Choosing your Battles

Life is filled with conflict. It is a fact that none of us can escape no matter how withdrawn we become over the course of our lives. Today, many battles take place on a daily basis for the public to absorb into their psyche on the evening news. These fights are rarely predicated on matters of principle but instead focus on trivialities. We have become accustomed to viewing this circus every day. In our personal lives, we are hard-pressed to escape individual battles that are increasingly pedantic and nonsensical. We all have a choice. Do we fight every engagement no matter the triviality, or do we focus on principles and fight only the most important battles?

We all perceive slights from others in different ways. It is easy to become trapped in an ego-centric mindset and feel as if we must respond to every affront. Knowing one’s self is paramount to engaging in a life dedicated to honorable principles and righteous purpose. Honor cannot be damaged when we are secure in our belief system. What we witness on the nightly caricatures of the news broadcast, can only be described as insecure people lashing out at everything and everyone. Insecurity rules mankind and has driven the bulk of all conflicts over the course of history. People like to say that religion has motivated battle, but it is only a banner to justify insecure behavior. I can’t begin to fathom the stated motivations of religious wars, but I would wager my entire life’s earnings that insecurity was the cause and not holy scripture.

In our nation’s Capitol, we have assembled two houses of Congress filled with accurate reproductions of the sniveling cowards that have ignited the bloodiest conflicts of our past. These people are sent there to represent the people that voted them in, and they fail to serve anyone other than their fear of losing the elected position they have obtained.They will sell their constituents down the river if it means they might retain power. This goes for both parties, as they may proclaim divergent ideologies, but they are united in their fear of losing control. Insecurity drives their ineptitude and is the source of rampant corruption all across the world. They haven’t any firm principles that they adhere to, for if they did something would get done. The gridlock is caused not by differing opinions but for want of holding out for the best offer whether it be money or power. They will not fight for what is right; they will struggle to hold office and nothing more.

In our personal lives, people are besieged daily at work or out on the town by incessant busybodies intent on stirring derision and sowing discontent in their wake. This has gotten worse over the last twenty years and is a symptom of a society in decay. We cannot communicate effectively, and mutual respect among individuals is gone so when communication does occur it so often is deliberately deceptive.  We ordinary citizens have been exposed to these idiotic engagements between our fellow citizens in all forms of “entertainment” and of course what they call “serious” government discourse. This has what I like to call a hermitic effect on many of the populace. We retreat within ourselves, and behind whatever palisades we have assembled hoping to stave off the inevitable encroaching mob. We can’t, however, run from every battle, and some must be fought merely because someone has to represent what is right in a world gone wrong.

I’m okay with allowing the barbarians among us to cannibalize each other into nonexistence metaphorically. We must, however, stand up for what matters. The legally right choice is often not what is morally proficient. People wish to change the fabric of our nation, and I believe that the country we have is just fine. The corruption that eviscerates public confidence in institutions has led to a deterioration of our collective moral compass. I don’t think that ninety percent of what we witness discussed on the news is worth mentioning or even fighting over. I do believe that some principles are so vital and so necessary that one must fight for them even if the likely outcome is death. Today we focus on so much that inconsequential and as a result, so much of what matters suffers. Family, faith, children, and the love of country are the foundations on which a morally proficient and homogenous society are built. We should return to those principles in our personal lives and not become so entangled with the ethically bankrupt asseverations we hear daily from talking heads. We are a nation of people, and it is past time we start behaving as if we are sentient beings.

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Author: James Borden

I'm a veteran of the U.S Army, with one deployment to Afghanistan. I will not pull punches in my articles and what you see is what you get.

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