I am grateful for where, when and to whom I was born. This gratitude is steeped in the realization that each of these aspects of my story are gifts that have afforded me certain advantages that those born in other places, at other times and to other families have not always enjoyed. But – and this is important – none of these three aspects of my heritage are perfect. This perspective is necessary to recognize the challenges, overcome them, and be the healthiest person I can be physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. A healthy me can then help to make the world a better place for all regardless of where, when or to whom they are born.
In today’s blog, we focus on “When”. This is a great time to be alive. In my 60 years, neither I nor my children have had to go to war without a say in the matter. In my 60 years, I’ve witnessed God allowing mankind to amass medical knowledge to relieve pain, prolong quantity & quality of life and even completely wipe out diseases, and in addition to supernatural miracles, I believe this knowledge is a means of God working miracles today. In my 60 years, I’ve seen significant progress in our national and global society on issues such as racial reconciliation, slavery (a.k.a. human trafficking), providing care & homes for orphans, and – particularly globally – the expansion of God’s kingdom through church growth.
We still have much work to do in all these areas. More importantly, these past 60 years (and beyond) have seen their share of atrocities and mankind generally behaving badly. I recently posted the following statement on social media: “Looking back should never be to pine for the good old days, for we had our problems then, too. Looking back is for the purpose of learning and not repeating our mistakes.” Being truly grateful for when we were born requires a proper perspective on the imperfections of our days.
This, in my humble opinion, is the fatal flaw in the Make America Great Again movement. We are pining for an ideal that has never existed. Perhaps we only want to go back to the right things (in the opinion of those doing the pining), but that isn’t how our world works. Going backwards would mean we go back to a time when people were being lynched because of the color of their skin, or when women were largely kept “in their place” instead of being allowed to fulfill the purpose inherent in the fact they are made in God’s image, or when people had to live in fear because of their life’s choices – in fear, by the way, of people who were making questionable life choices of their own, just different ones.
If you think I exaggerate, let me point out the man that we have allowed to be the face of the movement. He is flawed, he treats anyone who dares think different than him with contempt, and he sought to remain in power because he is convinced that only he has the answers for how to go backward to the “great again” ideal. Back to when we treated people with contempt, you see.
If you are alive to read this, it is appropriate that you be grateful for when you were born. It is also necessary that you look upon your years with perspective so that you can review history for what it can teach you, and then look forward to creating, and being a part of, even better days.
Let’s move forward and Make Our World Greater Still.