Calling For Heroes in 2005

This isn’t just a rant to get people to go to church or run out and get a bible and start reading it from cover to cover (although, if you do because of this rant I’m sure that would be fine…) What this is a rant for is that we need to turn the tide of social degradation in the other direction. This is a rant about putting Faith to good use and actually doing something to change the world for the better.

We need a new message. My wife came home on Sunday morning after listening to a powerful sermon at Church. The message was predictable yet intense at the same time, tying in with the events of the disasters in Asia and the rest of the world with how it’s affecting the Church body. Within this message, there was a call to return to the true meaning of the church. I’ve since listened to the message since it was recorded on audio cassette, which is the inspiration of this article.

These are troubled times we’re living in… and it’s only going to get worse. On many levels, I’ve never seen things as bad as they are now.

  * The political rift here in the United States that is stronger, deeper and more bitter than I’ve ever seen before. No longer do we debate, we argue with shouting and no one listening to the other side.

* Radical changes in the environment with each summer becoming hotter then the last (or much colder and wetter) then the ones before. Last year was one of the most intense hurricane seasons on record with several horrible storms striking the state of Florida and scientists believe it’s just the beginning.

* There has been a stronger push to upturn the foundations of our society, such as changing the definition of the word marriage, families being torn apart by neglect of children and disrespect of parents.

* The technological and scientific “mad dash”.  Many of the advancements in science these past few years has been accomplished with little thought about the moral implications. Perfect example is embryonic stem cell research – while there’s been little success or proof that it could be successful, there are many who demand that we move forward in this area of research, yet the real promises lie in using stem cells that have been harvested from a patient. There’s no concern in science about the moral ramifications, just the mindset – “If we can do it, we should…” (I’m not against all technological advancements… but I’m against the lack of concern or “future shock”.)

I don’t believe things are getting better in all areas of our lives or any at all, I believe things are getting worse. Granted, we have better gadgets and abilities to do new and different things, but we’ve put these things before what’s right. Our priorities have changed. If you’re like me, you believe that if you get one more item you’ll be able to do more for good. But how quickly did I become content or unenhanced with that new item and never came through with my goal of doing better?

    In the areas where we’ve improved in one direction, we’ve degraded in others. Behavior that was unacceptable before is now common and accepted. We’ve compromised in some areas believing things would get better and they haven’t. As inappropriate behavior (drinking and drug use, over sexualized behavior, laziness or complacency…) is being celebrated by the media, there’s a lack of concern by those who control the media, the mindset is that if you don’t like it… turn it off, meanwhile we’re being lured in by the same people in the media with hype and advertisement. While that type of promotion is overwhelming at times, we still have the power to ignore it. We have to make the choice to ignore it and forget the peer pressure and social “guilt” that comes with out participating. We need to restore faith in what’s greater then us, the faith that’s been replaced by “scientific” or “intelectual” rational.

    I believe that it’s up to us to make changes for the better. I’m in favor of the RIGHT kinds of changes in society where people are created equal and are judged by the merit of their character. I believe that if we strive to be the people were meant to be then the world would be a far better place.

This Is The Hour

    This is the time for those of us who imagine our selves as better people to take the time and effort to do so, become the person you’ve always envisioned yourself being. I’m writing about getting rid of the elements in your life that’s keeping you from doing the right things, behavior that’s coming between you and your relationships and other obstacles that’s keeping you from being a better person.

 There are those of us who imagine ourselves in better shape, healthier and smarter then who we really are. I would argue that “voice” is our true selves screaming to get out. We ignore this because of our busy and complicated lives, made over complicated because of our striving for material things or trying to suit other people’s expectations.

    A New Year is exactly the right time to re-evaluate what you’re doing now and formulate a plan on moving ahead.  Perfect example is higher education. There are some that are reading this who are in high school and are thinking about college, exactly the right thing to do. But I’m also targeting people who are above the traditional college age who are thinking about making a change: Now is the time to do it. Many call this “re-careering”.  What ever it’s called, if you feel as if there’s a subject you want to know more about or want a fresh start, 2005 should be the year we all take an active roll in our own higher education… either studying new subjects or pursuing new hobbies.

    This is the hour to throw away the excuses and the negative energy and thoughts and actually get it done. What you could have done or should have done in the past is irrelevant because it’s something you can’t change. You CAN change your future by making efforts now.

    I know its hard to take the time and make the effort to become something better then what you already are, and you might never get to be that person completely… but it’s the effort that’s makes it worth while, it’s the effort that’s half the battle.

Taking the Time

    Beyond doing what you need to be a better person in the up coming year, there’s something just as important. It’s equal to doing the things to better yourself, because this next goal for the New Year would add greater purpose to self-improvement.

    This should also be the year for us to spend more time with the people we love. Our families need us now more then ever as our children are getting conflicting messages from the media, school and peers. Kids need positive reinforcement of the morals and values you’re teaching them, and the television and video games aren’t helping. Things that were meant to be for enjoyment and entertainment are being used as babysitters, with no regard to the messages that are being sent. Since my fondest memories of my childhood have little to do with the television, I believe that it’s the interaction between children and parents that count much more. What do kids remember more, spending time playing catch and hitting the ball around or those games watched on television?

    As I’ve noticed in raising my own children, kids imitate their parents. Perfect example is when my own son “Coppertop” put on his own fedora and grabbed the bottle from my hand to feed his baby brother… and the time when my wife and I were having a heated conversations and my son was behind me mimicking the tone of my voice and hand gestures… (My wife said that he was imitating his dad… I think that he was mocking me, a trait that runs very deep in the Fisk family.)

    The question is, who do you want your kids to learn the difference between right and wrong? You and the rest of the family or the media who are using “entertainment’ to sell them high priced items and junk food? I don’t think it’s a fair question when the answer is so easy to figure out.

    Keeping the television off and interacting with your family might be the best way to make memories and spend the next 52 weeks of the new year and will help to make the next generation better people.

Restoration of Traditional Values and Hope  

  Everything I’ve written here has one thing in common, restoring traditional values, those of an era gone by that actually count. Education, spending time with family, treating people with the respect they deserve, having the courage of seeing our flaws and becoming better people in spite of those flaws.

I’m also talking about taking Faith and putting it to good use. Many of us claim to be church going people, or that we have believes in a higher power that is greater then our own. I believe that this is the year to set aside the rituals of religion and put that kind of faith to work.

In closing, I wanted to reiterate what I wrote earlier in this piece.  We have an incredible capacity to make this world a better place if we put our faith and our beliefs to good use with the tools we have today. The average home computer has more power then those used during the Apollo space program, but we’re only using them to a fraction of their potential. If our morality and our faith can keep up with the technological advances, I have no doubt there is phenomenal good we can accomplish. It’s a matter of having the courage and the strength to put these things together and to good use. Just as our computers here at home, at work and at school are far more powerful the what was used by the men that landed on the moon; so is our greatest potential compared to what we’re accomplishing right now… if only we believe.

I want to be sure that people know that I’m also talking about restoring Faith, believing that even in these times of chaos there’s a reason to believe that we can and will over come through Assurance in something greater then ourselves. We’re built to be over-comers, and in 2005 we have to embrace the idea that most people have problems but we have challenges. Those challenges can be met and overcome once we look to what’s right and good in all of us.

Keep your fedora’s on, and your chin’s up.
Eric Renderking Fisk

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