Our Defeats Will Steel Our Resolve

I just realized something:

All of the “defeats” that we have been subjected to over the last two years, that have left us so deflated and demoralized, are not defeats at all. They are signposts along the way to our better future. They are there to energize us, and more than that, to test our resolve:

Do we really believe in our cause? Or is it just so many empty words?

Are we whiners who expect that everything will go our way, and when it does not we throw up our hands in defeat? Or are we willing to get our hands dirty and do the hard work necessary to create the future that we believe in?

Do we wallow in defeat and demoralization while everything wastes away at the hands of a small group of people who will walk all over our rights and our dignity and take it away from us? Or do we fight back?

Do we really believe in the promise of our country? That all of us are created equal. That hard work will be rewarded fairly. That we can leave a better world for our children. That ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Because right now — at this moment — we are engaged in the great test of our generation: can the promise of this country endure?

We have been sitting here pining for someone to step up, waiting for someone to emerge and show us the way. We have been desperate for a leader so we can follow them to the promised land. But we don’t need a leader to follow: we already know the way. We can join hands and walk there together.

There is a great task ahead of us. And we will take increased devotion to our cause from the defeats we have suffered. But we will not be demoralized. We will not be defeated. We will not let others steal our hope. We will not watch our country crumble. We will steel ourselves for the fight ahead. And we will succeed.

Our future is one month away. Let’s go.

Living in a Post-9/11 America

My son was almost eight years old on September 11, 2001. In the days and months after that terrible day, it became more and more apparent to many of us that we were heading down a long and dark road. During the run-up to the war in Iraq in 2003, I had a conversation with a friend of mine. Our sons were the same age. We talked about how worried we were that our boys would end up being called on to fight the war. It seemed very likely to us that the war could end up dragging on for ten years or more and that our boys would be fighting age long before the end.

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