A Day to Remind us of Lasting Values

Memorial Day 2011 037I hope you have had a nice day and have enjoyed the time to commemorate those who served and given the ultimate sacrifice.  On days like this, I am reminded of the power of perception to affect our beliefs.  It is amazing to me how that people who stay at each others throats over political and social issues can “beat their swords and weapons into plowshares” on national holidays and pick them up the next day and go on with their personal agendas.

 One of the things that can be observed about holidays in general is that we are conditioned to act in accordance with what we see, our assumptions about important days and the meaning they hold for all people no matter what their perspective.  In fact, one thing that can be learned is “how powerfully condition affects our perception” (Covey, 2004 p.28).

Our models, paradigms for sacred a important holidays can and does have an impact upon the way we see patriotism, honor sacrifice, and commitment.  Indeed, the days on our calendar demands and conditions us to separate ourselves from partisanship hate mongering, and dividing from one another.  It is an interesting thought to consider, but take a moment and think about it.  If we can do such monumental acts of reverence for those who have served and the loyalty that it brings for the flag, country, and meaning attached to being an American, why can’t we do the same for the other days in the year?

 What is evident for most of us is that it is from a lifetime of conditioning that we have learned to be loyal in important moments and join hands as if there is no separation between Americans no matter what their color, race, or preferences in life.  Think about the “influences in our lives–family, school, church, work environment, fiends, associates, and current social paradigms … [and how] all have made their silent unconscious impact upon us … and help shape our frame of reference” (28). One important matter that is worthy of reflection and consideration at times like this is how what we have experienced in the past, what we have been taught, things that have been modeled teach us great respect for the self evident truths that we hold to as a people.

 The effect of our heritage cannot be denied in that we are a great nation because we have believed that we are great.  It is a sincere value that has been taught.  However, give consideration to the negative, divisive, and destructive values that have characterized recent years and ponder the thought: Has the absence of positive paradigms that stem from character, duty, honor, and respect created an atmosphere that is robbing people in the present day of their hope and belief in greatness? If so, then what will the future hold and where will we get the values that are necessary to continue separating from division and joining hands in a common belief?

My hope is that we will be inspired by a belief and trust in the character of what has made America great and gives us reasons to join hands in such difficult and perilous times…  God Bless America.

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