How many of you remember standing up every morning in your grade school classroom and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance?
I remember with a clarity that almost frightens me. A time warp type of memory where the yesterdays, todays and visions of my remaining tomorrows all join together, creating one complete moment instead of time separated frames of reference.
I don’t remember anyone ever really explaining the meaning of the words, but I do remember how it made me feel and have come to believe that’s the best way to jump into any new experience. Trust how it feels within your own Self before you invest in someone else’s interpretation.
From the depths of my little country girl soul, a bit-o-pride was stirred and goose bumps tried to nudge themselves to the surface as those memorized words became a spoken-out-loud pledge and a virtual oral stepping stone to launch my middle-aged Self into a tumultuous 21st century.
If I close my eyes and take myself back to that first “Allegiance” experience …
… It’s 1959, I’m 5 years-old, standing in a tiny one-room Little House On The Prairie style schoolhouse with about 30 other Northeast Nebraska farm kids, hands over our hearts, all eyes focused on our flag, ranging from kindergarten newbies like myself to the much older, and hence much wiser, 8th graders.
All neighbor kids.
We all know each other,
Our parents all know each other.
Most likely all our grandparents know each other and some even shared a one-room schoolhouse classroom just as we do now, a few generations ago.
Perhaps this very room.
Bloodlines and loyalties run deep here.
They pledge their allegiance to the land, their community, each other and God every day and twice on Sunday.
Day after day
Generation after generation
Til Death They Do Part
Now that’s an allegiance
Times have indeed changed, but the basics have not.
Pledging allegiance always has, and always will, take guts! Lots of guts! And guts usually ain’t purty! They’re slimy and smelly, NOT pleasant to the touch or attractive to the eye, but without ‘em, we’re all just dead in the water (so to speak).
A true from-the-gut allegiance goes WAY beyond yourself.
It’s about a greater good, a forward-thinking type of commitment that includes the generations to come and caretaking the planet that ALLOWS us to even be here in the first place.
Here’s the kicker.
Without TRUST any allegiance is meaningless and doomed to fail. Doesn’t matter if it’s between your next door neighbor, family physician or an intricate network of government agencies, if trust isn’t interwoven between each and every fiber of its being, the road to productive blissful peace will be short, not so sweet and most likely come to a very abrupt not so peaceful dead end.
And ya’ can’t buy a case of Trust at Sam’s Club!
It’s the trickiest kind of commodity. You can’t just put out your hand and scoop it up like sand on the beach … but it does slip away like sand in an hourglass at the slightest hint of insincerity.
As a Country, we seem to have reached a Pledge of Allegiance crisis. Too many folks pledging allegiance to their own personal well being and big business/big government interests with a “Bail Out or Get Out” mentality.
Hmmmm……sounds like all live-in-the-minute glory, but no guts to me.
What they’re not counting on in their short-sightedness, is those of us who aren’t afraid to sink our hands (up to our shoulders if need be) into the slimy, smelly mountain of guts it’s gonna take to serve them up a good healthy dose of “I’m Mad As Hell and I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore” Whoop Ass!
Bloodlines and loyalties run deep amongst the core of America’s “let’s roll – get ‘er done” gene pool.
A battle of unseen proportions is brewing.
All some of us will have to hold onto during this time may be our “Pledge of Allegiance” and each other.
Hands over hearts, eyes focused on an intent that honors our Elders, those now living and those yet to be born, protected by the hopes and prayers of those before us who sacrificed their comforts, and even their lives for our comforts.
May the Force of Trust and Allegiance be with us “simple folks” as we step into an arena of global proportions for what may become the greatest, but hopefully not the last, show on Earth.