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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



It isn’t very often that I get three days in a row off, but since the weather and the holiday weekend seemed to come together in a most appealing way I found myself with an extra day to recuperate and clean a little house, something that needed done in the worst way. Not only did I catch up and get most of my garden planted I also had time to visit the local cemeteries and remember those who came before me and brought freedom to this land.

Unfortunately there are many out there who are missing the lessons of those who paved the way to where you and I are today. As I stood near a dark red granite headstone and looked off over the sprouting corn I thought about all the struggles that those who spend their days in peaceful slumber here dealt with and took as a challenge in order to make our community what it was. I’m sure things weren’t easy for them. There were disasters both financially and worldwide. Conflict and struggle were upon them and yet in good times they flourished and in the hard times they took it upon themselves to survive and to continue to improve on what they had here. Not always were they successful, as there are littered amongst the pages of old newspapers stories of those who fell, never to be able to stand up and see sunshine again, always living the rest of their lives haunted by the demons within themselves.

It made me wonder if I have been doing all that I can to live my own life in a way that honors those who have come before me. Have I worked hard enough, have I given generously to my hometown and to my fellow man? Have I been able to get back up and move forward after being knocked to the ground? As I reflected upon where I am today, I can honestly say that I may not always be hitting the ball out of the park, but I’m determined not to give up swinging. Not all of my defeats have been at the hands of others. Oh sure, sometimes I’ve been bullied by those who I would least expect it from, and found myself face down in a mud puddle, but there are other times when the mud on my face was more from my own doing than from anything else. But the secret to not staying there wallowing in that mud hole is that I have courage and faith and I will constantly get back up on my feet. And if I can’t make it to my feet I will crawl on my hands and knees until I am able to stand. For I want to honor those who gave me this life and I shall not give up.

There are those in my life who I see today have simply given up, taken the easy road out and wander around life either feeling as though they are owed some debt from everyone else or so wrapped up in their own pity and self-made prison that they can’t see anything outside of their own sad existence. To them I would say, are you today honoring the memory of those who came before you? Are you living the life they would want for you or expect you to be living? Are you so selfish that you have no use in your heart any more for those who care the most about you? I know for a fact that wasn’t the way you were brought up and taught to be, and yet even if help was offered to you, you wouldn’t take the help, looking for a handout and to be left to your own destruction all the while trying to convince everyone around you that it wasn’t your problem, it was because of everyone else that you are this way.

So I say to you, go stand upon that hill and look into that setting sun. Look towards it and on your knees seek out true help and ask yourself if the actions you have surrounded your life with, and if the way you are living your life is honoring those who you love the most? If it isn’t, now is the time to stop and seek help for those things in your life controlling you, creating that great divide between you and those who care for you and are digging your own grave? It’s never too late to start crawling and learning to walk and if you are sincerely ready to make a change, know that there will be help for you on the other side. See you next week. Remember…we’re all in this together.