Well do you, America? There’s a huge amount of chatter today about the new airport security measures – x-rays and pat-downs and groping, oh my! What’s right? How much is too much? And if not this, than what? We tell our lawmakers we want to be safe. We insist they catch the “bad guys.” And we don’t want our rights violated in the process.
So we create commissions and departments and committees, and then we complain about their findings. Or we fire those in charge and find new ones to give us new findings.
What’s wrong with this picture? It’s like an M. C. Escher piece where there’s no beginning and no end, just a constant circle of activity. A better approach? Be courageous enough to recognize who the threat is and go after them rather than all the rest of us. Do we have the courage to do that?
It isn’t about special deals on cars, lower prices on appliances, or double coupons at the grocery store. November 11th is about America’s veterans – and those who are now active but will become veterans. I can think of no more glorious way to celebrate courage than to look at those who willingly sacrifice their time and possibly their lives in the service of our country. Today is Courage Day!
Veterans Day was made official by an act of Congress on June 4, 1926. It was originally to commemorate those who served in the “Great War,” the “war to end all wars:” World War I. Since the end of hostilities in that war came on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour., that date was chosen for the day of remembrance and known as Armistice Day. In the holiday’s early history, all business was briefly suspended at 11:00 a.m. People wore poppies to signify the poppy fields in Belgium where battles had taken place. Its creators never dreamed there would be other wars whose veterans would also be remembered.
Today, there are nearly 22 million living military veterans in the U.S., with another 1.6 million currently on active duty. My late father was a veteran of World War II, my father-in-law is a veteran of the Korean War and my son is currently serving. And while today is a great day to thank them for their service, let’s celebrate their courage every chance we get.
The concept is getting to be a lot more popular. Back on October 5, I talked about “Operation Beautiful,” whose mission is to make us believe in our beauty via anonymous sticky notes. October 20 was officially designated as Love Your Body Day. (I missed it, but I’ve got it on my calendar for next year!) And Dove, the soap people, have created an entire self esteem movement.
Believing in your own beauty shouldn’t be a day and it shouldn’t have to be organized by a corporation. It should be a lifetime habit. I’m trying, but I’m having to dig down really deep to find the courage. We’re taught from little on that feeling good about ourselves is improper. And boy did we get that lesson!
With the holidays roaring up fast, and thousands of media impressions telling us how we can be more beautiful, more glamorous, skinnier and sexier (the ONLY way we’ll have a happier 2011 – NOT!), it’s time to look closely in the mirror. Not at wrinkles or rolls, but all that makes each of us beautiful. And there’s a lot of beauty there, believe me. We owe it to our daughters, granddaughters, girlfriends and ourselves.
Gotta go – my mirror calls!