Practically Speaking Mom: Intentional Mom, Strong Family

191. Patriotism in an Imperfect Nation

July 03, 2023 Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM Season 4 Episode 191
Practically Speaking Mom: Intentional Mom, Strong Family
191. Patriotism in an Imperfect Nation
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Division seems to have grown in recent years about how to look at America's past and how to teach it to our children, How do we teach our children to honor our nation while also acknowledging complicated past flaws in a way that inspires the younger generation toward a brighter future? Intentional parenting requires facing complex issues, but we've got this! Val Harrison is joined by Andrew and Emma in this episode to help you see that it is possible to take an honest look at the pas, the present, AND have great hope for the future at the same time! 
Lyrics: Ragged Old Flag, by the late Johnny Cash and a prayer by the late Billy Graham.
In our troubled times, the power of prayer is as significant as ever We conclude this week's episode reaffirming the divine strength that operates in our lives, a reminder relevant to families worldwide. So, come along, let's embark on this effort together of finding patriotism in an imperfect nation.

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"May the Words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, oh Lord, my Roc...

Val Harrison:

(THIS TRANSCRIPT IS PRODUCED AUTOMATICALLY AND IS NOT EDITED. FOR MORE FROM VAL go to www. PracticallySpeakingMOM. com) Hi, i'm Val Harrison, the Practically Speaking Mom, and you're listening to the podcast for Intentional Moms to Build Strong Families. This week's episode publishes on July 3rd, which is the day before Americans celebrate the birthday of our nation. On the Practically Speaking Mom podcast, we are honored to have listeners from all over the world, so if you're listening today from outside the USA, i want to thank you for being here and ask you to indulge me this week in being specific to the United States. However, the principles shared in this very short episode are important, no matter where you live. This is also an episode that it would be great for your kids to listen in as well, so feel free to pull them in now.

Val Harrison:

A couple of days ago, we went to the nursing home. We go there with friends to spend time with the elderly residents, many of whom never get any visitors over there. We sing hymns, we play our version of the will of fortune and we give lots of hugs and smiles. We definitely are recipients in these monthly encounters, as it teaches our children to love and respect people of all ages and with various physical and mental differences. This time, instead of hymns, we sing some patriotic classics that we knew the residents would know and that they would sing along. I'm always blessed to see them singing.

Val Harrison:

This time, one of the residents who never sings she's sang along. This was extra difficult for her because she had a stroke which has left her mouth barely able to move, but she sang anyway this time because honoring her country is clearly close to her heart. We also honored the military veterans that are residents of the nursing home, and that was a special time, since we were celebrating Independence Day with them. We had some students play instrumental songs with that theme or recite poems or share a prayer, and also we did the Pledge of Allegiance. It was touching to see these elderly people participate in something that they care so much about and that they have sacrificed so much to bring to our generation. In recent years in America it's become less popular and more controversial to honor our flag or to honor our country, and I want to share a few of my thoughts about that. I'll do that in a few minutes, but first our youngest daughter, emma, is going to share with all of you some song lyrics written by Johnny Cash, called Ragged Old Flag.

Emma:

I walked through a county courthouse square on a park bench and an old man was sitting there. I said your old courthouse is kind of run down. He said nah, it'll do for our little town. And I said your old flagpole is leaning a little bit And that's a ragged old flag you got hanging on it. He said have a seat. and I sat down. Is this the first time you've been to our little town? I said I think it is. He said I don't like to brag but we're kind of proud of that ragged old flag. You see, we got a little hole in that flag there when Washington took it across the Delaware And it got powder burned. The night Francis Gottkey sat watching it writing say can you see? He got a bad rip in New Orleans with Packingham and Jackson tugging at its seams And it almost fell at the Alamo beside the Texas flag. But she waved on though. She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville and she got cut again at Shilohill. There was Robert E Lee and Beauregard and Bragg and the Southwind Blue heart on that ragged old flag On Flandersfield.

Emma:

in World War I she got a big hole from a Bertha gun. She turned blood red. in World War II. She hung limp and low. a time or two she was in Korea, vietnam. She went where she was sent by her uncle Sam. She waved from our ships upon the briny foam and now they've about quit waving back here at home In her own good land. here she's been abused, she's been burned, dishonored, denied and refused, and the government for which she stands has scandalized throughout the land. And she's getting threadbare and she's wearing thin. but she's in good shape for the shape she's in, because she's been through the fire before and I believe she can take a whole lot more. So we raise her up every morning and we take her down every night. We don't let her touch the ground and we pull her upright. On a second thought, i do like to brag because I'm mighty proud of that ragged old flag.

Val Harrison:

Thanks, emma Earlier. I said that honoring our nation has become much less popular and much more controversial in recent years, and I wanna quickly share my thoughts with you about that. In years past, we could have and should have done better as a nation, as curriculum writers, as officials who choose what curriculum is used, about some of the wrong things that have happened in America. We needed to have more conversations with our kids and have them learn more in school about the Trail of Tears, about Black Wall Street and slavery issues, about other things that have happened in our nation regarding different nationalities or groups of people, regarding some of those tragedies and injustices In all of life. we are teaching our children how to make wise decisions by learning all angles and aspects of topics. We shouldn't sugarcoat the past. We have to be careful to be age-appropriate, of course, but we should address complex issues even when they reveal flaws in leadership or flaws in our system. We need to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and make sure that we do all of this with a lot of conversation. No matter where our children go to school, they need their parents to discuss complex issues with them, just as we can't leave the work of spiritual growth in our children to just church leaders. So we also can't leave political and government understanding of our history to schools alone. It is our job to oversee and impact the growth of our children in all areas of their development, including their understanding of American history and how it applies to American current events and how current events can impact tomorrow for this nation. There is no nation on earth that has not had injustices and big errors made by the leadership of that nation. That is the history of the entire world, because the world is made up of flawed people. One thing I highly respect about the United States is that in general, we have a track record of seeking to right our wrongs. We identify the problems and we work to stop them and correct them. That's worth celebrating that we do that. We're not getting all aspects of this right as we examine and identify the flaws and amend the flaws, do what we can to repair those who have been injured by the flaws, but we are making efforts in these things and we can celebrate that.

Val Harrison:

We don't need to try to eliminate things from our history. take out names and titles and words from our history. that represents our history. it's part of it, just as we don't wanna hold back information about the Trail of Tears and other things, we don't wanna hold back and rewrite history, either incorrectly, in the other direction. We don't wanna be pendulum swinging about history, information, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, but not emotionally charged. We have to remain wise and balance in our approach and communication. We don't wanna teach our kids about the past in a way that increases anger, resentment and hatred.

Val Harrison:

When we teach our children about the misjudgments in our nation's history, we need to do it in a way that inspires healing, that inspires awareness to not make the same mistakes again and that inspires unity, not division. The nation we live in is our home. The people of our nation are our national family. When our family has flaws, we help them to make changes. When we teach hatred and division, we are hurting ourselves, whether it is our family or our nation that is broken and needs healing. we heal by mending, by correcting, by honoring one another, even the imperfect people of the past.

Val Harrison:

we can identify that it really is possible to be a person while all of us are flawed. We are a mix of good and bad. So we can teach about all of the people from our history and point out the bad parts of them and the good parts of them. We don't have to write people out because they were flawed. That is also rewriting history in an unbalanced and incorrect way. It's just in another direction of it. Instead, let's talk about all of the American founders and the good parts of them and the bad parts of them. Let's talk about things that showed they were not good leaders and ways that showed that they were. It is this kind of complex conversation that helps to grow our kids' ability to make difficult decisions for themselves and to build character in them. So we do need to talk about the character of the hearts, the morality of those who've gone before us. We don't have to write some of them out, but we do need to be honest, accurate and full with information about each of them, which does require us, as parents, to become informed as well. So we need to pick our sources carefully. I love not-grass history N-O-T-G-R-A-S-S because it gives a balanced approach to me about our American history in a way that kids can learn from it as well as us as parents. So, whether you homeschool or not, i would encourage you to take a look at that company.

Val Harrison:

We cannot heal by tearing one another down. That's my point, i guess. Whether a family or a nation, we can celebrate the good parts while we work on the parts that need to grow. We can't build and strengthen by tearing down and dividing. We can and should and must examine carefully and critically and work hard to grow and improve, but all from an attitude of growth and inspiration and believing in that our nation is worth healing and is worth protecting. This is our home and where we live, and this is our national family. So let's do what we can to mend and heal, not to divide and break down. Let's finish up today with a prayer by Billy Graham, read by my son, andrew, and I'll see you here next week when we meet Julie Redmond from Mom Made Plans Podcast. I'm glad you join me here every week. Now let's wrap up with Andrew.

Andrew:

Our Father and our God, we praise you for your goodness to our nation, giving us blessings far beyond what we deserve. Yet we know all is not right with America. We deeply need a moral and spiritual renewal to help us meet the many problems we face. Convict us of sin, help us to turn to you in repentance and faith. Set our feet on the path of your righteousness and peace. We pray today for our nation's leaders. Give them the wisdom to know what is right and the courage to do it. You have said, blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. May this be a new era for America, as we humble ourselves and acknowledge you alone as our Savior and Lord. This we pray in your holy name. Amen remains intern with God.

Honoring Our Nation and Teaching History
Prayer for America's Renewal