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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."



     I’ve never quite grown out of that dorky shy farm kid who boarded the school bus every morning in our front yard. As a farm kid, I didn’t have the best clothes or the newest Trapper Keeper, but you could depend on the fact that there would be a green pioneer seed corn cap affixed to my head each morning as I climbed the bus steps and nervously took a seat for the ride to school. It was on that bus that it first started, the bigger kids, who would sit at the back of the bus would take my hat, and tease me the entire ride into Redfield. I hated them for that, for making me feel like a little dorky kid, when all I wanted to do was to ride the bus to school and to go and learn.

     It happened every day without fail. I was picked on, called names, had things taken and I kept silent all the time, until one day which I will never forget when I lashed out at the older kids in a meager attempt to stand up for myself against the bullying that was taking place. It was that morning that I will never forget and to this day I can still feel the sting of a class ring turned inward on the hand of an older boy where it met the top of my skull. Its sting hurt almost as much as the tears that formed in my eyes because I knew that I had to suffer through this punishment every day without fail. I was bullied and no one would stop it.

     It’s a story that repeats itself over the years and the generations really. There have been bullies for as long as there have been the perception between the weak and the strong. World leaders bully each other, in the animal kingdom bullying happens all the time, and yet, no one says a word, not one of us stands up against it.

     Look around yourself for a moment. Look at your own life, your spouse, your kids, your coworkers? Do you see the bullying that happens and are you guilty of either doing so, or allowing it to happen? It is OK because you aren’t the one being bullied? Is it ok if your kid bullies another little kid because you don’t like their parent? Do you feel you are so powerful and beyond reproach that you can bully another simply because you feel that you don’t have to answer to anyone? Do you use it as a tool against people in order to make yourself feel better?

     What angers me the most about all of it, the bullying, the negative talk and actions towards others is that it makes each and every one of us hypocrites when we walk into the doors of a church, or we bend to our knees to pray or confess our “Christianity”. I’m not saying that you or I are “Jesus like” or even that we could ever hope to be, but what I am saying that by allowing it, and any destructive or negativity against another or their children or a business you and I are sinning and sinning with full knowledge of doing so.

     We are taught that Jesus died for our sins, to cleanse us, to provide in our lives the grace that can only come from the love of a father, but with that comes a great responsabilty to our faith to do our best not to sin and to ask forgivness for them and to work to not sin again. We have been instructed by our creator, one of which is “to love thy neighbor as thy would like to be loved.” Are you doing that? Are you really? Think about it….the next time you find yourself bullying someone, or see it being done to someone else, and if you are courageous enough, stand up and say “ENOUGH!” and let us change this culture and not allow it anymore.

See you next week….remember, we’re all in this together.