Navigating the sea of life can be likened to a placid and peaceful cruise in the Mediterranean, that, if you did not look out the port hole you would not realize that you are sailing…to riding the rough seas around the United Kingdom, where the ship rose several feet on each tremendous wave….and then slammed down to its horizontal correctness and resulting seasickness and disorientation!
As I have reached my senior years I have realized the truth that, things change. As a child, reading and writing and arithmetic were emphasized to me. Television was something that you engaged in during your limited free time. Books were important. Reading was essential. There was no reality TV. Issues in political life or religious thought did not boil down to a sound bite.
My mother read, daily. She belonged to the book of the month club. She read a book a month, at least.
The challenges of life are not solved in 30 minutes or during an hour of a court room procedural drama. I have noticed that, especially on network television, the scenes change at such a rapid rate in their weekly dramatic programs…that it has a somewhat dizzying affect on me. I was watching the latest John Wick movie and could not help but notice that the entire movie was comprised of character after character getting killed. The action was so fast and the scene changes so numerous…the movie had a frenetic video game quality and little to no sense of reality.
Senator Mitt Romney, who was the Republican Candidate for President 8 years ago…was a profile in courage, today. The Senator gave a moving speech on the floor of the Senate explaining his up-coming vote regarding impeachment: ‘In the last several weeks, I have received numerous calls and texts. Many demand that, in their words, ‘I stand with the team.’ I can assure you that thought has been very much on my mind. I support a great deal of what the President has done. I have voted with him 80% of the time. But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and biases aside. Where I to ignore the evidence that has been presented, and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history’s rebuke and censure of my own conscience.’
Public service is not blind obedience to a political leader, whether Democrat or Republican or Independent. Critical thinking is vital to success in life. What I found most refreshing regarding Senator Romney’s comments was his dedication to his oath to God and his willingness to suffer the vehement verbal and written abuse, for his decision, that has already begun.
I understand what it feels like to make decisions based on principle and against public and, safe and comfortable, opinion. It is unsettling and frightening and life changing.
Team is important. Being a member of a group is empowering and a vehicle that enables each of us to accomplish more than we could by ourselves. However, in our society of multi-million dollar sports stars and our praise of the pig-skin…we must not confuse the blind support of team to the exclusion of our oath to God.
President Kennedy wrote a famous book entitled, Profiles in Courage, that recounted the exploits of courageous individuals. It was a thin book.
There are times that you win…by loosing!