As we prepare to celebrate and remember the lives of our Veteran’s tomorrow (both fallen and living), I think of an image of a strong soldier who gave their lives away to defend our country and give us freedom. Someone who has returned (no matter how many years ago) and now has the good life of recognition and satisfaction from their service. OK, that’s a pretty common picture we have in our heads, but let us not forget those that served that don’t fit that profile. What about the alcoholic who now sleeps on the streets of Toronto? Or the prostitute who makes her living selling herself to survive and pay her bills? Or the man in Chicago, Detroit, or Tampa who sleeps anywhere he can find a place to lay his head? These are all images of our Veteran’s…our Hero’s who gave themselves to protect us. They are humiliated, spat on, deprived, shunned, hungry, impoverished, and largely ignored. Maybe next time you see a homeless addict you might remember that many of them sacrificed themselves for you and me?
Everywhere I look, I find people fighting for (or against) something. A big fight in Michigan is with the union and the recent passage of law making our state a “right to work” state. Gay marriage is the big fight in Seattle who just made gay marriage legal. The right to bear guns is another fight that is a “hot button” in many states. The NFL is dealing with the recent murder/suicide by one of their players and his girlfriend. Another development just yesterday was the death of an NFL player who was killed while riding in a car (driven by another NFL player) while alcohol had been involved…and some are fighting to hold the NFL responsible. I was just in PT (physical therapy) this morning and next to me was a recent US Marine who was rehabbing injuries sustained while fighting for our country in Afganistan. No simple injuries, but shrapnel in his brain, loss of his left eye, and other multiple injuries throughout his body. He said, “I would go and do it all over again to support my country!” We are now heading towards a “fiscal cliff” (as the news media puts it) and the Democrats and Republicans can’t get along with one another or agree on most anything. Seems as though each party is always fighting with the other! But still, we all fight for what we believe in! Take a look at the attached pictures…look CLOSELY into their eyes. They are also fighting…for a clean drink of water! We are so busy with our own fight (and some are important ones) while we miss those near us (or far away in Guatemala). Let’s not get so busy with our own fight that we miss the opportunity to help others. Maybe taking our attention off some of these things could help us to love others differently…then maybe there would be no fightleft in us (or at least the need to win)? Don’t get so “hung up” in your fight that you forget the good word that teaches us to love. During her life, there were “fights” all around her, but she continued (until her death) to love those less fortunate. She lived in squaller while she single handedly raised more money to fight poverty than any one person in history. Mother Teresa fought the good fight! What are you fighting for?
Want to win your fight? Go give your life away and you’ll forget what you were fighting about!