The Atrocity in France…

Breaking news of the act of terrorism in France pierced our hearts. Listening to further reports of the media and some of the leading figures only furthered the agony.

The merciless acts of taking human life is a threat against all who have human life. We feel it, don’t we? And as Tom spoke to one of our clients whose daughter had a friend injured in the attack, he heard the despair in her voice as she acknowledged the changes these acts bring to our daily life, our freedom and our security.

It’s painful to think of where our society goes from here. We do not forget 911…do we? Just months before that fateful day, we reminded our young sons to leave their pocketknives at home as we would all pass through the metal detectors to wait at the gate as Tom’s plane pulled away. But times have certainly changed, haven’t they?

Someone is found with a bomb in his shoe, and now we all take our shoes off to pass through security. Remember the underwear bomber? We held our breath on that one…the body scanner turned out to be the answer. So ends terrorism with planes?

What I despise the most is the freedom we lose at the hand of our government and even our own citizens as they step into the roles of the “mighty” police.

Not all TSA officers use their position unjustly, but those who use it to bully their fellow man are loathsome. You agree? These people flex the authority granted by their uniform by snarling commands and treating travelers like imbeciles. I’ve had pat downs from both kinds of TSA officers; there is an extreme difference.

History repeats itself and I shutter to think of Nazi Germany and Hitler’s regime. Citizens turned against their fellow citizens…human beings against other human beings. People choosing to do evil wielding the power of the accepted command to turn on their fellow man…before their fellow man turned on them. That is, of course, assuming they would turn on them, believing they were just as evil as themselves.

And here is an agony. We shudder to think of what will become of our world while we watch on. There is a feeling of helplessness. What can you and I do to stop this atrocity?

The answer lies not in France, not at the United Nations, not in Washington DC. The answer lies in our hearts. We can pray, and we can act. We cannot overcome the evil in the hearts of other men except by doing good. We can serve our fellow man with humility, we can listen to our neighbors and be tolerant of their viewpoint, we can make glowing reports grow from our own sphere of influence.

In raising our children to be respectful, we do make the world a better place. In keeping honest business practices, we make the world a better place. In looking after our own affairs, so as not to be offensive to those around us, we make the world a better place.

Am I recommending Pacifism? No. We must all take measures to protect ourselves, to protect our family and to protect the human rights of others. And we can do it with dignity.

Do we expect the government to come up with the answers? Looking at history, we better not be. When does big government ever solve the answers between men?

Looking at Social Security and the National Debt are also instructive when it comes to considering the government’s plans for preparing for your future and setting money aside for your retirement. There again, if you want a better future in your financial world you have to take the financial actions necessary to make it happen…and these actions may very well be different than the government’s recommendations. Just as taking off your shoes at the airport doesn’t ensure your safety, you can’t expect the government to guide you to a safe financial future.

Making this world a better place is up to us…each doing our part in our own sphere. Mine is in my home with my family. It’s in my neighborhood. It’s in my business, helping my fellowman understand how they can have greater control over their money during their lifetime and be able to leave a legacy because of it.

So what is your sphere of influence? How are you empowered to make the world a better place?