As terrible as these events are, the biggest problem facing our country is not the occurrence of these relatively isolated events. Such tragedies—horrible though they are—are merely leaves of a deeply troubled tree whose cultural roots run rife—roots that almost no one in politics or the media is honest or courageous enough to grant front-and-center coverage.
Over eight score years ago, the philosopher Henry David Thoreau famously wrote:
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root, and it may be that he who bestows the largest amount of time and money on the needy is doing the most by his mode of life to produce that misery which he strives in vain to relieve." Could it be that the rhetoric (and accompanying allocation of resources) that politicians and the media concoct and distribute is in fact exacerbating the very problems they purportedly intend to mollify or solve in situations surrounding racial and other tensions growing in our country today? I'll let my readers make up their own minds about this, but in the meantime, let us at Freedom Focused submit the following facts to a candid world...
- Nearly eight years after electing an African American President to the White House, racial relations in the United States are more strained than they have been since the 1960s and 70s, or at least since the Rodney King incident in the early 1990s.
- Trillions of dollars of welfare programs have brought about only marginal gains in the "War on Poverty" declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson more than 50 years ago.
- Most of us—including many in poor precincts—are drowning in the unlimited stores of information available on the Internet, yet starved of wisdom about the roots of our REAL problems, as well as the moral CONVICTION, COURAGE, DISCIPLINE, and COMMITMENT required to solve them.
Rarely has there been a more gifted or impassioned orator on the subject of race relations (and many other topics) than President Barack Obama. Yet in the aftermath of the Dallas police murders, while speaking at the funeral service for the five slain officers, this prolific pontiff of the postmodern pulpit made a stunning admission about the relative inefficacy of WORDS—including his own—in effectively combatting the problem.
"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change. I've seen how inadequate my own words have been. And so I'm reminded of a passage in John's Gospel: Let us love not with words or speech, but with actions and in truth. If we're to sustain the unity we need to get through these difficult times, if we are to honor these five outstanding officers who we've lost, then we will need to act on the truths that we know. And that's not easy. It makes us uncomfortable. But we're going to have to be honest with each other and ourselves."
~ President Barack Obama, July 12, 2016; Dallas, TX
Click HERE to watch/read President Obama's complete speech delivered at the Dallas Funeral
Freedom Focused commends President Obama for his courage and honesty in making such a humble admission in his heartfelt appeal for less talk and more action. The ever looming question and dilemma remain, "how exactly do we as individuals ACT?" Ironically, the answer to this question is both simple and affordable, and it involves only THREE theoretically simple, but practically speaking—very difficult—steps.
Step ONE is to learn the difference between right and wrong. Step TWO is to practice the right and eschew the wrong in your own life. Step THREE is to teach others the difference between right and wrong and then encourage and empower them to choose right and avoid in their lives as well.
Unfortunately, the actual practice of this very simple formula is anything but easy, and more so than perhaps anything else on Earth—the terrorization of our own safety excepting—it makes us uncomfortable. It is so much easier to selfishly go about thinking, saying, and doing whatever pleases our sentient and emotional selves in the moment—whether our thoughts, speech, and actions bring about positive long-term consequences to ourselves and others, or not. But if we want lasting change, we, in the words of President Obama, are "going to have to be honest with each other and ourselves."
It is that simple; and it is that DIFFICULT. Nevertheless, it is possible!
So what is the honest TRUTH of the matter? Simply stated, the violence that occurred in Baton Rouge and Minnesota, and Dallas, did not occur primarily because of insufficient law enforcement policies and racial unrest among adult free agents (these were secondary, or even tertiary issues). It occurred primarily because parents, teachers, and other leaders failed those same adult agents when they were young.
Mankind's freedom to choose will always create outlying tragedies from time-to-time. But when outlying tragedies become persistent patterns of death and terror, the time has long passed for a complete review of the roots of a problem, and for a cessation of hollow rhetorical hackings and superficial fiscal fundings at the leaves thereof.
|It ALL begins with the ONE.|
And the good news is that you don't need a lot of money to begin the process. In fact, you don't need any government funding. All you need is to begin the painful, but oh-so vital process of self-purification YOURSELF, followed by a commitment to teach, encourage, and empower others to do the same by virtue of what you think about, say, and do in your own life.
While few people in positions of formal power in this nation are courageous enough to actually say it, I believe that most people—on a deeply visceral (even if largely unconscious) level—already know where the REAL problems and solutions lie. Unfortunately, championing that solution is neither popular nor profitable in today's polluted culture. Until we change the culture—one self-action leader at a time—we leave ourselves increasingly exposed to the tsunami of evil ever waiting to wash around and eventually drown us.
All honest and wise persons in this nation already know that the only solution is to begin the arduous, painful, and time-consuming process of constructing an AUTHENTIC seawall of defense, and all such persons understand that the materials with which we must construct such a defense are made up of character, integrity, and an undeviating commitment to righteous personal and organizational conduct.
|Click HERE to buy Self-Action Leadership|
Self-Action Leadership is a COMPREHENSIVE TEXTBOOK for character training and personal leadership development.
If you are serious about doing something to remedy the roots of our Nation's greatest problems, please buy this book today, read it yourself, and then begin sharing it with—and teaching it to—others.
In most cases, the answer to our problems don't lie in the contribution of exorbitant sums of money carelessly (or even carefully) allocated to a problem. It simply lies in learning the right thing, doing the right thing, and then teaching, mentoring, encouraging, and empowering others to do the right things within your sphere of influence—no matter how large or small that sphere may be.
President Obama has voiced his belief in recent days that "we are not as divided as we seem." I believe he is right. Unfortunately, however, our present unity is too steeped in a collective refusal to learn, do, and then teach right from wrong. Freedom Focused exists in a single-minded purpose to shift this unity of complacency to a unity of resolve to create a better tomorrow through principle-centered, conscience-directed Self-Action Leadership, character, and life-skills education.
God Bless the United States of America—a blessed land of promise—now, and always.
Click HERE to buy a copy of Dr. Jordan Jensen's new book, Self-Action Leadership: The Key to Personal, Professional, & Global Freedom.
SELF-ACTION LEADERSHIP is the key catalyst for initiating transformational leadership that lasts in any organization. The truth of the matter really is that simple; and the transformation of organizations through the holistic development of individuals really is that difficult—yet altogether possible for anyone willing to invest the time, effort, and sacrifice required to achieve authentic, transformational results.
Unlike any training program that has ever preceded it, Self-Action Leadership provides a single vehicle wherewith individual self-leaders can discover—and then act—upon the great truth that HOLISTIC personal development and growth spanning the mental, moral, spiritual, physical, emotional, and social elements of our individual natures is within the grasp of each one of us.
Note: Freedom Focused is a non-partisan, for-profit, educational corporation. As such, we do not endorse or embrace political figures. We do, however, comment from time-to-time on historical or political events that provide pedagogical backdrops to illuminating principles contained in the SAL Theory & Model.
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1. Thoreau, H.D. (2001). Walden and Other Writings. New York, NY: MetroBooks. Page 62.