Blog 1605 – 02.10.2020
I Can Only Tell It As I See It
I really do try to see every issue from different angles but like most if not all of you I do still get sometimes stuck on a particular default view. Unlike some of those I grew up with in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I did not remain there all of my life. My first adventure away was in the U.S. Army on active duty from November 1968 till August of 1971. I spent the first of that great adventure at Fort Campbell, Kentucky for Basic Training, then at Fort Gordon, Georgia for Advance Individual Training (AIT in telecom-type repair), from there on to my long hot summer at Davis Station on Tan San Nhut Airbase, just out side then Saigon, now Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, and my last ten months before an early out to attend college at UTC (The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After about a year and three months in Chatanooga, I was off to Houston, Texas to continue my education at Gulf Coast Bible College, now Mid-America University in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
After having enough of that, I briefly returned to live and work in Chattanooga for a couple of years in the mid to late nineteen-seventies. I worked to support myself and my second wife (she worked too) and we tried our best to help an elderly pastor couple, Earl and Rachel Collins, build up a little church that they together had started and pastored for many years then, since 1939. My wife tired of me and our unsuccessful mission and left me. She did ask me to come get her at her cousin’s at Fort Benning, Georgia (Her cousin husband was an Army Staff Sargent there) but when I realized that she just wanted out of that situation, and not me nor Chattanooga, I returned her to her folks in her beloved home town of Laurel, Mississippi.
A year or so later I returned to Houston, Texas where I stayed, except for a few short business inspection trips for the next thirty-five or more years. Ten years ago I started taking longer work assignments away from my home in Houston. Together with my previous military and work travel these last years almost continually on the road have me to date having been in all fifty U.S. States and eleven additional countries. I said all that not to brag nor to relive my past but to illustrate one reason, I think, for my wider world view.
All this nationalism, me and mine populism, not just in the U.S. but around the world comes from a narrow and limited world view, I think. Doing the same thing over and over, in the same place often does not make us wiser, wider, and more caring but more limited in our views. I am glad and grateful that I have been allowed to see more of the world and meet a wider variety of its many and diverse people. I do not hate, President Donald Trump, Russia’s President Putin (his hero), China, North Korea, Iran, or any other country’s leaders though I may disagree with their undemocratic views. And I suppose, if I am honest, I do not even fully trust the masses nor a majority to always know what is best for us in a world where con-men, hucksters, and showmen, have such sway and appeal. I do still believe that a republic with a well-written, difficult to revise, supported, defended, and followed constitution is the best form of government of all those we have seen thus far.
I fear for our Republic here in the U.S. and those around the globe. The forces of unlimited profit, and power have always sought to usurp the reigns of government and have succeeded too often. These are in many ways the scariest days for lovers of personal freedom, free speech, and liberty, here and everywhere. A line from President Abraham Lincoln, one of the last victims of a war that tore this nation in two and killed more American soldiers than any other war before or since, comes to mind. It is from the little speech that he scratched out on the train to the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial dedication. He thought his words would soon be forgot. They were not.
“Testing whether this nation or any nation can long endure.”
Narrow interests, and narrow views, often fail to see, appreciate, and promote the greater good. May the greater good in all of us prevail.
Your friend and fellow traveler,