A Life of Integrity and Truth
Columbia Valentine Scot
I do not remember one defining moment when the world as we knew it, would never be the same again. Not just in progression of our medicine, architect, technology, or finances, but our faith and spirituality that our great country was built on by our forefathers, “In God We Trust” seems to have gone from the front of the line to the back.
For me, God was always an integral part of our country’s foundation, to use in a metaphor, He represented Switzerland, never taking sides, but always stood for the greater good, in all things, and every person, regardless of race or religion.
Even though God is unchanging, unfortunately the perception of that simple sentence seems to have been redefined while we were busy looking somewhere else, probably within our own circles as an “I” and not as a whole, as in our “We” responsibilities.
There’s a scripture that brings me comfort after watching world news, or any news or post on social media, which reminds me that though perceptions have changed, that doesn’t mean we as individuals have to be automatically placed or clumped together without a voice or say in who we become as individuals.
Galatians 5:22-23,26 New Living Translation (NLT)
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
I don’t believe this scripture is purely set in Christian values, but in everyday morals and ethics as well.
We all have moral barometers, when America was founded a group of diverse men put their ideals and moral compassion to build a world where all people of every nation could live harmoniously, productively, kindly and successfully, and signed this declaration; giving everyone an equal opportunity to no longer be separated by color, religion, gender, or social standing, everyone wanted and believed in “The American Dream,” and although things were up and down, it was a solid foundation, even when tested and shaken.
Many people living in America would like us to believe we failed, want us to look at how far we must go, and not how far we’ve come. There is no need to make America great again, but there is a need for us to remember what America stands for, and the lives sacrificed to afford us the freedoms we have and the ones still to attain. Somehow, we have forgotten how important the small victories are in aiding us to win the war.
No one and no where is perfect that I can think of, but I can recall time and time again when we rushed everywhere and anywhere to help, whether it was Las Vegas, California, Texas (Flooding and Church Shooting,) Parkland Florida, Sandy Hook, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, Louisiana, and the list goes on, and you know why, because Americans are loving, giving, compassionate, human beings, we fix the problem, not concentrate on the circumstances that already occurred, because it’s in those daily victories that take away the need for a grandiose occurrence.
I was humbled recently, by being part in making one teen smile through ”Make A Wish,” by allowing his wish to be an animator/ illustrator come to fruition by asking if he would like to do the final cover of my children’s trilogy, to hear him say he had a blast and thanked me, was so overwhelming, yet I am forever grateful, for being a reason behind a smile.
If we make one stranger smile a day, on the phone, at the store, work, then America will begin to heal, we’ve lost our smiles. We need to get our joy back and bury our anger.
Pinning us against one another is not the way to continue the work that still needs to be done. We cannot, under any circumstance, allow any one group, person, or political entity feel they have a right to issue us our identities as people. We need to stop keeping scores of wins and losses and concentrate on successes and lessons.
We will continue to find cures, we will stop child hunger, we will prevent climate change but first the “we” must return and the “I” must take a back seat. How much money and success are enough? What is true success? When aiming for the “Golden Ring” becomes detrimental to our environment, relations with people around the world, when we lose our individual truths, then we are no longer a people of integrity and honor.
I feel it’s vitally important that I share what inspired this article and implore you to read something written on Elle.com by Madison Feller called “New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden Leads with Compassion.” I am sure you are all aware of the 50 people killed in the Mosques and the 3 people a few days later shot on a bus, what you may not know is that she visited every family, and Mosque I believe and paid for the funerals of all the victims, it sounds like what “my America” would have done, instead of leaving Puerto Rico still suffering, because our upper government doesn’t feel that clean drinking water and electricity fully restored is a priority.
I urge you to pass that article on to family and friends, as a reminder of who we truly are and want to remain, and I say this with a very sad and heavy heart, as a person who loves her country, but if I were a sociology teacher, we would be the example of how not to react in these situations, at this moment in History.
I have complete faith in the American people, being individual thinkers, we will pull ourselves up by the boot straps and get it all done, we already are “Great,” no need to become it again.