I’ve been pondering the last several weeks, and have come to a glorious, conclusion, how grateful I am that I was raised the way that I was.
First and foremost, I was born into an outstanding family. A father who served our country, wore his Marine uniform with pride, and honors the stars and stripes. He introduced me to my first love, which is the sport of football, by taking me to countless sporting events all around the country. He taught me the impression you can have on someone, by the way you talk, walk, and act. By example, he showed the crucial factor a pinned stripe suit could have, and what a “power tie” is. He installed in me work ethic, and read me books like the Lord of the Rings, and told me stories of people like Patton, Lincoln and Washington. Its because of my father that I feel the way that I do about my country. Through his patriotic attitude, I know that America is the greatest country on earth, and that the Star Spangled Banner and the American flag mean something.
I was raised by the sweetest woman ever to walk the earth. Abraham Lincoln said it best when he exclaimed, “all that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” She taught me how to treat a lady, that holding the door open and dressing sharp still counts to this day, and that shopping at the outlets is always the better way. Through her example, I learned the characteristic of patience and love, and also courage. She told stories about a more simple day, when Reagan was president, gas was cheap, and Aerosmith ruled the music world. Eating at the table with the whole family, family prayers, and spending time with your loved ones, was the meaning of this life. She helped me recognize the gospel of Jesus Christ, and what serving the Lord could do for me.
Now a days, which is a funny expression to use being only 22 years old, these children are raised in a world where hatred is so common, and one cannot turn on the television without hearing of a terrorist attack, or a crazy election. How glad I am, that I can sit back, and recognize the small miracles of life. For instance, the other day I turned my scriptures to the ninth chapter, of the book of Acts. In this story, the man Saul was visited by the Lord, and converted to His gospel. How grateful I am, that we have this opportunity to change from our old and evil ways, to a better life in following the Master.
I come from a family, and a lifestyle, that one of the greatest views on this earth, is a high school football team running out of the tunnel onto a beautifully fresh cut field in front of the hometown teams. I can chuckle at a old John Candy or John Belushi film. I still remember the first time I watched the classics like The Godfather, Christmas Vacation, Rudy, or Saving Private Ryan. To this day I still get chills when the national anthem is sang, and fighter jets fly over a packed stadium on a Saturday afternoon. I recognize a nice pair of LL Bean boots, Brooks Brothers blazer, and khaki pants. I believe a man should address a woman with “yes m’am.” Oh how my face lightens up at the sight of kids playing little league baseball, and saying the Pledge Of Allegiance, and hugging their parents after a close victory. I can sing for you word for word Sweet Home Alabama, Piano Man and Tiny Dancer. When Summer of 69 and Born in the USA comes on the radio, I still blast it and sing along. I understand the reference when I ask my father a question, and he responds with, “roger that ghost rider.”
The point I’m trying to make, is that I love this country, I love the way I was raised, and in this new year of 2017, we can all learn to take a step back, stop arguing, go get some ice cream, watch some baseball, and learn to appreciate this incredible life.