Winners and Losers

How quickly we turn every event or situation into a win or a loss. Thanks to media talking heads  — news, sports, business, entertainment — everything and everyone winds up in these two categories. But, the media has a lot of help from each of us.

As Americans, we quickly classify another person as a winner or loser. I submit that every time we do this, we unintentionally take a step back from being a community. I don’t believe people intentionally want to do this, but putting everyone and everything into a winner or loser bucket is so ingrained in our society, we are hardly aware that we do it — or what the long term consequences are.

This election cycle has amplified the mess we continue to create. How will we begin the work of rebuilding a sense of community after the cycle is over? How willing will we be to work for unity?

The path ahead is blurry.Guided by the One who loves us beyond anything we can imagine, I pray  for a shard of light to break through our darkness to lead us on.

But, change begins with me. I will work as hard as I can to look for God in every person and every part of creation. In the larger scheme of things, no one will notice, except me and the person I choose not to diminish.

Our highest calling is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Let it continue — with me.

The Common Good

I have been listening with patience, amusement and steam coming out of my ears from the vitriolic noise of our wannabe  “leaders.” I use the term leaders with great caution. I’m looking for the candidate that understands and is willing to implement the principle of the common good.

There is so little respect for the Office of the President of the United States and what the office represents that I am embarrassed to say that I am an American. None of the current declared candidates are saying anything of value or substance. The media is embarrassing and should be banned from calling themselves journalists.

Lies and half-truths abound. We are not living in the late 19th century and it is time that we get over that.

We the people are living in the most complex world that has ever existed, but not, yet, in the next level of complexity. We need a President that sees America as a strong partner on a world stage — not an America with the only one idea on how to solve a problem. America needs to work shoulder to shoulder with other countries. America needs to listen to its allies and enemies alike and work to find common ground that assures each human being the chance for a decent life with food, water, housing. and healthcare security that is founded in having a job that pays enough to move their family forward.

We need an educational system that is positioned strategically to ensure that we grow the best leaders, thinkers and doers so they can compete on the world stage.The 19th century thinking that the control of our schools should be local is not an ideal that will guarantee a strong America in the 22nd century. We need to move past our thinking that a blackboard and chalk are the latest technology.

Regretfully, the days when our potential leaders would challenge us —  Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country — or we will put a man on the moon — are past. There is no grand vision from any candidate.

Presidential candidates should be laying out their vision — not knocking each other about. Without vision, the people will perish (Isaiah).