I'm going to sign some "executive orders" of my own. Today. It won't affect anyone or anything, or maybe it actually might. President Trump has been signing some and I think it's a good thing to do, when you want to pull the anchors up and right the ship. I'm not the president of a country or even a company, but I am the president and CEO of my own life. Not in any particular order, but let me give it a whirl.
Moratorium on Fake Reality:
The election is over. It was a long and arduous year, but America voted, I voted, and I hope you voted. Even if people didn't vote, those of us who did, chose the President and it's Donald J. Trump. Yes, and he is your president even if you don't like him or you didn't vote for him. Yelling "not my president" is childish and makes me wonder if those people really ever went to school or if they just failed elementary thinking skills. Want or need proof? Do you live in America? He's your president. Hoping for an example? Sure, I've got the perfect one for you. I didn't vote for Obama---twice. And he was still my president. I might not have liked everything he did or said or stood for, but I respected his office and I tried to be a good American. I was a good American. I didn't damage any property or set anything on fire. I didn't march in a parade dressed like female genitalia, yelling obscenities to people who think differently than me. I had lots of reasons to protest or be angry and I was angry, but I didn't have a public tantrum or prostrate myself on public property and claim I had been offended. I didn't sue anyone and yet I feel I did actually lose much in those 8 years.
I watched as traditional marriage was trampled and spat upon. I watched as the president used his authority to force anti-family and anti-marriage legislation upon me and my family. I felt the loss as I watched our savings sit there, not growing, because interest rates were so low it only benefited those with massive debt. I watched the stock market slide lower and lower and lower. I saw the end of my profession as Obama sent the work I used to do, overseas to people who can't even speak English. I watched as the White House was draped in rainbow lights to celebrate the SCOTUS decision to make gay marriage legal, which felt like an actual physical assault to my faith and my values. I watched as the president gave more respect to transgender bathroom rights than he did to women and children. I watched as we lost a great and worthy Supreme Court Justice and the left seemed almost to cheer, so confident were they that Hillary would win and thus render the highest court undeniably and forever liberal. I watched as more abortions killed millions of babies and mass shootings killed hundreds. I watched as cops became targets and singers became heroes. I watched as the president who swore he would never pull the race card, did, and over and over and over again. I watched as the country who was attacked on 9/11 seemed to almost forget who did it and why. My hands were tied when Twitter suspended my account temporarily after simply posting a flag and "never forget" on 9/11. I watched as my own healthcare costs soared while coverage sank, all to help pay for the people who have no insurance and no intention of ever getting it. I stopped taking a critical heart medication because the FDA deemed it "experimental" for my condition, which made the cost to me absolutely prohibitive. I watched the American model of bravery and courage, sacrifice and hard work, turn into some sort of nightmare with weakling citizens and people so offended at every thing anyone ever said that soon it became "hate speech" and bigotry to just simply and quietly believe in God and traditional marriage.
I might have muttered under my breath, or out loud in my own home or among friends, about my dissatisfaction with what was going on in Washington, but I didn't beat anyone up or break windows. I didn't demand to not be offended, and yet Obama offended me on most days. His wife, Michelle, also offended me on a regular basis. But guess what? I'm an American and Americans, or at least I was taught in school, are strong, brave, resilient, and problem-solving men and women who respect their country and their fellow men and women. When we don't win an election, we just try to do what we do best and hope that Washington is grateful for our contribution. We wait for the next election and we try again. When Obama bothered me, I turned the TV off, read a book, made some art, cooked something fabulous, or went on a walk. Maybe that could work for the people bothered by Trump.
How about an executive order against gossip?
Gossip is evil at its core. Tell a person seeking juicy details from you about a friend's misfortune that you won't share and watch the horror crash up against their face. It's almost as if you stomped their foot with a high-heeled shoe and told them they couldn't cry. Their whole world spins out of control. That's what would happen to gossip if everyone actually had the guts to say, "hey, I'm not participating." It would be the severing of Medusa's head. No more hissing mouths. You can always tell who is guilty of speaking ill of you. Their guilt gives them away. Someone who used to act kindly suddenly and consistently acts cold and becomes estranged? One thing to watch for is the circles of friends that travel together. If someone in their group has singled you out, soon enough, they will all have singled you out. It's the bully code of their club. Only bullies gossip. Don't believe me? Maybe you're a bully.
An executive order on judging.
I seriously wanted to help with the refugees in my community. I even wrote an article about it. I got involved with a few groups and had some amazing experiences. Then we helped our son move and went on vacation and I got sick and we had a wedding. I had to put my volunteer plans on hold until after Christmas. I was just getting organized for the new year and prioritizing projects, when I read the newsletter from one of the groups I was affiliated with in the summer. Result? I will not be returning to help that group with the refugees. Why? Because the article was shamefully provocative bigotry, just reverse bigotry, I guess. When people who have long been victims of bigotry suddenly become perpetrators of bigotry and racism, we have a deep and wide chasm to cross and some people like me, might not want to take the risk, so they just withdraw. If you lump all Trump supporters into one big group of bigots and fascists, you might end up with many fewer volunteers. Maybe it would be wise to not assume everyone who cares about refugees is a liberal Hillary fan. Some might say, well you can still help the refugees, why does that make you angry? It makes me angry because the person who wrote the article is the same person who said they'd never confess whether they were Sunni or Shia, because they didn't want to be judged, yet without knowing how I voted or what was in my heart and discounting and disrespecting the service I rendered, they made very sweeping and hateful statements about the very policies I voted for, the very America I voted to protect. Just because I want my country to be safe doesn't mean I hate refugees or don't want them here. They don't want to be judged, but they will judge me? I'm sorry, but I don't play with those who don't play fairly. So I'm out. I have lots of other projects that could use my attention. And sadly though, we all lose. This kind of blind hypocrisy and bigotry hurts us all.
An executive order on being "entitled." It just needs to stop.
My husband and I have earned everything we've ever received. My children also have earned their way in life. Painstaking, sacrificing work has gone into what we have achieved within the walls of our modest home. I'm proud that our children are as hard working as they are because it has blessed and will continue to bless their lives and their future is very bright. I don't take kindly to people who want everything for free and without any effort on their part. I don't respect parents who don't teach their children to work. If I have to hear "well, how would it be to....." one more single time, I might just move the atomic clock all the way over to midnight myself. Here's the answer to "how would it be?" Well, it would be just fine if you learned how to work, got yourself through high school with a full-ride university scholarship, then worked your actual butt off for four years to maintain and keep said scholarship, graduate with honors and got a good and professional, grown-up, real, American job. It'd be even more cool if you earned a spot at at a top graduate school program to further your studies and came out even higher in terms of income potential, and then paid for your student loans, by YOURSELF. It'd be great if you could save money for a down payment on your own home and enjoy the sacrifice and blessings of home ownership because you earned it. Even more cool if you took care of your house and paid the bills so your bank didn't come and take it back from you, and better still if you kept your home in good repair and respected it and were happy there.
Here's the deal. The people who live or have lived under our roof learned one thing very early: We work before we play and we live within our means. That combined with going to church every single week unless burning up with Ebola fever, a love for Jesus Christ and His gospel, and respecting our country of America, have worked very well for us.
An executive order bringing back propriety and etiquette.
Thank-you notes, wearing a bra, wearing pants for that matter, taking a shower before going out in public, allowing older people the right-of-way in the aisle, not attacking the parking spot someone else is patiently waiting for, saying please and thank-you, returning what you borrowed, being honest with your fellow men, not taking what doesn't belong to you, paying for what you break, and taking your screaming child out of the movie are just a few that come to mind. Remember when it was shameful to not do any of these things? Now it's perfectly alright to just expect others to put up with you and your own interpretation of etiquette. You don't feel like putting on clean clothing that you didn't sleep in 27 times straight before heading out for a night at the movies? Good for you! Way to be! Except, no--that's not cool because now the rest of us have to smell you. You were wasted after leaving the basketball game and didn't see my car? Why on earth would you think you'd need to leave me a note so I could have your insurance company pay for it to get fixed? Don't have insurance? See, now you're running from the law. Knocking over Grandma in the aisle of the grocery store? She moves too slowly, you say? Well, now you just might need a cane on your back side. And blessing everyone at church or the movies with your crying baby? So not cool. Some places, like church, museums, and libraries are for quiet, remember? What about appointing yourself in charge of the company thermostat? Everyone else brings a sweater, but you? No, you just crank it on up because you are cold and it's all about you.
How about an executive order on closed-mindedness?
I didn't vote for Obama, but I watched both of his inaugurations and I prayed for him. I wanted him to succeed. I tried to do my part. I wanted to have hope. I really tried. I've been a good American. If I had had the chance to meet him as the president, I would've been happy to meet "my president." I would've wanted his autograph and a selfie and I would have been happy to tell my children about it. But I guess I was born too late, either that or it's almost too late for America. We've become so close-minded, so hateful and so whiny and offended. Trump hadn't even been sworn in yet and there were death threats and rude predictions about his children and talk of how his wife is an illiterate doll. Would you be willing to meet and shake hands with your president? Are you willing to pray for him? To exercise hope in him and in humanity? To bring civility back? To care about our country and her people enough to bring it back?
Is there enough time to right the ship? I think we can do it, but we all need to be on deck. All hands on deck is what it requires. No messing around. No lolly gagging in the galley. No time for shoddy work or not giving an honest day of labor for honest wages. If we are going to fix this country, it will take Americans, and not our president, to do the work. Think of it this way.
I am a mere American, but I can make a difference by saying "I can." A-mere-I-can. A few million mere "I-cans" can change the culture of our country. Do we want to be the same America that put the first man on the moon? Think of this. Kennedy wanted America to land on the moon. He was hyped up about it and wanted to do it before Russia did so NASA went to work. It hadn't been done before, but America was brave, America was valiant, America had spirit, and smart men and women figured out how to make it happen. It was accomplished. If America can put a man on the moon, it can stop the proverbial bloodshed spewing from everyone's mouths. It can quell the rising anger in an offended heart. It can stop the impudent acts of the selfish. It can ask for guidance from our elderly. We can bring manners back, we can bring propriety back, we can bring America back. We don't all have to agree--we just have to be willing to love each other as Americans whether or not we agree. And we have to love our country more than we disagree with one another. And doing that, the first step I really feel, requires us to ALL get behind President Trump. He needs our prayers. His family needs our prayers. Our country needs our prayers. We need to invite God back into this land. We need to find a way to live in harmony with each other the way we used to. It has never been as it is now and we must take our country back.
I love America. I feel I won the lottery every day of my life because I was born here, because I live here, and because I'm happy here. Can't we all decide we feel the same? Would you really rather live outside her borders? I certainly wouldn't want to. So I'm signing my own executive orders today. Starting today, there are some things that just simply need to end:
1. Fake reality and fake news.
2. Gossip and judging.
4. Lack of manners and propriety.
5. Closed-mindedness and being un-American.