As I reflect on this past week, I’m compelled to share some thoughts.
First and foremost, a huge thank you for all the word of encouragement, phone calls and stories which people have shared around my post “100 Days.” I’ve learned that everybody loves drinking, myself included, but that A LOT of people wish they could drink less. Our current social structure puts alcohol front and center – happy hours, summer Rose, concert and sporting events, etc – so it’s extremely difficult not to consume booze. Unfortunately, the older we get, our bodies change and the physical consequences on the body become more pronounced. However, from all the people that shared stories of their lifestyle without alcohol – 100% said they would never go back. I admit a cold beer on the Playa or sunrise Champagne will always be a delicious experience but for now I’m focusing my energies on family and work.
Second, a huge thank you to all the entrepreneurs and co-workers that have made it a point to emphasize how clear and focused my thinking and advice has been. When you start to see lifestyle changes positively impacting other really smart people – it’s super rewarding.
Third, I’d like to acknowledge the power of manifestation. Through clarity of thought from yoga, meditation and purity of diet, I’ve realized the power to manifest the life I want to live. Quite simply, visualize what you want to accomplish and make it become a reality.
Fourth, I am overwhelmed with a burning desire to become a catalyst for change. As the news of our President threatening North Korea is followed by images of a Neo-Nazi / KKK rally, I realize we need to make a choice. We need to redefine America. We need to decide who and what we want to be at this critical point in our history.
While this great country was built on the promise of freedom, the foundations of this promise were flawed. As Condoleezza Rice said, our country was born with a birth defect and that birth defect is slavery. And it almost caused our demise in the Civil War, it caused turmoil during the Civil Rights movement, and continues with a constant struggle for survival in our underserved communities.
Now, we need to remember that our freedom has been won by the brave men and women who have fought and died for freedom. The early revolutionaries, the Underground Railroad, and above all our military who fearlessly put themselves in harms way generation after generation. As someone who served and swore an oath to defend our constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, I think it’s time to draw a line in the sand. Because freedom can not co-exist with hate and violence.
When I was in High School, I remember fighting to protect a gay classmate. When I was in college, I remember fighting to protect a black classmate. Ironically at that point in my life, I was probably a bit homophobic, surrounded by racism with its fair share of misogyny. It was acceptable programming of the time.
Well – it’s not acceptable anymore.
It’s time to reprogram what is acceptable.
So if you were raised a racist, misogynist or homophobe you are due for an update.
You know when your cell phone or Apple TV stops working because you haven’t installed the most recent software update – well, our country is about to stop working. We have some critical failures that we need to fix. The good news is that we should be able to make this a software update. If we need to eliminate the hardware with the faulty programming – then we find ourselves in the second Civil War.
It should not be your right to assemble and have freedom of speech, if that freedom is fueled by hate and violence.
Negativity creates negative outcomes. Hence, someone driving through a crowd of hateful demonstrators in Charlottesville.
I remember as a young Army officer, getting dispatched to some civil unrest where they briefed us that our job was to defend the protestors burning the flag. It seemed odd to me that I needed to let people burn the symbol of freedom. I had learned through military history that it was our duty to make sure the flag never fell. In fact, military rumor has it that in the ball atop of every military base flagpole, there is a razor blade to cut off the stars, a match to burn the starless flag and a bullet to take your own life instead of surrending.
So I think we can uses the same three things to change our country. A razor blade, to cut out the hate and violence from racism, homophobic behavior and misogyny. A match, to light a fire to mark a new beginning – where we can cast our past and chart our future. And a bullet, because if hatred and violence will not go willingly, then we will meet it head on.
More than one wise teacher said, before you can bring peace to the world, you need to find peace within.
I have found my internal peace, so watch out world, here I come…
Here is this post in my own voice:
3 thoughts on “Who are we?”
Congratulations on your incisive post. You have nailed it. Unfortunately, many (most) of our “leaders” have not had the courage to confront the hatemongers amongst us.
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So proud of you Brad. What encouragement you give. I love who you are and what you stand for.
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