VICTIM OR VOLUNTEER?
February 9, 2013
"No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."
All of my life I felt like I was a victim. It never occurred to me that I had a choice.
As I child I remember knowing I had to stand up against the madness, but I was scared and often stood alone. Without the maturity to stand strong -or comprehend the true meaning of being bullied, I fell again and again. I either gave into - or fought against the hypocrisy that surrounded me, never fully embracing the journey until now.
When I finally became an adult, I continued to tolerate abuse and silently or sometimes (not so silently) allowed injustice to continue.
Over the years, when I would find the courage to stand-up, I realized that I often felt intimidated, or even pressured to go along with authority. Conditioned by the famous belief system (clearly created by those who have never truly ‘surfed’ for meaning and truth) embracing that which had been passed down to me as “Be a good girl” or "Don't make waves". That is the majority of the main-stream thinking, but I stood firm anyway.
Throughout my adult life, I routinely fought against the ‘go-along to get-along’, mentality- which always proclaimed ‘Peace At Any Price’ . As time went by, I found that I could victoriously step up to the plate and hold my ground. Unfortunately, I went to the other extreme and became a bully myself; often over-reacting, perhaps so I would not have to feel or confront the coward that still lurked within. Retaliating with anger was ineffective. Becoming emotional or intense only locked me into a battle with no end or solution in sight. Finally, I began to find my strength and courage through a less emotional and more centered place.
I continued to work and life went on. I was still completely oblivious to anything surrounding politics. I did not vote. I did not choose our leadership (victim role) and I definitely did not understand how my government could effect me much for good ….or as is clearly happening now… for evil. I had a job, a car, kids, and a family to think about. Obviously, I took my freedom for granted.
Then, the country began to have a recession. I watched my very successful business lose tens of thousands of dollars. My home was depreciating and my focus was clearly on staying afloat. I had been challenged many times throughout my life to demonstrate my belief system, standing up for many things- yet, I really never understood what was going on in our government and how that could uplift or take down our country. Now the quiet mountain had become more of a boiling volcano- and clearly about to erupt.
As difficult as this is to admit; I had no idea what a democrat was- or what a republican was. Yes, of course I read the paper - but It seemed too confusing, often complicated and of course, I thought it didn't actually apply to me. Yes….I was asleep. I, was like so many of our sleeping Americans. I just turned the page or changed the channel. After all, it didn't really involve me...right? Not yet anyway.
I had been a mom -and then an entrepreneur in business, and only channel surfed for TV or radio shows that resonated with me, designed to keep me engaged in fantasy,- far far from the reality of what was happening in my own backyard. After all, what could I do anyway? (victim role) I thought I was smart, intelligent, educated and often drawn to news stories about heroes and wars, yet, it seemed as if it was all somewhere "out there."
I had to remember I had a great excuse since I believed my opinion never mattered anyway. (victim role). And, remember, I could never really make a difference anyway. (Victim role). After-all, it seemed like there were more of them then me and I was just a grain of sand on “their” beach. My mom use to say “oh I guess ‘They’ did this or did that”... and so I never really knew who ‘they’ were, although I often wondered. I never realized it was really suppose to be “WE.”
Over the years I had read dozens of "self-help" books searching for truth and meaning, when I accidentally stumbled across a very special book. I found this small little journal at a garage sale for a dime. It was a very old book with rough edges from the early 1800's and made out of hand cut pages. There was a transparent piece of parchment paper protecting the hand drawn face of the American soldier who taught me my most valuable lesson. When I began to read this book it was the first time ever that I understood what it meant to be an American. I wanted to jump out of bed at that very moment. And as I was turning the pages, I felt compelled to stand up and salute my flag. I felt the pride of my country, - but I still knew so little about politics. What could I do anyway?
Then, I suddenly remembered this five year old, pledging "her" allegiance to the flag. What did it mean to PLEDGE, and what is an ALLEGIANCE I wondered? One nation UNDER GOD? These were the words I recited daily and yet, they were far above my comprehension in Mrs. Gardner's kindergarden class. Hand over heart I remembered the words as together we recited, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all". Then we would all sing either the "star-spangled banner, God Bless America or It's a Grand Old Flag." I knew as much about that pledge at age five, as I did at 25, 35 and 45. ‘Nothing’. Fortunately, I had common sense. Gratefully, I had the truth of reason and thankfully, I had God's blessing, not to mention the sanity to wake-up, just as our country began to fall apart.
As we fast forward I then began to see the government and how the Katrina incident in New Orleans was handled, (correction: mishandled.) This was one of my first wake up calls. I realized for the first time that "They”...”They can't save us,” because I realized, "They are a mess." It was these people who I had fought against all of my life. It was the self-righteous spirit of those leaders who feigned confidence and claimed they knew best while boasting that they were always "right." The cunning and underhanded tricks of those who attempted to manipulate me, had failed. They may have succeeded for a time, or with those whose mentality was much much different then my own. Now, finally I am waking up. I am awake.
Since I had been raised by one of those "let someone else take care of the problem" parents, and listening to random and rare sentences exclaiming, "The government is handling it." I was blindly co-existing while secretly embracing the famous and insane quote in our family that, "ignorance is bliss.”
There had been no talk or serious discussions of politics in our home. Growing up we were told there were three (3) taboos during any conversation. They were sex, religion and politics. It just wasn't "politically correct" and so for the most part, meaningful discussions never evolved.
Recently, I found a picture of my mom in a uniform. Both she and my dad served our country. Dad was in the Navy and mom in the coast guards. She never ever said a word to me about it. Dad told me a few funny stories (maybe two) about some islands he visited and why he never drank after leaving the Navy. I recently found photos and news reels and as it turns out, my mother was a journalist serving our country- and I never knew it. She reported and took photos for the naval news and for whatever reason, they had put that part of their life behind them. It seemed they, like so many Americans had got caught up in earning a living, raising a family, and trying to provide for their future.
I then realize I had become a victim, (with a lot of help). And even after I left home, I continued to volunteer for the role.
There are a million reasons that people have not yet made a stand. I believe they are and can wake up. I want to now "volunteer" to be a part of a purpose greater then myself. To me, it's not just about buying guns (my absolute right as an American citizen- and something I support) or storing food and water (a pure necessity in preparation for what is to come) but it means something even more empowering to me now. With four grown children and eight grandchildren, who I pray will flourish here (Lord willing), and live in a free country- long after I am gone. There is much work to be done.
Our families need to be guided towards discovering and defending their ideals….and what will those be? Who will teach them these values?
Do I go silently into the night? Do I find my voice and give all that I can to ensure their freedoms and those of their children and their children's children? Our fight is not just for the here and now, but for the ‘what is to be’ for generations to come. There is no second chance to make this stand.
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Please Share your values and the principles that made us a great nation with your families and friends. The time has come to make a stand. We don't have to stand tall, but we do have to stand up." I choose to do BOTH!
"Never, never, never give in….Winston Churchill.
You can reach Lauren Lane author of Victim or Volunteer at: LaurenLaneUSA@gmail.com
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You can pre-order both “Victim or Volunteer “ and order a special reprint of the rare book that will make any American stand up and sing “God Bless America”- with a forward “by Lauren Lane (author) and Paul Walter,chief editor at NewsWithViews.com titled “Pride of my Country.” Let Lauren know what interests you.
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© 2013 Lauren Lane - All Rights Reserved
Lauren was born in Los Angeles, California and currently living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Lauren is an author, speaker, former radio host and acclaimed publisher.
Ms. Lane studied Law in Ventura, California and was nominated during her Career as 'Business Woman of the Year'. She is an avid reader, loves nature and has a passion for niche marketing.
Lauren is currently serving on the board of directors for NewsWithViews.com and is the Executive Director spear heading business growth and development.
Ms. Lane has been published throughout her career, and has assisted fortune 500 companies with their marketing, business strategies and media campaigns.
For 15 years she headed up the largest publishing company in the Rocky Mountain region, consulting for companies such as ReMax International, Wells Fargo Bank, and Coors, to name a few.
Her new book "Victim or Volunteer" (launching in spring of 2013) and her reprint of the book that inspired her and woke her up to her freedoms as an American, will be offered exclusively at NewsWithViews.com, beginning March, 31st, 2013.
Ms. Lane is mom to four grown children and has eight wonderful grandchildren scattered throughout the United States living in Texas, Virginia, and Utah.
With a love of traveling, she says much of her inspiration came from a trip to Dublin and Dingle, Ireland with her then 16 year old son, and a real passion awoke, when her oldest son shared his experiences after serving his country and coming back from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.