I'm in Dallas, Texas at the Christian Book Expo. http://www.christianbookexpo.com/
It's been a wonderful conference so far and I'm enjoying the southern accents of the workers at the conference. There are over 200 authors and their publishers brought thousands of best sellers and new books. I had time to walk around a bit yesterday. I watched as some famous authors signed books. New authors like me were struggling to look comfortable in new and unfamiliar territory.
I saw something totally different when I started asking one question...Why? Why are you here and why did you write this book?
Almost everyone answered with a a similar phrase, "I want to make a difference." No matter what problem they were writing about or what service they were providing, the overwhelming reason was "I want to make a difference."
When I consider what's wrong in America, the biggest piece of the puzzle is that we got sidetracked. In the beginning of this country we were consumed with survival and giving people the freedom they needed to pursue their dreams. Until WWII our passion was to create new cities and find answers for the industrial revolution. We pushed the limits of manufacturing and discovering new ways to make our lives more comfortable. Things like electricity and automobiles were celebrated.
The most popular marketing theme was "This will make your life easier and will give you more time with your family." Why? Because family, being a person of honor and helping others was the three most important things in American lives. Women were judged by how much they did for their church and their community. A man was judged by his honor and the value in his name. Even when I was a child I heard the statement, "My word is my bond. If I don't have a good reputation - I have nothing." Contrast that to how our famous and political figures live their lives.
Our demise began when family and being close took a backseat to making money. Our greed caused many to decide that it was more important to make money and have a huge house and three cars than it was to devote your life to helping others or making sure your family received your love. When spoiled children grew into adulthood and thumbed their noses at integrity and honor in favor of money and prestige....America began to change.
That's why I feel the #1 goal that you must achieve in order to change America is...
We must first become people of honor. We must be honest, kind, compassionate. Listen to others. Search your life for places you can help. Stop being a couch potato when you get home from work. Yes you are tired. I am too. But we are so much more rested than our forefathers were. I listened to a program about how much time women spent in Colonial days just to put a meal on the table. They often spent most of the day just to prepare one entree. Now all you have to do is stop by a drive thru.
If we all told the truth we would have to admit that we are mentally tired, not physically tired. I promise you that if you walk next door and share a cup of coffee with a friend, you will be a thousand times more rested than if you watched three dumb reality shows and then took a nap.
Look for ways that you can change your family or your church or your community. Become a person of honor by looking away from yourself.
Be a person of honor, compassion and quality. Be a person that others want to be around. Look for ways to be involved with others and your voice will be stronger. You will make a difference.
Not sure? Watch an old black and white movie with Barbara Stanwyck entitled, John Doe. You'll see how quickly caring about others can escalate into a very loud voice.
God loves you,