This election has created friction between friends, family and even Christians. No matter who you are voting for, or even if you are voting, you will agree that our country is in a place of decline. Each day, the social media newsfeeds show a majority of politics and I imagine it will get filled up as election draws closer.
Since 2004 (I believe), I have provided a voting guide for you to consider and pray over. I decided to make this Voting Guide 2016 available before the weekend so you are able to spend time considering the choices and spend time in prayer.
Last night, Senator Ted Cruz suspended his campaign after a second place finish in the Indiana Primary. As soon as the Senator suspended his campaign, social media was flooded with disgust over the elections, concern for our country and an unwavering pattern of whining about what to do next. Some say they will not vote, others will go to the polls and hold their nose as they pick the lesser of two evils and still others are joyous to pull the lever (or push the button) on election day.
May I remind you this election season has not turned out the way it has not because of the past year or even two years? It is due to a pattern of behavior which began years ago with the entitlements, a “that’s the way we have always done it”, a troubling financial system and a pure lack of respect for mankind. If you do not believe me, I would challenge you to research it.*
The fate of our country is not in the hands of the politicians, but it begins at our kitchen tables. It begins in our homes, not in Washington D.C. Our homes are suffering due to a lack of parenting, a lack of relationships and a lack of respect. If you want to turn the culture of our nation back to its founding principles, then start at home.
Let your family know that you are committed to them and their future; along with the legacy that you are leaving to your family. Let them know what you will make mistakes, but it is time to rise above the status quo and begin living for a greater purpose.
Start by talking; not texting. Put away technology and begin a conversation with your family over their interests, their goals and even how their day went. It is time we build the family through our relationships and not through problems. Allow your children to speak and allow them to learn.
Continue by getting your hands dirty. This nation was not built on watching television, but it was built by the hands of those willing to get out and work to make things happen. With the summer approaching, I believe there is ample opportunity for you and your family to get outside, breathe a little and get a little dirty. Teach your children the benefits of growing your own food, digging in the dirt and living a fulfilled life.
Teach your children respect. Just because you disagree with someone does not mean you have to throw up your hands, degrade them, unfriend them and never speak to them again. It means you disagree. The current process of disagreements is filled with insults, hatred and anger; instead of a respectful discussion.
Teach your children that they can respect others, but not agree with them. Allow them the ability to have a discussion over a disagreement and not a blatant, cutthroat domination. This country needs to talk, not fight like cats and dogs over the smallest of matters.
Teach your children there are things worth fighting for in life. There are standards and morals that must be fought over, but fought the right way and with the right information.
Stop giving everyone a trophy. Not everyone wins in life and each person needs to understand that every day. Some people will lose; they will fail. Some of the greatest winners in life have had the greatest failures. Allow your children to fail. It is ok, they will survive. Teach them.
Teach your children the value of hard work. Notice I did not say, “teach them to work,” but instead “teach them the value of hard work.” The future generations will need to work harder than we do; even with the power of technology. Teach them to value hard work. The value of hard work is remembered best in the value of a day off. Many people see a day off as another day because they have not valued hard work during the week. Value hard work.
Read the Bible. It does not matter if you are religious or not, just read it. It is the best-selling book of all time and so many will never read it. Begin in Psalm 11.3 if you want, but read it. (read the verses that follow it too)
My friends, this world is not over because of one election, it is over when a people of standards, morals and power cower behind the excuses that are currently being made.
Step up. It is time.
Just my thoughts,
*I really dislike providing all the information to people, but instead letting them do some groundwork and find out for themselves. I believe it is better that way.
A few days ago, I decided I need to simplify some areas of Social Media. To be honest, I enjoy a variety of aspects of social media, but all the drama has really gotten in the way of the positive. Anything from the chaos of politics to the chaos of someone’s personal problems have filled by Facebook Newsfeed for weeks now. Friends told me to begin “hiding” various people who are constantly dramatizing even the smallest of things. I tried this for a while and thought it worked pretty well. The only issue I had with “hiding people” was that they could still see my feed and comment.
Speaking of comments – just because you can comment, does not mean you should. All of us post things in a random way, but it is the comments that are crazy. People comment on anything and everything without reading and thinking about what they are going to say; especially anything on religion and politics. In fact, I have disabled comments on this blog because they were so absurd and disrespectful, they were not worth having around.
If you are going to comment, think first. If you still decide to comment, think about it again before you write it. When you do write it, reread it before you hit send.
On the other hand, there were some people who posted nothing but the negative that just had to go. I have friends to cuss, drink and do other things I disagree with, but rarely do I “hide them;” but the consistently negative and dramatic had to go.
In light of those things, I decided to make a change. So a few days ago, I posted this:
In this process, I maybe be losing some “friends” but I am regaining my sanity. Honestly, I rarely peruse Facebook unless I am sitting on my couch in the evening. I have chosen this method to keep my sanity and keep the drama down.
To further simplify social media, I have deleted a few account on other platforms which never amounted to much. I deleted LinkedIn about a year ago after being stalked by people who had nothing better to do. (Yes, I said stalked. It is a long story, but it is amazing what people do.) There are certain areas of social media that people just have to have and I refuse to follow the status quo.
Now before you think I am against social media, I am not. I enjoy reconnecting with people I have not talked to in years and now using the opportunity to keep up with each other’s families. The ability to share information, articles, pictures and videos is a powerful tool to motivate and encourage people.
What changes have you made to social media?
Could you use a reduction in the drama of social media?
“Before you can change the world, you must change yourself.”
I have heard the above quote many times and have no idea who said it first. After working in what some call the “personal development field” for several years no, I have found the quote to be absolutely true. An individual must begin to change personally before they change the world. A salesman would say, “You must believe in the product you are selling or no one will believe you.” The same is true with change; one must be the change they want to see in others.
When we change, the world sees a change in us and they should want to make the positive change too. Here are some words found in the back of No More Mondays by Dan Miller (page 241) attributed as found on a tomb dated A.D. 1100 of an Anglican Bishop at Westminster Abbey:
When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits,
I dreamed of changing the world.
As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change,
so I shortened my sights somewhat and
decided to change only my country.
But it, too, seemed immovable.
As I grew into my twilight years,
in one last desperate attempt,
I settled for changing only my family,
those closest to me, but alas,
they would have none of it.
And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize:
If I had only changed myself first,
Then by example I would have changed my family.
From their inspiration and encouragement,
I would have been able to better my country and,
who knows, I may have changed the world.
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