Inches and Seconds
We live in an increasingly dangerous country. The war on police, coupled with soft on crime policies adopted in many large metropolitan areas, have rendered the general populace less safe. Recently, I entered a drug store in a major metropolitan area and learned that theft was no longer prosecuted. I watched a woman fill a bag with sundries and simply exit the store unquestioned. How did we get here?
We hear horrific stories of people being pushed onto subway tracks, others driving into crowds of unexpecting people, and extremely tragic incidents or a stray bullet killing a sleeping infant in the crib. It appears that completely innocent ventures are no longer safe.
The horrors of these realities struck close to home seven years ago as I strolled with my infant granddaughter along the Embarcadero in San Francisco. Only a few months later, on July 1st, Kate Steinle would lose her life only a few feet from where I peacefully strode reflecting upon the beautiful girl slumbering within the safety of her stroller. Every time I look at this picture, I thank God that my granddaughter wasn’t taken for a walk that day - it could have been her. It could have been any of us.
If one believes the official accounting of the incident, a gun was discarded and picked up by a transient. Upon picking up the gun it simply discharged a bullet. Was it incredibly bad luck that Kate had been in that location at that instant? A few inches or a split second could have made the difference between life and death. The more important question is why the conditions were so that the incident became possible. In what sane world are guns simply discarded in tourist areas…
We are enduring a social metamorphosis that is extraordinarily unhealthy. An environment where in many circles one is vilified for suggesting that we secure our borders or only allow properly vetted people to relocate here. An ideology that excuses the abhorrent behavior of people within a particular classification yet makes pariahs of those who question the obvious hypocrisy.
We must face the reality that we cannot solve all the world’s problems. We must not adopt an unhealthy self-loathing because we worked diligently and became successful. Indeed, there is an element of luck embedding within the overarching evolution to success, but far too often that luck is passed off as happenstance rather than the recognition that much of good fortune is the actions many take that create the environment for that opportunity to flourish.
Once one is blessed with the good fortune of success there becomes a responsibility to in turn make the world a bit better. This translates into deeds that truly make a difference. Championing the nuclear family, returning to the core values that made this country singular in all the world, and teaching those within our orbit why these principles matter.
There exist a few realities that are often overlooked during the unbridled quest for utopia. The first and most important is within almost every cause, no matter how seemingly virtuous, there exists an element of duplicity. Your intentions, as are the objectives of most who embrace the effort are pristine, yet within the leadership or in the confines of the larger group elements with a differing objective flourish.
There are plenty of current day examples in politics, social groups, and yes even the church. As has been said by any Christianity at its core is perfect, yet some of the Christians tend to hijack the ideology to serve their purposes. So it is true with other efforts. Take for example, Black Lives Matter. The vast majority of participants were people who were extraordinarily passionate about the cause. Yet most had been spoon-fed lies that fueled their passions. At the same time, some in the leadership had a differing agenda that included destruction of the nuclear family and self-enrichment. Both of these more spurious motivations have been well documented.
So it is true with the incident on January 6th, 2021. Indeed the vast majority of protestors came to the capital with the most virtuous of intention. As with the protests the previous summer, within the larger assembly were some untoward elements. Fiery rhetoric, some untrue, created the environment that led to the actions on that date.
Regardless of your political views, the unseemly elements of the Black Lives Matter agenda and the January 6 event should be condemned. Most decent people realize that each effort had its share of inappropriateness. The issue became our response and it has been extraordinarily inequitable. Those illegal actions undertaken by the BLM members have been widely excused and almost none have been prosecuted. At the same time, many who participated in the illegal actions on January 6 languish in prison with no voice to advocate for them. The double standard is indeed troubling.
The answer seems quite simple. Those who chose to enter the capital on January 6th, despite very little violence, got too close to the powerful and entitled. As such, members of both political parties are quick with their condemnation. Those, who destroyed block after block within many of our inner cities, are excused. It appears that one political party sees this as an opportunity to continue to keep a hold on a significant segment of the population, while the other is far too uninterested to have their voices heard if they even care. “It’s not in my neighborhood,” appears to be their mantra, and the opposing party remains silent as it appears politically expedient for them to do so.
Inches and seconds metamorphosize into hours and feet and in turn become lifetimes and invisible barriers that might be but a few miles but transform into unnavigable journeys. If we start with the principles that have created our great land and build upon them. We can create an environment where we offer a hand up to all in need regardless of their circumstances.
Sowing the seeds of unity and love is no easy task, but with an aligned effort and persistence we can reap the harvest that leads to an environment where I could possibly take a stroll with a great granddaughter in a country where love is the overarching theme. Impossible? I think not.