Family is the most powerful and precious asset in America. This album is about family. Some of you are new to this project while others have faithfully followed its slow moving progress over the years. For those who are new, let me introduce you to the project. For the long-haulers, this bears repeating...
This is my wild and wonderful Texas cattle ranching family in the early sixties. I could not be more thankful for the rich American heritage I was born into. My twelve song album and the stories behind the songs share the journey of one American family beginning with my great grandparents who raised ten children out on the high plains surviving both the Great Depression and the Dirty Thirties. The story continues to chronical the adversity this family faced through the aftermath of one son's harrowing experience in World War II, and the incredibly delicate debates, decisions, and resulting family division related to raising cattle in an effort to prosper the family, local community, and region, while meeting the challenging demands required to participate in the heart-felt efforts to "feed the globe."
What divides a family divides a nation.
Through looking into the important debates and divisions within four generations of my family, I saw a micro version of the macro problem that has now surfaced in America. I've come to believe the healing of a nation begins with the healing of the families within the nation, because what divides a family divides a nation.
The Current "Civil War."
We are now in a type of "civil war" in America which is a direct attack on the socioeconomic status of the commoners of this county. I come from a family of commoners. While it is glamorous to think of "prominent ranchers" it is critical to understand this family as a family of commoners. This current war of reality vs. narrative is psychological in nature, extremely confusing, and tormenting. and I believe our only hope is to...
Return to Love!
To say "Return to love." (for me) is to say "Return to God." God is love (John1:4) and I've found that without first receiving and remaining intimately connected to His love, I am not able to love others well. I hold sincere mutual respect for those who differ from my beliefs. It is critical that we all engage in true mutual respect and love for one another regardless of our differences. In this, I'm not suggesting that we "lay our differences aside" and "go along to get along." But rather, that we learn to listen to one another for understanding, and speak to one another in love.
The Recipe of Reconciliation
The ingredients are simple and just like the ingredients required to make a cake, if one is missing, an actual cake cannot be made. True reconciliation cannot be found without all four of these present. Here are the four simple ingredients:
Own your (divisive) behavior
Be sincerely apologetic about your (divisive) behavior
Make a commitment to change your (divisive) behavior
Take time to actively rebuild trust in the (divided) relationship
We All Have Roots in Common Ground
As we Return to Love, we must always remember that here in this beautiful melting pot of races, religions, philosophies, and so on, we all have roots in common ground. In keeping that as our focus, I'm hopeful that we will learn again to live harmoniously as a "family" of Americans.
Conquer the Divide!
Through a commitment to Return to Love, reconcile divided relationships, and to speak and listen to each other in love and with mutual respect, and the goal of understanding, I believe we will conquer the divide among us.
The Rise of the Commoner's Voice In any nation where the commoner's voice is not heard and heeded, you will find countless forms of poverty and countless forms of slavery. As we bring love and mutual respect to each other, we will rise up as one and become a powerfully united voice that can and will slay the giants of greed in the land.
Create a Balanced Majority
Balanced majorities avoid policy reversals and thus save money and maintain credibility. They avoid policy changes that are random or excessive and thus reduce the game-of-chance and hysteria in politics. They show the rule of reason not of whim, thus inspire confidence in legitimate leadership. They do not let fringe reps steer policies, a common fact in one-sided majorities.
The dysfunction, due to unhealed wounds within American families, has over time produced an incredibly excessive, unreasonable, whimsical, and completely hysterical nation. If we had a “balanced majority” environment within our families (the micro), we would see a legitimately “balanced majority” surface in politics (the macro). In order to have a legitimately “balanced majority,” you must first achieve an altruistic blending of the best ideas from every side.
The True American Dream
If enough people set out to do the things I've mentioned above, I believe we would find ourselves living in a country that would run on the principles of what I call "Effective Capitalism" (vs. corrupt capitalism) which would sound something like this: You do you and I do me within a free market system of economy. If we agree on a business model and it’s mutually beneficial to go into business together, let’s do it. But, in addition we all agree to be an empowering societal force by setting up opportunities within our business models that truly increase the socioeconomic status of our employees and the general public - our community, state, nation, and world, through both fully transparent charitable contributions to authentically effective outreaches and programs where necessary; and through fair wages with fairly scaled increases awarded to those who’ve genuinely earned them.
Love to all,