Tonight, I would like to speak to you – through this writing – about our place in history and our place in determining the path that society follows. Over the course of the past decade, in the United States and globally, public discourse has taken upon a tumultuous turn. Our society has always bore the burden of crisis, this is the story of human civilization.
Often times, we are wrapped up in our own world, in the events, triumphs and plights that cross our own paths and directly impact us. However, what must be realized is that all events impact us, even if it is in an indirect manner. Public policy and public discourse treats all of us the same in that we all live in the outcoming society of our global society’s events. Thus, we should be paying attention and trying to make a positive difference in whatever way that we can. With our elections, we are asked to vote on issues that affect us both directly and indirectly. The key is that we have voice in matter no matter how it affects us personally.
The point that I would like to make with this statement is that we have an obligation to moral courage as inhabitants of this world. Often times, when things go wrong, we blame a faceless bureaucracy and the public servants that serve as the face of a policy or decision. We ask these people entities to display moral courage. While this is fair and acceptable – with power comes responsibility – those in power are not alone in needing to answer to the virtue of moral courage. We all answer that call. We are a government that derives its power from the will of the people. Despite the power that lobbies and organizations of wealth wield, we – the people – hold the true power. We need to realize it. Not only do we need to realize our own power, we need to believe in it. We need to act upon it. We need to step up and claim the crown to our place in history and our era’s contribution to sustaining human society now.
Look around us. Look at the world around you. We are at a crossroads. Should we want to improve the world that we live in and make a difference in sustaining society and the human condition of dignity, we must act. We must step up. It does not matter your standing or whether you are young or old. Stand up. Stand and deliver. Take action for what is right. We do not exist in a past time or a future time. We exist now. Our time is now. We are needed now. Let us be that ripple of hope – now. Today.
We, through our actions, are the ones who can influence change. We do not want change to be evil – we want it to be for good. We should be seeking a world where one’s destiny is determined by the quality of their effort and work. We should be seeking a world where all have the opportunity to seek a life of happiness and purpose where they can accomplish success through hard work and honest effort. We should be seeking to knock down the walls of oppression that divide us and make us weak. We should be seeking to strengthen the bond of the love and compassion that resides within our hearts that unites us all as humans – one heartbeat. While this vision may not be attainable in its ideal state, indeed – there has never been total peace on Earth during mankind’s existence, it is an ideal that is worth striving for. As the saying goes, if we shoot for the moon, even if we miss, we will land among the stars.
This ideal – this vision – can be accomplished by looking to our own moral compass’ and following the path of moral courage ourselves – not leaving it just to those that we have elected to represent us. Our actions each day, no matter how small, influence this vision as well. Whether we are standing up for what we believe in, voting in support or opposition of a piece of public policy or simply making a positive impact in society by being a good person, we have the opportunity to make a difference every day. We have the opportunity to follow our moral compass and to perform acts of moral courage. By moral courage, I simply mean doing what is right – not what is popular.
So, as you wake up tomorrow, look at the world around us. Read about what is going on in your community and in society as a whole. Ask yourself what you can do to better the world around you. Ask yourself if you have the moral courage to follow the moral compass that we know lives deep within us – each and every one of us. Ask yourself if you are going to make a difference today. Tomorrow. And the next day. The answer should be yes. It might come in the form of advocating for a piece of policy or in support of someone who supports a policy. It might come in the form of standing and delivering on your own – a mountain that can become an island that others can stand upon and reach above the crashing waves from.
Yes, we all have this power, and collectively we can form an unstoppable wave of compassion and humanity. But it must start today. It must start now. Our time is not a time of the past or future. It is now. Look inside yourself. What does your compass tell you? Unleash your moral courage and make a difference in this world and in our time. Be the difference.