The Wandering Monk

Brewmaster Rysu – New Posts On Tuesdays

America: Past, Present, and Future

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I’ll forewarn you that this is a political-esque blog post.  To spare many of you from the pain or engagement of it, I’ll also be posting another post today on another few thoughts I’ve been having.

Here in this post, however, I’d like to talk a little bit about America, our values and what I believe it takes to be a leader in today’s country, both big and small.  I’m not authority on any of these topics, but I do have a view on the world, and I’ve been placed in positions in my life that demand the qualities that I will be talking about.  I hope you’ll read through this post and take the time to discuss it with me in the comments.

First, let’s talk about America, big and small.

America is a beautiful place.  I don’t just mean that from a culture or even a physical standpoint.  I don’t just mean that philosophically, or idealistically.  I mean that all encompassingly. The world has seen many great countries and, like great men and women of the past, they have shaped the world we live in today.  Because there are so many of us and because we have such profound impact on the world around us, the world simultaneously carries every possible perspective: scary, large, small, daunting, boring, magnificent, and unpredictable.

America’s fit in this is a powerful one.  Idealistically, America dons strong morals and raises them as a shield both in our own defense and in our justification for attack.  Like its people, America tries to embody what it believes in and it can’t stand idly by while immoral actions happen.  Whether you agree that this is something we should or shouldn’t do aside, that we feel this way at all speaks for itself.

America is also in the unique position to be a world leader.  We have those who can equip conviction and go to length unimaginable to accomplish their goal in the name of freedom, moral fortitude, or defense of an ideal.  If I had to summarize the character of our country, I would say we are idealists whose actions are based on moral ideals.  We justify our every thought and action based on what we perceive to be the most correct.

But we’re also hypocrites.

I don’t know mean that like we’re bad people, just that we’re people in general.  Nature doesn’t have perfection but often, human beings get so caught up in the conditions and criteria of “right” that when a deviation of this perspective happens, no matter how small, we criticize it as being wrong.  Therefore, “perfect” becomes “doing the right thing 100% of the time”.  No matter how you define perfection, we won’t ever get there.  I may have strong moral foundations but I violate them just like anyone does.  I don’t like it, I don’t mean to, but sometimes I do.  Sometimes I do it even as I know I’m doing it.  I do this because somehow I’ve managed to convince myself it’s necessary.

I digress, but this will come up later.  Suffice to say that America, like human beings, does our best to uphold a moral code and sometimes we do it great, and sometimes we don’t.

The past is an interesting thing.  If you’ve been alive long enough to remember some of our previous presidencies, I ask you to take a walk down memory lane with me.  Remember when George W. Bush was elected?  During his entire presidency, he was criticized and inflamed.  We talked about how terrible every decision he made was.  We scrutinized his every word, action, idea, and policy.  Nothing he did could be good, because everything he did pissed someone off.

But when his presidency was over, and President Barrack Obama became our President, all that seemed to stop.  Now it was President Obama’s turn to be scrutinized.  His every policy, choice, and idea was deemed horrific and terrible.  I consider myself disconnected from the current of social-movements.  I don’t do things because everyone else does them because it’s too easy for the wrong thing to become popular because someone with charisma made it sound good and recruited enough people to generate the snowball effect.

That said, even as I witnessed some of the decisions that President Obama made, I found myself making snap judgements.  I’m glad I caught myself and did my own research, and remained unbiased.  After I did my own research, I sometimes changed my point of view, and other times, enhanced and finalized a more complete point of view that was founded in the original one.

The Present

Today, Donald Trump was elected to become the President of the United States of America.  Over our election season, we’ve seen terrible sides of him that terrify the American citizens because we can easily see decisions he may make given the character he’s demonstrated.  Further, we worry that he will become a mascot for America, altering the world’s views on what America stands for, what morals we value, and what comprehensive philosophies we will be define for in years to come.

Personally, I am not a fan of Mr. Trump.  Likewise, I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton.

But I am a fan of the American way of life and of the freedoms that we have — contrary to the ignorance of our people when it comes to being able to acknowledge and appreciate those freedoms.  Nevertheless, Mr. Trump is now our President and the country must now face this reality.  There are only two ways we can do this:

  1.  With fear.  We will continue to perpetuate our assumptions that Mr. Trump will be a terrible leader and will create an image for our country that undermines freedom, liberty, and equality.
  2. With unification and hope.  We take this fact for what it is and decide that no matter what, we are a people that must stand together.  We must face challenges head on, both big and small.

The Future

I can’t say what will happen in the future.  Perhaps our fears were misplaced.  Perhaps the political game was designed to stir the emotions of the people and the actual actions that are taken aren’t nearly as extreme as they were presented to us as being.  Perhaps we were over-reacting.  Or perhaps we weren’t.

No matter what, if we allow our fear to drive our decision making process, we will only ever destroy our chances for hope.  If we define our lives through our stances and our character, let it be the ones that allow us to stand against the challenges we, as a country, face, and not the ones that come from internal bickering and infighting.  Agree or disagree with a political decision, but stand behind your leaders even if you didn’t get your way.  Do your best to enable the progress of your community and your nation.  If we can do that, no single man or woman, no matter what chair they sit in, can change what America stands for.

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