November 21, 2008

Letters to the Editor

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To truly make a difference in society, we must change one American at a time

Change. That is what the Jews wanted when they welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem, waving palm branches and shouting “Hosanna!”

They believed that the Messiah would be the Savior who would take over the nation and lead them to peace and prosperity.

And such is the cry of the American people, so ready for change, so eager for a new leader who will take over and create a nation of peace and prosperity.

But is this a realistic view of how true, lasting change takes place within a society? Can a political messiah honestly change a society without society itself making changes?

If Americans want prosperity, how willing are we to change our financial behavior? Are we willing to take more responsibility for living within our means? Are we willing to buy only what we can afford and stop buying as much as someone is willing to lend us?

If Americans want a better health care plan, do we plan on taking better care of our own health? Will we commit to eating better, moving more, and giving our minds and bodies time to rest?

If Americans want to protect the environment, are we willing to buy less, thereby reducing how much we throw away? Are we willing to reduce our demand for resources by choosing smaller houses, smaller cars, driving less or using public transportation?

If Americans want to live in a more peaceful, secure environment, are we willing to be more peaceful ourselves? Can we learn to covet the witty insult less and humble kindness more? Would we be willing to spend more time examining our own faults and weaknesses, and less time shining a spotlight on the sins of others?

If Americans want social justice, are they willing to be fair and merciful themselves? Will we give up an attitude of entitlement that leads us to spend all our time and resources on ourselves, and replace it with a sense of gratitude for God’s blessings that inspires us to share in the spirit of love and charity?

Are we willing to protect the lives of the unborn, the sick, the imprisoned and the elderly instead of viewing them as a cost and burden to us?

Jesus knew that lasting change does not come through political conquest. He chose instead to start a grassroots movement that would change the world.

Emperors, kings and governors were not among his hand-picked change agents. It started with 12 uneducated, weak and sinful men, who dedicated their lives to sharing a belief that they were willing to die for.

This is what America needs to do if we really want change. We must change one American at a time.

- Kathy Tierney, Indianapolis

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