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We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, Our Flag will be recognized throughout the World as a symbol of Freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other.
Statement (29 May 1942); The Papers of George Catlett Marshall Vol 3 (1991)
Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. -Ronald Reagan
I'll get to the topic at hand in a moment. My son is five weeks old this week. It is incredible how completely saturated our life has become by him.
It's one of the best things in the world!
What have I learned as a father this week?
Being a father and fatherhood brings us to the topic at hand. Seth is my responsibility to teach, mould, instruct, and train up. Not the school system, the government, or the "village". He is mine, and therefore, my and my wife's responsibility. All of the above mentioned will have a place in his life for sure, but they cannot and should not be the primary and initial influence on any part of his education about this thing called life.
I will teach him many things as I stated in my initial Fatherhood Fridays post. I believe one of the most important things, which will be fundamental to how he lives, is American Exceptionalism. This is the ideal that states America is Exceptional in this world.
Because this has been a very busy week in this world.
I'm not going to get into the political aspects of this in this post. I am going to comment on what I've noticed throughout the week from other people.
People are excited about the new iPhone. People are in full support, rivalry and revelry of their NFL teams. Some people are paying attention to the election and politics. Very few people are even aware at all about the events on 9/11 and that there is a serious situation on the Middle East.
What does all of this have to do with my son and fatherhood?
I intend to keep my son from turning into one of the apathetic "sheeple" that either just don't pay attention, or just don't care. You see, kids are already by their nature inquisitive and alert about everything around them. The trick is to make sure, and teach him how to keep that switch turned on. I believe that teaching him that we are an Exceptional Nation, compared with every other nation, and that we CAN BE an Exceptional People will make all of the difference.
Being American doesn't automatically make anyone Exceptional. That is an ignorant and petty concept. But, being American gives ANYONE more opportunity, freedom, and possibilities than being born anywhere else on this planet. This is different by far than anywhere else in the world. We are stronger, more innovative, more dynamic, and more generous than any other group of people in existence. We have absolutely no reason to be ashamed of being different or apologize to anyone for this. I have listened to two legally naturalized American Citizens speak the past two weeks, and was definitively reminded by both of them that their being American has both changed their lives and their family tree for the better.
This is something that too many people born here take for granted and have forgotten. America, remember? This is the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave. There is no other. If we don't remember this, and therefore forget, and change into something else, where will people go?
I am a free man. My son is a free man-child. We have to teach our children that being an American is a great thing. It is something to be proud of. Has this nation made mistakes and done some wrong? Of course it has. So have you in your life, and so have I. How healthy is it to live a life not learning anything from our past and constantly beating yourself up for all of the horrible parts of your past? Why should we do this nationally?
We are different than the rest of the world. No apologies. It is completely OK to be different, and better. Not everyone will like us. That is fine as well. They don't have to. I hope and pray that I can pass this on to my son.
I hope he will be strong, and not weak.
I hope he is humble.
I hope that he doesn't stick his head in the ground and ignore what is important.
I hope that he will be the best he can be at whatever he does.
I hope he stands up for freedom and truth.
I hope he stands up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. No matter what the oppressor is like or how big and many they are.
I hope he fears GOD, and is guided by principles.
I hope he lives as a free man. I hope he never forgets that.