Friday, March 5, 2010

Getting To Know Myself

Getting To Know Myself
Kevin Bryant

Here I sit; a 45 year old man and I can honestly say that it has only been in the past 10 years that I truly started to become aware of just who I am and what my principals are. For me it was always easier to just go with the flow, settle in and stay kind of hidden in the shadows and only be seen when necessary. I never really wanted to deal with the real world. I was fine living my life in my own little corner of the world and allowing the rest of the world to just pass by and I would adapt to whatever curves life threw at me.

A lot of that I think came from school. Starting at first grade and extending beyond high school. I never had to try at school and believe me when I say I didn’t try. I don’t think I did 25% of the homework assignments in high school and only finished the ones that I did do if I finished them before the school day was up. I got by on reading most assignments and listening in class. I didn’t make honor roll but I still finished high school with over a 3.2 GPA. Funny thing about high school, in most of my classes, the honor students were cheating off me.

It was the same in the military. Every class I took I just paid attention in class and passed. Every advancement exam I took I just skimmed over other people’s notes and passed. I took 14 CLEP & DANTE tests and never once did I study for any of them. The only reason I took them was to see how much of the subject matter I knew and passed 13 of them. Ironically, the one that I failed was American Government. I don’t feel too bad about failing that one; my brother who I freely admit is a lot smarter than me when it comes to “formal type education” failed it as well.

So what woke me up and made me take a look around me and see the world for a change? For me it was a combination of several factors. The more money I made didn’t seem to make a difference because I was always broke. My kids were coming home from school and saying that they learned things that were opposite from the things I was taught. When the ship I was on was in port, I had to drive 90 miles one way to go to work so my kids didn’t have to change schools and I was introduced to talk radio. Bill Clinton was in his last year in office and it was still being decided if it was McCain or Bush who would challenge Al Gore in the upcoming election. Suddenly I had no answers to who I was going to vote for, where my money was going beyond the normal bills and why is a school system being allowed to teach opinion and not fact. I wanted answers and not just answers to those questions but answers to everything that was becoming clear and not seeming to be quite right in the world. It took a little time for me to understand that in order for me to finds the answers I wanted I first had to find myself. What did I stand for? What are my principals? What am I teaching my kids by not knowing who I am?

I have learned a lot about myself over these past 10 or so years. I found out I am not the person I thought I was for the first 30+ years of my life. I found my principals in life and discovered that they did not fit in with the naval environment I was in. I found it’s actually kind of easy to make a decision when you put your principals first and let them guide you. I think I drove my kids crazy when I would ask them questions that would make them think and then have them explain to me how they come up with their answers to those questions. I found out that my wife shares a lot of the same principals that I do but we got there in totally different ways. My wife and my kids don’t always agree with me and that’s cool and that’s the way life is supposed to be. I have one daughter who is a full blown progressive socialist; I have another daughter who is mostly an independent type republican with progressive tendencies, almost a female type clone of John McCain & Lindsey Graham. My wife is primarily a fiscal republican. I have a son who has independent moderate libertarian tendencies and as for me, I am more the traditional constitutionalist libertarian type but one who does not believe in the legalization of any drugs. My wife came into her line of thinking without my help. As for my kids, they have their mom to thank for some of how they view the world and of course me for a smaller part of that. I think by me asking them to explain their own reasoning to certain questions, I have done them a great service. Looking back, I wish my parents would have asked me more often growing up for my opinions and then had me state the reasoning behind how I formulated them.

Our country faces many problems. One of the most serious ones in my opinion is we have forgotten who we are as a nation, and as a nation, what we stand for. I think many of those in congress don’t know who they are and what their principals are anymore. I think they have sacrificed them for so long that actually abandoning them to get re-elected has become a way of life for them. Again, it’s my belief that they have forgotten the principals which this country was founded on and that has lead us from being the greatest nation of earth to near total economic collapse as well as loss of freedom and liberty. If we do not learn who we are as individuals, how are we to stand as a country? The truth is we can’t. At least not as the nation we are now. Europe gave away their individual rights in the name of government protection. Our founding fathers formed this nation and gave us a constitution that protected us from government. Some of those in government know who they are and what they stand for. I whole heartedly believe that Pelosi, Reid and Obama know exactly who they are and have bet the farm that they can bring about their ideas of centralized government because the rest of us are the ones who are clueless about ourselves.

America is starting to wake up and the people are just starting to once again find themselves and their principals. If those of us who already know who we are and what we stand for can continue to keep the wolves at bay until the rest of America becomes aware of themselves, then this nation will continue to stand tall and be a beacon for freedom and individualism. If we fail now, so does our way of life.

Stand tall and be proud of the country our founding fathers created. Let it be known that rights are given by a power much higher than government and government can not take them away.

What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? – Thomas Jefferson

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