There are some things I believe every man should do. This is not an exhaustive list..more a random stream of consciousness. You don’t need to agree with me…these are my opinions.
I believe every man should honor his word; to his wife (should he be blessed with one), his family, his employer, his country, and his friends.
I believe that every man should serve his country and community in some fashion. Some volunteer to serve meals to those who otherwise would go hungry. Some build homes for those without. Some coach youth sports teams. Others hold the hands of the dying. If you are a man, you should be doing something to better your community.
I believe every able-bodied man should serve in the armed forces.
I believe every man needs to try to understand those who have a different view of things than they do, without mud slinging and name calling.
If you are married, I believe you should attend at least one wedding a year to be reminded of your responsibility, your vows, your love, and to honor your bride.
I believe a man, if a citizen, should also be a patriot.
I believe every man; no – every citizen should at attend a citizenship oath ceremony at least once.
I had never done that until yesterday. I attended a ceremony at the University of Texas LBJ Library where 370 immigrants from 68 countries became US citizens.
They became citizens not because it was handed to them by virtue of being born here. They chose to be here, and many by doing so left their families and familiar culture. They chose to do the hard work to learn English. They chose to learn about our history – and I bet they know more about it than many of you who read this. They chose to follow all the stipulations the law required for citizenship. They swore an oath – not unlike the one I swore upon entering the armed forces to defend the constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. I was humbled by them, and honored to be among them.
We are a nation of immigrants. All of us are here in the US because someone in our ancestry chose to take a hard path and leave the land of their fathers, and come to a new land of opportunity.
When politics divide us, when scandals among our leaders discourage us, when debates over rights cause us to be apathetic – look to the smile of a new citizen and remember why they smile.
They smile because they know that we are an immensely blessed nation. The new citizen does not take this for granted. God help the rest of us to be more like them.
By the way – here is my friend Sam who became a citizen yesterday. We have worked, fished, hiked, camped, trained, served, taught, and a dozen more things together (including the day he got me to a minor emergency clinic because I lost a head butting contest with a 2×4).
I am very proud of him.