America is Soft!

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I saw a video this afternoon that disturbed me.  It was a parent that was upset about a book in his daughter’s school.  He was upset so he was raising his voice and causing a little bit of a scene.

The police officer there escorted him out of the room into the hall and cuffed him.

WOW! So I shared the video on Facebook because I couldn’t believe the man was being arrested.

 

There were some friends that disagreed with me.  Which is fine, I don’t mind conflict, even if it’s not worth my time to debate.  

Something has been bothering me about our current state in the world so I posted this tweet after watching the video.

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Let me clarify one thing:  I love my country. The great USofA.  I served in the Army National Guard for five years and can rock out to ‘Born in the USA’ by The Boss anytime of the day.  I get teary eyed when I hear ‘Proud to be an American.’

I truly love my country.  I love it enough to call out when we’ve gone soft.

My opinion of soft is weak.  So why do I think we are weak?  I think the USA is in the midst of a gender crisis.  The masculinity has been ripped from our country’s core because people are offended too easily.

If you are offended too easily you are soft.

Last Tuesday I was playing hoops as I often do only this time it was after a two week absence since I pulled my growing.  Two weeks of not playing with these boys means there will be some catching up to do.

We lost our second game because I didn’t block out someone who out jumped me from the back side.  He then passed the ball to his teammate and they scored the winning basket.

“Dang, that hurt.”  I thought to myself then as I turned my head I saw my teammate give me the death stare.  Since I’m a hot head I wouldn’t let it go and I barked at him stating, “don’t look at me like that.”

He said, “I just did.”

I was so hurt but that wasn’t going to slow me down. “Hey” I shouted, “you got no right, I’m playing my best.”

He stepped towards me and said, “FIGHT Troy, I need to see some FIGHT.”

“What?”  I was so offended.  “Dude, I’m giving everything I got.”

He wasn’t buying it and walked away from me.  Everything inside of me wanted him to know I was truly trying my best.

I sat there and stewed grumbling under my breath.  I can pout with the best of them just ask my wife Lindsay.

The rest of the morning I didn’t play with my original team, I didn’t want to.  I was so mad that the rest of the morning I was playing out of my mind.  Faster, stronger, quicker, forcing my opponents out of the lane it was fantastic.

Wait a minute.  Could that other guy have been right?

(SIGH) He was right.  There was more fight in me.  He was right and I was wrong.  Later in the day I emailed him an apology for barking at him and asked for his forgiveness.  He apologized as well and all is good now.

He challenged me as many teammates do in team sports. It’s an important part of realizing that yes you can overcome and achieve greater then you originally thought.

Someday I’m going to run my own company.  It will be innovative and fresh.  Something new.  We’ll need to hire employees and part of the job description will include a requirement of having played team sports.  Why?

Playing team sports makes you tough.

Playing on a team with one goal of winning brings out the best in us.  I can’t tell you how often I’ve felt like I can’t give anymore but then seeing my teammate causes me to dig deeper into who I am so I won’t let my teammates down.  There were times that teammates would say mean things.  Things like, I needed to give more or that I made a poor decision.  Sometimes it was shouting or even pushing to emphasize that I had better toughen up.  It hurt my feelings but I couldn’t show weakness.  I had to put aside the pain my body was giving me so the team could continue in it’s quest for victory.  There were times I wanted to quit and I couldn’t. I loved my teammates too much to let them down.

In today’s America how dare you imply that where you are today isn’t good enough and that you have to try harder.

Soft.

In today’s America how dare you say something that might offend someone else.

Soft.

In today’s America how dare you imply that there are roles within genders, society and at the work place.  That although we are created equal there is no such thing as equality.

Soft.

In today’s America how dare you imply that if you don’t make enough money you may have to try harder, work longer or look at a career change.

Soft.

In today’s America how dare you give funds to a cause you believe in that might offend others.

Soft.

I think we’ve grown soft as a country.  If I think that we are soft I wonder if other countries look at our modern day America as soft?

It’s ok to have passion and it’s ok to get angry sometimes.  It’s ok to even shout and raise your voice to be heard in the midst of craziness.  These aren’t criminal and certainly don’t require a handcuffed police escort.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Good words, Troy. What is interesting to me is why is there a need to have police at a board meeting anyway? Dare I say, to silence people who desire to bring change and accountability. Heaven forbid we don’t conform. Second, he wasn’t making a scene, in my opinion, but a frustrated father (although we don’t know his history at board meetings). We also see softness, unfortunately, in sports – at least on a younger level. Giving awards to every single child just so someone doesn’t get left out; having no-cut teams, as to not offend a child (even though it just might not be their gifting)… We have gone soft. May we find grace to share truth in love. May we think the best of others, since the majority of offenses are taken, not given. And when we feel an offended… like you found, maybe it’s something in us that needs to be changed.

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