Why We Have to Take a Stand
The time to take a stand is now.
Like many communities in America since the recession began my hometown has been plagued with a disease. This disease has eroded the city from its core. What was once a friendly big city with a small town feel has become a place where crime and fear has taken over.
We can no longer turn on the news or even listen to the radio without being bombarded with evil. It has become common to hear about shooting in our schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. Our country is becoming overrun by a callous society that has not dignity or respect for life.
Every day we read about someone’s child being shot and killed. It has become normal for robberies and home invasions to control the headlines. We naturally get angry at all the violence. We talk about how this and that must be done. Yet we stand by on the sidelines and allow it to breach the headlines.
Our first instinct is to lock our doors, arm our wives with shotguns and live in fear. We spend hours at the gun ranges to regain our masculinity and teach our wives to shoot at paper targets. Yet the crimes still happen, the breaking news reports become more frequent.
When does it all end, when do we as men take a stand. The victims are no longer faceless from some other town. Soon we will attend the funeral of a friend or child that we knew as well. When does it come time to stand up and take our families, neighborhoods, cities and country back.
Sure we can arm ourselves and make sure we personally carry. Become card-carrying members of the NRA and get our permits to defend ourselves. All these things are great in and of themselves. What difference will it make what card you carry in your wallet when it is your door that gets kicked in or your business that gets robbed.
We as men must provide a culture of change for our communities. Being present in our kids lives and the lives of their friends. Instead of hiding in our offices we need to be mentoring the next generation. As men we set the example for others to follow. It is no longer okay to sit back and hope things will change.
Our wives, children and family depend on us to protect and lead them, but it does not stop there. We must live lives others want to follow. Help those that are in need with a hand up rather than a hand out. Be the men that we claim to be.
The next time there is a shooting or other act of violence in your town, rather than flipping the channel, look into what you can do. Maybe your town has a group like mine called M.A.D.D.A.D.S., if so join them, if not start one. It is time that we take our communities back. Time we face our fears rather than hide from them.
You may think that you are just one person, what difference can I make? Last time I checked it usually takes the willingness of one to create the greatness in others.
Maybe your difference is an hour a week mentoring a child that otherwise would have no male role model. Maybe it is joining a prayer group that prays for your city. Whatever it is, it will be better than doing nothing.
Ways that YOU can Take a Stand:
- Become a mentor – Big Brothers and United Way are always looking for mentors, especially men.
- Pray for others – whether in a group or on your own, pray for the violence to stop in your community.
- Be the hands and feet – volunteer with your local homeless shelter or community organization that offers rehabilitative services.
- Remove the need– we all live in excess and can live a better life with less.
- Give them your cloak – many crimes are out of desperation to meet basic needs. Have clothes that don’t fit or won’t wear why not donate them. (Matt 5:40)
- Eyes and ears – if you hear or see something say something. Many crimes go unsolved because witnesses are afraid to talk. The crimes will continue until they are held accountable.
- Walk your neighborhoods – join other neighbors and regularly walk your neighborhood. Besides obvious health benefits, the more you are seen the less they will want to be noticed.
- Biblical duty – it your responsibility as a Christian to lead your family as well as protect them,. This sometimes means doing things we don’t want to ensure the safety of our flock.
- Educate yourself – always be aware of your surroundings. Be cognizant of people and things without being afraid. We live in fragile times and be careful to not fall asleep while on watch even if just for an hour.
With these basic steps of involvement we can begin to take back our communities. We should be able to walk to work or the grocery store without fear. We must be vigilant as our communities and country are at a pinnacle and it is up to us to keep her safe.
Now its your turn: What ways as leaders in your family and community can you help curb the violence and take a stand?
About Charles Johnston
Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.