Wow, I made it to 48! Never thought I’d be this close to 50.
I started this blog four years ago thus the name 40phor. I’ve decided to maintain the name although the years keep adding up. I thought of 44 at the time as being a pivotal year in my life and, to be honest, every year since then has been pivotal. I think I grow every year. I’m still working on being a better father, husband, son, brother, teacher, leader and of course, writer. The last four years have been years of reflection that I had missed on my first 44.
Every year there are milestones and benchmarks. There are also difficulties and failures. Every year I try to identify my weaknesses and strengths. Every year I reflect on what I should be celebrating. For me, my birthday is a time to think about how I will make this year better than the last.
This year, 9/11/01 has been on my mind a lot. Like most people who were alive that day, there are still strong emotions each year. One of my first posts was about 9/11. And my second post ever was about Glenn Beck’s 9-12 project. I was pretty tough on Beck.
I still think Beck is an alarmist and a bit of a putz. I have read some of The Blaze and I can’t understand how a mass of people can believe every thing this guy writes when he only uses his personal feelings as resources.
I will admit that Mr. Beck had a point. In the days following 9/11/01 we were a different nation of people. We were all there for each other. There was much less divisiveness and much more love. After the initial fear wore off, more people cherished the important things in their lives. It was very scary as I recall but we were all in this together. We were a united nation.
What I don’t think many realize is that 9/11 has also led us to where we are today. When all that love and support wore off, politicians began to place one religion over another due to those responsible for the terrorist attacks. Our government started to put the safety of the nation above the freedoms of individuals. While the Christian Right pulled one way to claim the US for Christ, the hardcore left held on dearly to what they valued. Now, more than just freedoms and religions, every issue has become a fight between the left and the right. There really is no middle ground any more. There really are no seriously political moderates on either side. As much as liberals hated Reagan and the Bushes, they were way closer to the center than any of our current political righties. The left has countered with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, spreading ideas that seem more associated with the 70s than the 21st Century. It seems you have to be extrem to be noticed. In PA, we are in one of the longest budget debates in Commonwealth history. Tom Wolf, probably more socially liberal than Ed Rendell, has put his foot down on his support of public education. The more fiscally conservative House has said it will hold the line. Apparently no room for compromise.
It’s painful for me to think that fateful day may have led to our current state of divisiveness in this country.
In that blog post on Glenn Beck, I posted 10 values and two principles.to strive for to counter Mr. Beck’s 12. I think they are probably even more relevant today:
- All people are created equal. Not just rich, white, American men who run businesses.
- We all have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and so do all humans around the world. Whatever God, god or other supreme being we believe in created us all and didn’t create some to live in poverty, and some to live as captives, and some to never know happiness.
I know, my liberal is showing but, it’s my birthday!