Friday, September 5, 2008

Fight For ...

This is the year, and time of year especially, for political speeches. Each side getting in their licks, and the other side picking the speech apart and making sometimes snide comments on it.

This year one candidate’s speech was rated by the opposition as “…Typical…” and “…Not as good as Kennedy’s…,” referring to JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” speech. Admittedly, it would be hard to top that speech, and that line in particular.

But, try this one on for size:

“Fight for a cause bigger than yourself.”

I think that one has potential to be a catchphrase for the future. It enlists you to work, hard, for something. It forces you to look beyond your personal horizon. It makes you choose something worthy of all the hard work, something that will benefit others as well as yourself.

It compels you to be generous and courageous.

Hmm. If the candidate is being judged on his speech, relative to JFK’s, perhaps the candidates should be judged on the content as well as how pretty the speech was.

Given that, which of the current candidates asks you to give to our country, rather than receive from our country? And I don't mean in the form of more taxes.

You will note that I haven’t mention which candidate used the phrase. I’ll let you work that out for yourself.

Yes, giving is hard, if you’re not used to it. Maybe we should get used to it (myself very much included).

The benefits of not giving: you have more for yourself. More pizza, beer and pretzels. A bigger car. A designer-label set of jeans. Y’know, the typical stuff.

The benefit of giving, however: everyone has more of the important things, such as fresh-water well where the had bad water before; a reading program for adult literacy; a reading program for children to prevent adult illiteracy in the first place; food for the hungry; shelter for the homeless; a sense of community.

America is well known for its rugged individualism. It is less known for something equally important: its sense of community, of pulling together in times of need. We saw how this happened in a small way in New Orleans, after Katrina. We saw this in a bigger way (when we thought to look) where towns were blown away by tornadoes, and flooded away by the Mississippi River this early summer.

Fight for a cause bigger than myself.

I like the sound of that. It’ll be a challenge, and it’s time I was properly challenged

Fight for a cause bigger than yourself

Yes, you can!

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