Slings and Arrows, Be Damned

Nearly every day, I encounter the Shakespearian “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” due to my community activism. Yesterday was no different.

I attended a political meeting in the early afternoon. I had been given only a few hours to prepare to speak at this meeting in opposition to a resolution that could be harmful for my community. I was very nervous as I prepared for this. I made a few phone calls to people who know more about this than me. I had researched the topic the night before and that morning. Yet, I was very uneasy about the whole matter.

I knew that people on the committee I was addressing did not think highly of me, nor did some of the people in the gallery. Some of my arguments were scoffed at, while others had been dismissed completely- typical behavior for leftists. One member raised his voice as he questioned my comments. I don’t think it could have been worse.

While I was told that I had done well, and the goal we had established was met, I still didn’t feel like I had accomplished everything I could have. Maybe I’m just not good enough or smart enough to make a difference.

I felt defeated. I asked myself if this is really what I want to do. Do I really want to make these public presentations? Do I really want to fight for justice in the political arena? Do I really want to put myself on the firing line for liberals to attack me freely? These are the thoughts that I took to bed with me – the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

After another restless night of catnapping, I finally succumbed to the daylight and gave up any chance of sleep. I reached for my phone and glanced at the emails, Facebook notifications, and some news briefs while lying under my warm covers, still not wanting to get out of bed. It was okay; I have a light schedule this morning.

My son is currently in Marine Corp boot camp, so I checked our private Facebook page to see if anything interesting had been posted there since yesterday evening. I saw a link to a video explaining what my son was learning this week. I normally don’t watch these things. They make me cry. I’m a mom. It’s hard.

It’s especially difficult when you see these videos and drill instructors are yelling at your sons. Yes, they are my sons now. As the Marine MoM* saying goes, “My son has many brothers, therefore, I have many sons.” In these videos, there is always noise – yelling, gunfire, grunting, screaming, cadences, footsteps, hitting, and more yelling. For thirteen weeks, these young men and women have no peace. They are pushed to their perceived limit, then they are pushed some more. It’s all in preparation to do what they will have to do to protect our nation and defend freedom.

As I lay in my warm bed, listening to the rain falling outside, in no hurry to go anywhere this morning, I watched this video. And I got a wake-up call!

How dare I lay there under my warm blankets lamenting over some jack ass commissioner’s unkind words. What gall it took for me to commiserate over an upset stomach caused by a difficult public meeting. If these young men (and women) are willing to put their very lives on the line for a nation conceived in liberty, don’t I owe it to them to make it the best nation possible?

So I got out of my bed, made a strong cup of coffee, and accelerated into my day. Every day that a soldier, airman, seaman, or Marine is willing to stand and fight for me, I will work toward making it a better day for their sake. I will work toward giving them a country that is worthy of their service. If they are willing to take a bullet for my freedom, then I must be willing to take on a difficult political issue for them. They secured the freedom, now I must accept the responsibility of maintaining it.

Slings and arrows, be damned. Someone is willing to take a bullet for me.

~Temerity Dowell

*MoM stands for Mother of a Marine. Since Marine is always correctly capitalized, the second M in MoM is, too.

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