by CJ Clark, Featured Contributor
I have been thinking a lot recently about the word “truth.” I heard myself talking out loud the other day, saying, “There is no absolute truth.” I surprised myself with that one because I do believe in truth, at least within my own definition. My parents shared and demonstrated their truth…love, care, education, freedom, and pride in my country.
The dictionary definition of truth is “fact,” so actually none of those things I just mentioned really are truth. But they are who I am; what I believe, so let me ponder this concept of truth just a bit.
As long as we have walked the earth, we have handed down our own sense of truth to our children; our own sense of what is important. Bad guys know that in order to perpetuate their agenda, they have to get to the children. Hitler youth were indoctrinated and propagandized into believing his truth. Soviet children were raised to believe that their father was Stalin, and their mother was The Motherland; their truth.
As children in the United States, we were raised with our own truth. We were raised with pride in our country and a sense of obligation to defend her. Parents, the school system, and the country were loosely united in this sense of “truth.” I still get chills when I listen to Red Skelton recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
We created such a strong mantra of truth – freedom, education, opportunity – that we drew others who shared our beliefs. They came to the country to gain freedom, but they gave back. They defended our country, they built our economy and they respected our country.
What is the truth that our children are absorbing? I don’t know the answer to that question any more.
I see factions of truth abounding; individual causes and beliefs that are polarizing, but no one compelling “this is who we are.”
Some days I think that the “truths” that we are teaching our future generations have more to do with “stand your ground,” “get everything you can get,” “make yourself look good by tearing down the other guy,” and worst of all, “apologize for being strong, healthy and free.”
Sure, we tire of endless bureaucracy and legislators who seem to be permanently stuck, but we have something good here; something different. We are free.
I would assert that one truth we still have as American people is our freedom. We paid a very, very high price for it, so let’s not do something stupid and allow it to be taken away.
There are threats to our freedom today that were unimaginable before 9/11. But we continue to be distracted by special interests, blaming others, and apologizing for being strong and free. At some point, we will go from strong and free, to weak and “big-brothered.” We will lose our freedom.
What is our basic truth as a strong and free country? How can we instill that truth in future generations? That is not rhetorical, but demands an answer. What I see instead of embracing our truth is complacency and bickering. Do we have the strength as Americans to stand up for truth?