hard. It will cost you something. It takes time, money, effort to become knowledgeable enough in an issue to be a part of the solution and to engage in the arenas where change happens. And after putting in the effort — you may lose battles and become discouraged. Or you may win a battle for which only those who follow you reap the rewards. But this has been the hallmark of our Nation — and the Revolutionary spirit we must reclaim.