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We Must Care

Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2023
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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22 Comments
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the word care spelled out with hand of men reaching towards it

This stuff is hard, these angry days, but that is the nature of challenging times. Good people take it all in, think for themselves, and do not give up on the future. They must try, persevere, strive to understand complex situations, control emotions, use logic. value their own counsel. They – we – must care.

The world seems to be on fire. Can you say it any better way? Hatred, disorder, international violence, cross allegations, repeat default to war, which is hell.

Of more concern, if you are a reader f Winston Churchill’s six epic volumes – chronicling WWII – The Gathering Storm, Closing the Ring, Their Finest Hour, The Hinge of Fate, Triumph and Tragedy, and The Grand Alliance – we seem, once again, to be in a “gathering storm.”

Let me break this down, just think it through with me. Mankind stumbles when we go black and white, forget grays – but also when we ignore darkness growing in our midst, fail to step up and intercede, fear the blowback, consent to tolerate evil.

Men stumble when they are able to stop evil at their elbow, a madman or proliferating crime, persecution or hatred, let alone terrorism. Even among the unfairly aggrieved and heartbroken, if terrorism is not stopped, violence comes.

Men stumble when they give up on honest dialogue, forsake other humans, dehumanize them – for any reason – lose faith in law, stop pleading a case, instead choose war’s fog, radiating violence, language of a radical ideologue.

Men stumble when they forget courage is required for progress, even small steps, that history is incremental – seldom without suffering, patience, persuasion, belief in the possible, breaking the cycle, being lawful, not choosing the awful.

Men stumble when they look away from plans to terrorize innocents, pretend peace is out of reach, forget to learn or teach, embrace an irretrievable error, terror.

Men stumble in other ways, forgetting how precious is just one small life, how worth saving is one guileless, trusting, terrified child, how the really strong man is one who is powerful but proportionate, the strong woman filled with mercy mild.

Men stumble when they forget “an eye for an eye” was not written to promote revenge, two for one after war has begun, but proportionality, precision, a wise decision.

Men stumble closer to home when they see in one shade, leave no room for compromise, instead legitimize – on ethnicity or faith – a right to despise.

Americans have always strived to be better than all this, to encourage others. We have worked hard to honor those who aspire to a better life, to world peace as well as St. Paul’s “good fight,” not driven by passion, hatred, or loss of humanity.

Nor have we given up on making things right, when the world depended on us most for honesty, no matter the sacrifice, length of conflict, or size. That is how both Theodore Roosevelt and Jimmy Carter secured their Nobel Prize.

That is how Lincoln and Reagan restored humanity to itself after wars that saw evil rise and rage, by calling on us to hear our “better angels,” then to lead in each age.

So, we are here again, in a period of rising, ravaging, ruinous wars, with cries rising to indulge or permit, look away and display prejudice, hate, and vengeance.

We are tested again to see in each living face, broken heart, terrified Jewish and Palestinian child, ourselves, to recall who we are, we Americans who always care.

We need to pull ourselves to a higher level, suppress reckless words, tamp down emotion, make this a time of American leadership, maturity, and moral rebirth.

What does the Good Book say? “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the Earth.” In this season, of all seasons, we must take the charge to heart and start.

If we believe in ourselves, while all men stumble, we must again be leaders, strong and humble.

This stuff is hard, these angry times, but good people try, take it all in, think for themselves, and do not give up on the future. We must shake loose our preconceptions, passions, prejudice, and whatever holds us from truth.

In short, if war is to be deescalated, peace revalued, moral men caught from stumbling; if we are to trust ourselves again, our past, and ability to understand complexity; if we are not to be riled but to value each child – we must care.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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PaulE
PaulE
6 months ago

RBC,

Care is of course important, but so is acknowledging the realities of the world around us. It is one thing to reach out a hand to help someone in need, who through no fault of their own, have fallen on hard times or suffered a great loss. It is completely another thing to think all people are equally deserving of care, if they have shown repeatedly that they either can’t be trusted or intend to do us harm if the opportunity presents itself.

The world is a complex and diverse place, filled with many sorts of people and governments. Some share our values and want only to peacefully coexist with us, while others seek to do us real harm if we have foolish enough to let our guard down. The latter would be more than willing to pretend to be receptive to our help as long as it benefits them. Then they would turn around and change sides or strike out at us when they believe themselves strong enough to truly hurt us. Some might simply abuse our offer of care with the expectation that they could rely on us to endlessly support them indefinitely, which of course the United States already does in spades around the world. So, we cannot simply view everyone as deserving of our care and compassion. Each individual or interaction with a government has to be assessed independently in order to see where the potential recipient really stands and whether they are deserving of our care.

Yes, war should be the last option on the table, when all other options have failed, but never forget that peace through appeasement or weakness never lasts. History has shown us that lesson over and over again. That some of our leaders choose to ignore that lesson is the very reason we have seeing so much instability in the world today. I don’t need to chronicle the many foreign policy mistakes of this administration for you that have led to so many negative repercussions around the world. The United States currently projects weakness and appeasement in virtually everything it does, which of course only invites more aggression from those that only respect strength.

Rik
Rik
6 months ago

Sorry, but I believe in PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH! . . . You won’t achieve Peace without earning it and you earn it and more importantly keep it through strength! Mankind respects strength but not weakness. People won’t obey the law unless they learn to respect the law. It’s sad to see homeless seniors but today we see more and more homeless people that are young and “CHOOSE” to be homeless even though they can work. I have no respect for young homeless people unless it’s health issues. I still work because I need to!

SusanW
SusanW
6 months ago

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” Albert Einstein
You are so right, Robert, the “world is on fire.” We are being consumed by prejudice, hatred, and vengeance. Leaders around the world are justifying why this is ok. It’s NEVER ok! As you so wisely said, “an eye for an eye” was not written to encourage revenge. There is no place in our hearts or our world for this hideous word. As Maya Angelou so poetically said, “ I think all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.” It takes courage and strength to care for others. It’s so easy to point the proverbial finger when trying to justify why it’s ok not to care. It’s truly a Godly miracle to be able to look through the eyes of another and care. If our leaders cannot achieve this goal, then maybe it’s time for all of us to inspire empathy and compassion in others. As an educator, I will never give up on trying to “see with the eyes of another, listen with the ears of another, and feel with heart of another.” I pray each and every day, that someone will have the courage to say, “enough!” – do not sacrifice another child or innocent soul for the purpose of revenge.

Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
6 months ago

This is a very thoughtful, important issue – caring – Well done with your writing here Robert. Ethical standards come to mind and thinking in terms of respect for life itself. Whenever I listen to “Ave Maria ” or “God bless America” a sense of reverence is felt. I do believe that reverence provides very important material for a strong foundation for a society that has the will to do what is right and honorable. If many people read your article and think about the message it will help for better understanding and more respect for truth . To care – it is noble for sure.
.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
6 months ago

The only thing I care about these days is when that end earth asteroid will hit to put us out of misery. Or Bidenomics does it’s job first….

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
6 months ago

I imagine ( or would like to imagine) that most of us seek ways to help others even without being asked. During this holiday period especially we need that mindset each day. Many people heat with firewood yet cannot get it or provide it for themselves. Many families need blankets and winter jackets. If you look around you will find many terrific organizations which exist to move these things and others such as food , heating fuel , etc to the needy.
Just look around. Need is all around us and we must provide the needed items. If you are fortunate to have what you need then seek those who do not.

Jeri
Jeri
6 months ago

I am apparently under scrutiny right now as my posts are all pending and have been for an hour+.

Jeri
Jeri
6 months ago

People care only about themselves. You and I are not relevant. Trying to analyze it beyond that concept is a major waste of your time and energy.

Jeri
Jeri
6 months ago

People care only about themselves. You and I are not relevant. Trying to analyze it beyond that is a major waste of tour time and energy.

anna hubert
anna hubert
6 months ago

When we all have the same ideas think the same thoughts and live by the same code live the same lives and someone directs us all the time we’ll have peace Right now we live in troubled times Capability and strength instead if pussyfooting around is needed Gauntlet and kid globe do not go together

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