HONOR YOUR HEROES

Today in the United States we observe Memorial day. Originally known as decoration day and started after the Civil War, Memorial day became a federal holiday in 1971. It is a day set aside to honor those who have fallen in the roll of serving our country. From all of us at Secret2anamazinglife.com we send our thoughts, prayers and respect to all of the families who have lost love ones in military service. We thank you all for your sacrifice.

As we pause and reflect on this day, two thoughts come to mind for me. The first thought is how we can best honor those who have lost their lives. If you have read anything I have written before you know that I advocate continuing on what the world has lost with the passing of the individual. My grandfather was a veteran, who did not pass while serving but has sense passed away. I will always remember the respect he earned by showing respect to others. Those in the family would listen when he would speak. He did not often raise his voice because he did not have to. He was generous with sharing his experiences and the lessons he learned. Those are traits, among countless others, that I will carry on in memory of my grandfather.

Today I feel there is another great way to observe memorial day and to honor those who have fallen. That is to reconfirm our respect to those who have served in our country. I do not know what country you may be reading this in, but the point remains the same whether you are in the United States, India, Kenya or any other location. I know a lot of people who read this blog are anti-war. So am I. If you ask most veterans, so are they. They serve their country to defend the principles it stands for. Some are conscripted, some volunteer. They may not always agree with the political actions that send them in harms way, but they faithfully carry out their job. They may raise concerns or even objections to their superiors, but in they end they follow orders. Do not hold soldiers accountable for the actions of the government.

This line of thinking got me pondering my next question. How can we do our part to really honor the day itself. I think the best way to honor memorial day is to do all that we can to reduce the amount of soldiers that are exposed to harm. What I am talking about is encouraging actions that facilitate peace. To make sure those who have given the ultimate sacrifice have not done so in vain. Vote for those you think can solve the world’s problems without resorting to putting the lives of innocent men and women at risk. On a more personal level, do more to grow peace in your personal life. Communicate with those who are different than you, especially those you disagree with. You can always disagree without disrespecting. Start dialogue. Learn about different cultures.

Once again, all of us at this site wish to offer our respect and gratitude to those who gave their lives believing they were doing so to bring peace to this earth. We wish to encourage all of us to work toward peace in their memory and in their honor so each year we may move closer to peace and lose less lives of those we care about.

LESSONS FROM THE CIVIL WAR WE HAVE FORGOTTEN

The American Civil War (never really did understand that term) was about far more than just slavery. It represented rural verses city life. It pitted national governing against local governing. In broad terms, the southern way of living against the northern way of living. Of all of these issues the basis was the same, different people with strong ideological beliefs on both sides.

It can still be argued as to whether rural or city planning is better and healthier. I am sure there are benefits to both national and local governing. What I felt was really a no-brainer was dismissing the human rights of someone based on either the color of their skin or their ethnic upbringing. In today’s world of division, this can, and often does, include political and religious differences as well. While it is certainly ok and quite natural to disagree with each other on these issues, what is not acceptable is to vilify or dehumanize others who are or believe different than we.

As I tend to surround myself with people who are as accepting and open-minded as myself, these issues are not always front and center in my mind. In my own way I think of things like prejudice and racism as not only arcane, but ludicrous. Would you really deny yourself a blood transfusion because Dr. Charles Richard Drew, who invented a way to process and preserve blood plasma was African-American? Would you do without such inventions as paper, printing and umbrellas because they come from Chinese inventors? Would you do without all of Albert Einstein’s contribution to science because you are anti-Semitic? The fountain pen, windmill and one of the most important inventions to my writing – coffee are all of a Muslim origin.

To do without any of these inventions because you believe this or that group of people are less than you would not only be foolish, it would be ignorant and stupid. Every culture has its heroes and its villains. To condemn an entire race or group of people based on the actions of one, or some of its people is not only irresponsible, but asinine. Do I hate all of my German friends because back in the 30’s and 40’s there was a neurotic freak named Hitler who killed millions of people? Of course not. Do I hold a grudge against all of my Christian friends because many of them lead to the death of over 100 million Native Americans? That would be senseless.

If we are to hate someone based solely on the racial/religious or political differences we have with them, then we should be prepared to do without all of the amazing contributions brought on by that group. As I look around my group of friends and notice the vast difference in color, culture and creed, I look forward to learning from and working with all of them to make our world a better place. As the Dalai Lama said, we are all brothers and sisters.