No, This is not about getting your phone or tablet battery charged. It is not about keeping your car battery charged for winter. It is personal, it is that deep need we all have to know we are not alone and on the right track.
This is a quotation from John Donne (1572-1631). It appears in Devotions upon emergent occasions and several steps in my sickness – Meditation XVII, 1624:
“All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated…As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness….No man is an island, entire of itself…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
As an only child, I was used to being alone. I learned over the years how to entertain myself. I developed self-discipline to keep myself motivated, and I learned how to accomplish tasks for which most people required help. However, being alone and living as a hermit is not for me; it is an accommodation.I love my wife, children, grandchildren, and I have many very close friends. Time with them is precious as we never know which time will be the last time we see them or they see us. This past weekend was a special time for me with “new friends.”
In my writing over the years, I have become acquainted with many people I had never met. These people are writers, pundits, activists, veterans, and others who care deeply about our republic. We do not agree 100% on issues, and that is a good thing. No one is always right and we all need a reality check from time to time. We also need time to talk about old times, experiences…”war stories” if you will.
I would like to define “activist.” Who or what is an activist? The root word of activist is the Latin actus, “a doing, a driving force, or an impulse.” Someone who acts on what he or she believes is an activist. We ALL should be activists.
A few months ago I was invited to a weekend at a remote ranch where this group could meet. This is normally a very busy time for us with our B&B putting up hunters, but it has been dry and unseasonably warm, so fortunately this weekend was open. Cell and internet was essentially non existent, there was no TV. We did not have the typical distractions, so we were able to just enjoy each other and discuss the issues important to each of us.
The ranch was a very interesting place with some extremely unique features, some natural and some man made. We sat by a fire at night and shared our passions, asked questions, and got each other’s input on possible solutions. After this recent contentious election, it was a welcome respite. We even got to participate in shooting a Civil War replica cannon.
Our nation is divided and it is not just this election cycle. There has been a concerted and continuous effort by progressives for over 100 years to change the republic, and they have been largely successful. We now see progressives who fear some of their changes taken back, but we also see people who are anarchists and fascists who are using the divide to further their agenda.
Some think the results of the election “saved the nation.” I commented this weekend that our republic is a train speeding towards a canyon and the bridge ahead is out. At best, Mr Trump will slow the throttle a bit. Now is not the time to stand down- now is the time to really get busy.
This election cycle has been brutal for all of us. Many have lost friends, families are divided, and the progressives are acting as if the world will end on January 20th. While a respite is good, we must not falter in our efforts.
I was pleased to see that while there were some differences in how we see ourselves going forward, we all understand the danger that lies ahead. We all understand that the republic is at risk, and it is very likely that the damage is severe enough that we will not be able to avoid serious decline. Even if the slide is halted, we are still approaching $20 trillion in debt with over $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Half the nation is feeling sorry for itself, sees itself as a victim, and is demanding the rest provide for them or capitulate their principles.
While I am a writer and radio host, I am no more important to the republic than anyone else. We all have our place. We could compare it to the body. Not everyone can or should be an eye, or a foot, but all parts are important.
This brings me back to the quote by John Donne above. No matter who you are, you are important. We all have a task. When your grandchildren are studying history, will your “volume” show you answered the call of the bell? No man is an island, we are all part of an intricate plan. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, the bell tolls for you.