Son, I know you’re eager to leave home and take off with your friends because you all can do life better. I sincerely pray so. But dismissing what’s happening around us today as someone else’s problems will doom you to repeat the same mistakes.
The oversimplified solution is to merely shed ourselves of our parent’s generation’s thinking. I get that and once believed it. But, I offer you this wisdom: “There is nothing new under the sun.”
It has been my experience that the problems that currently plague our world are nothing new, they’re the same, old, bad ideas rearing their heads in different ways. It’s worth researching, contemplating and discussing today’s problems and how we got here -now, for your generation to even begin to have a hope of avoiding its trappings.
Here’s my understanding of the Gospel:
God has condemned harm and all that has been contaminated by it to destruction. Christ was sent to express the goodwill of God towards man, save them out of that coming destruction and give them new life marked by love.
Jesus achieves this by drawing near to His enemies and dying, not only through the sacrifice of His body, but by “dying to self”; laying aside His rights, His privileges and His self-interest to make the love of God known.
I ask my fellow Christians, is His cause our cause? Does Mississippi House Bill 1523 and our conversations around it achieve this end?
“I tire of asking you for what’s due me,” the thought began, “and of the insults in the things you don’t bother to do.” But just before the following thought, “I’m done” could form in my mind, it became clear what I was thinking about someone else, Jesus could say of me. And through the echo of Scripture, He went on to say, “Now, love them like I love you1 despite your frequent apathy and disrespect2. Work to this end3, believing I can give them a new heart4 and perfect their love, just as I’m doing in you5.”
1 John 13:34; 15:12; Colossians 3:12-15
2 Romans 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8; Revelation 2:4-5; Revelation 3:15-18
3 John 17:15-21; Matthew 13:38; 1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 5:14-20
4 Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Corinthians 5:16-19;
5 Philippians 1:6; Titus 3:1-7;
I believe there are many Mississippians whose support for the confederate flag is sincerely about heritage and family. I also have loved ones who have fought as soldiers. My grandfather fought in World War II. Besides being a soldier, he was a great man and my family is incredibly proud of him. His picture as a young soldier hangs above our mantle, a section of the frame contains his tour ribbons, another showcasing a Purple Heart. In our family, there is a reverence for the Red, White & Blue.
So, I can relate.
But there are many people, such as Native Americans, Japanese, etc., who do not see the American flag in the same light, rather, a cold dark shadow that it casts. Whether these perceptions are rightfully held is moot. The bottom line is that in some cases the flag as a symbol is offensive, alienating potential allies, business partners and neighbors in a shrinking world.
Knowing this, do we brandish the flag without consideration for how it is perceived? Or do we work to mend the bridges; addressing the grievances, deconstructing past offenses and replacing messages of hurt with statements of goodwill? Though this is often described with lofty words such as diplomacy, doing so is simply an acknowledgement of another’s humanity and a nod to their value. While respecting the confederate flag may not make you a racist, an unwillingness to do the work probably does.
However, I believe my fellow Mississippians are willing to do the work. I am.
A professional goal of mine is to learn and teach people who have no more than a high school education, how to build automated systems that can generate income and once established, can continue to generate income without interaction from the owner for at least two weeks. In short, I’m conducting experiments and building the guide I wish I had when I got started as an entrepreneur.
Here is what I’ve learned so far. Please feel free to contribute your suggestions in the comment section.
1. Go to where people are.
TIP: Start where you are. Begin with asking questions like:
What groups of people do you have access to?
What experience do you have in common with others?
Whose language do you speak?
2. Listen for:
A. A Problem,
B. Observe a Proclivity or
C. Find Something To Perfect that people would pay for.
3. Identify a challenge you can address for a specific group of people that you can afford to test with little investment.
4. Develop a Minimum Viable Offer*.
5. Make the smallest investment possible to put it in front of a specific group of people and see if they will pay enough for you to make a profit. If not, go back to step 1. If so, go on to the next step.
6. Invest more into advertising the minimum viable offer.
7. Set aside a percentage of profits to implement improvements learned from customer feedback.
8. Repeat steps 4-7 until improvements are no longer profitable or the product is mature. (At this point, consider possibly spinning suggestions into a new product.)
* A Minimum Viable Offer is an offer that provides the smallest number of benefits necessary to make a sale. In other words, it’s a Prototype that people are willing to purchase. Source: THE PERSONAL MBA, Josh Kaufman