Tuesday, April 28, 2015

life lessons

Every time I see the insanity happening in Baltimore, I think of two things: one, lessons my parents taught me. Two, I wish I could buy one way tickets to North Korea, China, Russia, Ivory Coast, Singapore, and Vietnam for every single one of those protesters.  Pull a stunt like throwing bricks or trash cans or moltov cocktails at police in China? That won't be a nerf bullet they shoot in your direction. Damage someone's property or loot a store in Ivory Coast? You better pray the police get their fast. Sometimes the police take their sweet time and sit back and watch, only intervening right before the owners beat the vandal or thief to the point of death. The whole scenario in Baltimore both disgusts me and breaks my heart.

But it also makes me appreciate my parents. Had these kids been taught the following simple lessons and seen it modeled out growing up, there's no way they'd be participating in such selfish vandalism and greedy and self-serving acts of anarchy.

  • Respect authority.
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated.
  • Rights are earned, not granted. 
  • Your freedoms end where another's nose begins.
  • Don't covet.
  • Don't steal.
  • Help those in need.
  • Do what's right, no matter what anyone around you is doing.
  • Be honest.

No faith is perfect. Growing up in the church and in a pastor's home, I know that way too well. But I also know that people of no faith have no guidelines to govern their lives. All but one of those above life lessons are from my Christian faith. The older I become, the more certain I am that people who have no guidelines other than "It's all about me" will continue to act and react in these ways.  This type of violence and destruction will only get worse as America becomes more of a secular society. When police and other authority figures do dishonest and dishonorable things, everyone suffers. When people have not been taught the difference between right and wrong, innocents suffer. Calling the national guard may be bring temporary stability, but it won't heal the moral decay of our nation. 

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