Weekly Thought – May 15, 2018
Fred’s early 1980s speeches reflect the depth of his thinking. He always went to the fundamental principles, then fleshed them out with current illustrations. These observations about America reflect the early weeks of Reagan’s administration.
We have to think maybe the only real mandate President Reagan got from the people was to replace Jimmy Carter. He was elected, to my observations, not on confidence, but on hope. And hope is such a tenuous political emotion – so often disappointed. The masses knew we needed a change. It is still for this administration to establish that confidence so necessary for a leader if he is going to be truly constructive rather than a poll watcher. Sometimes I think we are getting to be political “poll cats.” Pardon the stinky pun.
Can we think together about what it takes to build confidence on hope’s foundation? America was built by confidence in the founding fathers whom we still revere. They were men who were willing to serve the nation even at a personal sacrifice. Now we have shifted to those who ask to run the country to take power, not to serve it. Those willing to serve were the statesmen while those anxious to serve are the politicians.
We must once again feel America has a destiny – more than survival. Mere survival will not inspire the energy and commitment w need for world leadership. As Faulkner said, “The life worth living does more than survive, it prevails.” When our highest concern is survival then compromise becomes our modus operandus. When communism first threatened the world those who chose survival were represented by the scholar who said, “Better Red than dead.”
Those who refuse to cave in to fear are saying with Solzhenitsyn “Better dead than a scoundrel.” He was willing to put aside risk survival for the life that prevails. He, like Bonhoeffer, was offered survival in exchange for compromise and silence. They both chose excellence over mere existence. Only when life is really worth living is it worth dying for.
I have had some concern that some of our past state department leaders have not believed us as a people capable of leading and therefore adopted compromise.
If the character of our people has weakened, if we have run our course in defense of freedom, and if leisure has become our goal, then compromise is all that is the only option open to us… and that will be for a short time. Compromise is a downward spiral, just as the prevailing attitude draws us upward.
This week think about: 1) How are these 1981 thoughts pertinent to today? 2) What did Fred see that I can apply to my own thinking this week? 3) When do I accept compromise in my work, faith, or family?
Words of Wisdom: “Only when life is really worth living is it worth dying for.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have confidence in the presence of God.” (1 John 3:21 NET Bible)