Conquer We Must

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Every action begins with a choice. It can be a great action or a horrific one that leads to tragedy. I am just having a hard time understanding why a country built on the beautiful concept of freedom is fighting to recognize that we are at war on our own soil. Or maybe we do recognize it, but we just don’t know what to do about it. I definitely fall into the latter category.

My social media is flooded with news stories about killing sprees and home invasions. It’s hard to feel safe with that. And safety is something I have always clung to and frankly taken for granted. Our safety and peace of mind continues to be threatened by violence. Shots are fired in office buildings, in schools, in movie theaters, and dance clubs. Another day at the office turned into a horror film. Public schools have turned into gory crime scenes.  Movie theaters filled with happy people eagerly eating their popcorn and candy turned into a massacre. And now a dance club slaughter. When will it stop? How will it stop?

It’s happening in innocent situations and every day occurrences.  Now it is not my main point to focus this post on gun rights, but it is a valid one that needs to be addressed by our leadership and our country. Wherever you stand on that argument there is a mother or a father, a husband or wife holding their dead loved one, or kneeling at the grave of their shot to death family member. That becomes hard to argue with.

Safety seems to be a precious commodity lately. I am tired of reading news article after news article of horror and death,  I want action. What is going to be done to ensure our safety? What is going to be done to ensure our freedom? What can we do, as civilians to get action from our government? As if the rising body count isn’t enough.

We are in a two fold war. A war where members of terrorist organizations are killing our people off and on US soil, and a war where our own people are gunning down our own American citizens.  The pattern I noticed throughout my news article perusing goes something like this: Someone wronged you? Shoot them. You don’t like how someone lives their life? Shoot them.

How is this acceptable? How is this something we are willing to put up with? I’m not condemning those of us that sit on the sidelines, I’m  asking. Because I too have settled into my warm bed, snuggled up with my sweet husband without a care in the world, and ignored the dangers our country is facing. I too have the attitude of “it hasn’t happened to me so I’m not worried.” But it could. And while I won’t be hiding under a rock, or building a bomb shelter anytime soon, I see the importance of our freedom the more it is stripped away from others.

Land of the free, because of the brave. We have so many brave men and women fighting for our freedom in and out of the country. What about us? What about those of us sitting in our homes watching Netflix, trying to tune out the chaos snaking through our country? What should our responsibility be? I ask because I don’t have the answer. Which is why I currently have tears of frustration spilling down my cheeks. I don’t want to do nothing, to grieve from afar. I don’t want to explain to my little first graders why we need to practice lockdown drills, or be wary to attend the movies with my husband, or board an airplane.

I want to live and not feel fear prickling down my neck, always taunting me to look over my shoulder. So what needs to be  done America? People seem to be getting weapons of mass destruction out of candy dispensers nowadays. Where is the accountability in that? Aside from the shootings there has been rape, robberies, and much more. It is easy to become discouraged.
If you are feeling like I have been feeling the past couple of days, you might feel low. You might feel emotional. You might feel out of sorts. It’s ok to feel the way you feel. It’s ok to be mad, enraged, fearful. Just don’t let those emotions depress or control you. Live life freely and full of joy! Let’s unite together and find a way to cure the pain we feel. These unforgivable actions are a threat to tear us apart. Let’s do the opposite. Let’s band together. Hold a door open for someone. Smile and wave when someone cuts you off. Turn and ask the person behind you in line, “How are you doing?” Acts of kindness might just be the temporary cure for the sadness and fear threatening to encroach upon each of us.

The Star Spangled Banner written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 has four verses. Each beautiful and powerful, but the fourth verse stands out to me as an empowering invitation. It reads:

“O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

I would say the invitation to conquer is a must. Don’t give up, don’t give way to fear. Let it work its way through you and then usher it out. Because our cause is just, our freedom is a triumph, and we as free men and women shall stand together. Whether you believe in God as I know Him to be, or someone or something that brings you comfort and peace, let’s stand together as a country. United we stand, divided we fall. Let’s report those who seem suspicious, let’s band together for a just cause, let’s uplift each other and mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort. Let’s take care of each other, as our founding fathers would have wanted. Our country needs us to, the slain need us to, I need you to.

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