When I was little , President Kennedy and his brother were murdered. The country cried.
I remember listening to my parents complain about the absurdity of the Vietnam War and worry about my uncle who was fighting there. I have this reoccurring picture in my mind of a news cast showing a film of a soldier walking through trees. I remember looking for my uncle in the news.
In my preteen years we marched with Cesar Chavez as did hundreds, if not thousands of others who were in solidarity about the need to change the way that farm workers were treated. “Si Se Puede” (yes we can) was a commonly heard mantra in my house…only it was usually what my mom said to me when I complained about having to do something difficult or tedious.
When I went to college apartheid was alive and well. We studied it, we protested it, we boycotted it.
All of these situations have in someway or another been conquered, bettered or at least understood. These events completely shaped me into the person I am. My FDO likes to quote that we should “become who we are.” While this is correct in every way, I can’t help but wonder how much of of our character is chiseled knife that serves us the daily bread of life?
Why did adventurers set out to find a new world both by sail and by space ship? Why did abolitionists at great risk offer themselves to serve those who could not fight the dragon of slavery alone? Why did the Greatest Generation all decide to step up and fight for freedom, literally against the world? Why do we draw our swords to fight against what is wrong, even when the odds are so clearly against us?
That will to survive and to excel is but a spark in the heart of our being; a spark lighted at our conception and tendered by the grace of God as we grow. That which we call spirit, is the sword that is re-sharpened when we are taught don’t give up. We are told “Si Se Puede” so much, we believe that our spirit, our sword, if used correctly and joined with others, can conquer any dragon around us.
Today’s challenges are equally as daunting; the environment is being destroyed around us, poverty, drugs, greed, disease. Perhaps, there will always be dragons against whom we must steel ourselves. The question is, are we preparing our children to fight the battle?
“Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist.
Children already know that dragons exist.
Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.”
~G. K. Chesterton
Thanks for being my friends.