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Monday, March 24, 2014

The loss of America's ability to think freely!

Betsy Ross Flag
It's no secret that we are a country at a crossroads.  Some say we are headed for a socialist state, others say our best days are behind us.  I often ask why?  Why is it we are in such a crisis?  And the answers vary wildly.  The most common answer is laziness, or to many people leaching off the public payrolls. Hatemongers play the race card and the illegal alien rhetoric up. Others blame big governments while their opponents blame big business.  Politicians love this kind of banter, because it keeps them in power and it makes them relevant.  Which is half the problem in itself. While others are more philosophical and say we've had it to good for to long and need to be reminded what it's like to fight for our freedom.  I see all these things as outward signs of an inward problem.

If you take the time to read our Declaration of Independence, one thing sticks out.  The people who wrote this document thought independently.  The wording is full of references to "unalienable rights", "long train of abuses", "guards for future security", and "deaf to the voice of justice".  These men did not follow party lines. They did not read from the script of liberal or conservative.  They spoke as men who thought for themselves and others of their young nation.  They were thinking on a whole new level.  They wiped the slate clean and started over.  They were not protecting anybody, any program, or any party.  They were protecting humanity and it's right to freedom.  Free speech, free pursuits, and most importantly the right to think for one's self without being told what to think by some overbearing politician or news anchor.

Land of Free Thinkers
Our nation started it's path to crisis when we started letting news anchors, talking heads, politicians, and now even late night show clowns tell us what to think.  This is the information age, never accept someone else's word on who said what.  If a politician blames someone for the condition of your school district, then get on the internet and research it.  If a news anchor tells some sob story about big business doing things wrong then do some research and find out for yourself.  And for crying out loud, by no means fall for the late night TV clowns!  The bottom line, if you want America to be great again then act like those men and women of the 1700's did.  Think for yourself.  Think about others in your community.  Think about how the actions of your governing body affect everyone you know and make an informed decision to act based on your own thinking.

The ability to think freely is the greatest freedom of all!  Please don't surrender it to anyone!

Monday, March 17, 2014

All the world is Irish, but do any of them associate with the Shamrock?

Oh the beloved March 17th is upon us.  That means it's St. Patrick's Day and everybody and their grandma is Irish.  Even if only for a day.  A little disclaimer here, my grandmother's father was one of three brothers that came here directly from Ireland about 1910.  But everyone associates with the Irish and joins in the festivities.  Eating cabbage, drinking ale, and wearing green.  But how many know the meaning behind the man that is St. Patrick?  And how many know the message that made him famous enough to earn him Sainthood?  Like so many of our holidays in America, we just join in the party and don't pay any mind to the history or the significance of the event.  This man has an incredible story and there is a legitimate reason multiple churches claim him as their patron saint.

Mr. Patrick was born in a Britain that was under Roman rule.  This would be roughly around 400 A.D.  His Father and Grandfather were said to be either deacons or preachers in a "Christian" church.  There weren't as many denominations back then so it is unclear what "Christian" branch it was.  When he was 16 he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and made a slave somewhere on the west coast of Ireland.  While in captivity God gave Patrick a dream of fleeing to the beach and leaving by boat.  The dream came true and he sailed to Gaul.  This is modern day France.  Since God saved him, he studied to be a priest and returned to Ireland to Christianize his Irish captors away from their Celtic polytheism.  Interestingly Celtic polytheism and Roman mythology are parallel, but that's another story.  What set Patrick apart was he used the most common thing in Ireland as his teaching tool.  The common Shamrock was all he needed.  The Shamrock has three leaves and he used it to explain the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.  He spent thirty years walking the emerald isle that once enslaved him using a simple clover to spread the word of God.  He changed a nation and is for every immortalized.  This is why the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, Eastern Orthodox, and Irish Christian Church all claim him as Saint Patrick.

We live in a day and age that it's all about marketing, name recognition, and the wow factor.  Sometimes, the simplest things in life can carry the biggest message.  I find that more often then not that word of mouth is the most effective tool of all.  Friend to friend makes some of the greatest impacts in most people's lives.  And sometimes one man walking for thirty years with a few clovers in his pockets and a simple message in his heart can change a world.  If someone ask you today, "Are you wearing your green?" remember it means "are you wearing your Holy Trinity?".  I hope you wear your green everyday.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Remember asking, "What do you want to do this weekend, Honey?"

Full contact parenting.
In the Bordelon house we are in the 7th inning stretch of the year of Epic Graduationness!  With 12th and 8th grade graduations in two and a half months our days are on lock down. Penny and I walk around with a paper calendar full to the brim and our phone full of electronic dates.  Gone are the free weekends.  Out the window are the "date nights", that's for newlyweds.  And the age of dropping off little ones at grandma's for a weekend getaway are the things of myth for us.  We are on a rail to complete a goal and no selfishness will deter us from all that must be accomplished to get there.  If you are unwilling to sacrifice for a child then I suggest something other than parenting.

How do you plan a selfish night out when you need to have Senior pictures taken.  When you price a hotel room on the coast and see the deposit for your Son's dorm, is there really a choice?  When your 8th grader has an opportunity to take test and compete academically do you really look the other way?  We love to get together with our friends, but we are not about to miss the last concert of our Son's High School career. That new restaurant with it's romantic meals sure sounds great, but my boy is throwing nine pound balls into the air this weekend, so it will have to wait.  Then again, I've never understood people that don't attend their kid's functions.  We are blessed with two talented boys. My oldest has excelled at band, academics, and math.  I have never missed a band function, and why would I?  It was only five years, I've been around for forty three.  I think sacrificing five is minor league in the big picture.  My younger is excelling at football, track and field, academics, and math.  In his elementary football years I've missed one game due to flooding.  I have no intention of missing any High School games.  What's four football years in the course of my life?  Why bring kids into this world if you are not going to pour your life into them?  To have kids and put a roof over their heads while you go off and have your mid-life crisis is just the most selfish thing I can think of in this world.  It's a real head scratch-er for me.

End of a short journey.
So we march on with our date with destiny.  Our goal, to raise two whole, complete young men.  While the nay-sayers will shout things like, "think of yourself" and "you are worshiping your kids".  I say, it's better than worshiping myself.  I choose to enjoy the weekends filled with trips to colleges, end of year concerts, banquets, awards ceremonies, rehearsals, etc, etc, etc.  When our job is done, the wife and I will find a sandy beach and sink our tired, broken-down bodies into it for a spell.  Enjoy some alone time, rejuvenate, and do so with a big smile knowing we've poured all we could into our boys.  But until then our calendar will be locked up with the task at hand.  Because that's why we came together, to raise kids that will be the best things we can set forth on this Earth.  Despite what this world is, and despite what short comings we may have.  In the end don't judge us for our weekend getaways, judge us for the offspring we've left behind.