Be All You Can Be

“Be all that you can be,” was a slogan once used to recruit young men and women into the Army. Unfortunately, some people want to be something that is not possible.

I’m tired of writing about Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, yet that is a prime example. Weeks ago, Jenner said that he identified himself as a woman, yet that cannot change his DNA. A person’s gender is determined at conception and no surgery can alter that. He can dress as a female, talk as a female, grow his hair like a female, and even look for a cute guy to date – like a female would do. Yet none of this can change the genetic make-up with which he was born a male.

Just a few days ago, a report was released about Rachel Dolezal, head of the Spokane, WA, chapter of the NAACP. The 37-year-old African American woman has apparently had a productive adult life. In addition to serving as chapter president for the NAACP, she currently chairs the Spokane police oversight commission, has applied for a spot on the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission, and also teaches African Studies at Eastern Washington University.

The only problem is Ms. Dolezal is not African American. Rachel was born to Caucasian parents of Swedish, Czech, and German descent. She began identifying herself with African heritage when her parents adopted black children from Africa and Haiti. Rachel is apparently very good at make-up artistry, and with the help of some hair extensions, she has been easily able to pass herself off as an African American for years. She even indicated that one of her adopted siblings was actually her child at one event and had a black gentleman purport to be her father at another.

While I’m completely opposed to requiring that race, ethnicity, gender, or religion be used to determine which applicant would be best for any job, a person still cannot be something they are not. We’ve become so concerned with political correctness that we’ve stopped using common sense. How bad would it be to simply hire the best applicant to serve as the NAACP president, the fireman, the school teacher, or even to go to college?

Years ago, a wise mom reminded me of the verse that says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is older, he will not depart from it.” Parents often place the emphasis on the part about ‘training them up’ and fall into a trap that says we have to be perfect parents who direct our child’s every step. Yet we can no more raise up a perfect child than we can reach out and touch the sun.

What this wise mom told me to do instead was to focus on training up my child in “the way he should go.” (emphasis mine). Parents need to teach their children to become the men or women they are supposed to be – expect nothing more and accept nothing less. If we can teach our children to be who they are meant to be, we won’t have to worry about them growing up to identify with other ethnicities or genders.

Be all you can be, and don’t try to be something else.

~Temerity Dowell


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