Let’s Be More Understanding
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” — President ( and Elk) John F. Kennedy
This past week I heard a someone say, “I am not proud to be American.” My initial thought was anger. How can you not
be proud to be an American!? We are a great country that helps so many around the world. We are a light in the darkness
around the world. We are leaders, inventors, educators, entrepreneurs and so on. We are a GREAT country. I asked why this individual was not proud to be an American. The answer, Donald Trump, our president. My anger turned to laughter. How can one man make me or anyone less proud to be American? Yes, he is the president, but he is not
“America.” He is one man that was elected. America is so much more than one man. We are more than policies, political parties, organizations and so on. We are a free people. We are free to think how we want, feel how we want, love how we want to be who we want.
We are free to thrive. We are our past, our present and our future. We are the men and women who have laid their lives down for the causes we believe in. We are Harriet Tubman, George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Fredrick Douglas, elk member Douglas MacArthur, JFK, MLK, Ronald Reagan and so many more. We are Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Oprah. We are a melting pot of the best of humanity. Yes, we also have the worst sprinkled in there, but that isn’t what defines us! We are defined by our actions! America for the past 243 years has been a beacon of hope.
We said, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
America is the GREATEST nation on earth. In this politically charged time in our history, let us take a step back to see the past. To remind ourselves what we were. Look at the present. See the good in us right now, not the bad, the arguments and the rhetoric. Look at your neighbor, your family member, your community for the good they do. Don’t hold ill will towards anyone. Then look to the future. Look who we can become. See the greatness we can bestow upon our children and their children and their children. As the quote above from JFK says, “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” So, I ask that we as Elks, no matter our political leanings, our prejudice, our faith differences, that we lead by example. Let us be more understanding. Let us agree to disagree when need be. Let us represent and honor those that paid the ltimate sacrifice for our freedom. Let us rejoice in our victories, let us mourn our defeats, but let us do it together. As PROUD Americans.
Some of our other brother Elks —