It is a new year, time for individual resolutions, but also for America to make a resolution to reawaken the nation.
As memorialized in my Epoch Times weekly column over the past two years, there are daunting challenges throughout America demanding a full-force commitment to transformation.
America must rise to the occasion and be renewed, rejuvenated, and restored; ignited by the principles of leadership, vigilance, and collaboration.
Challenges throughout society are clearly indicated by our crisis of character, culture of violence, and the devastating consequences of natural disasters.
America will rise and be reawakened as our people have hearts of courage, compassion, and community.
But, inspired by our legacy of freedom, democracy, and liberty, we must honestly assess our failures to transform the nation.
America’s Crisis of Character
A review of the FBI website immediately crystalizes the crisis of character throughout America defined as public corruption.
This venom poses a fundamental threat to our national security and way of life. It impacts everything from how well our borders are secured and our neighborhoods protected, to verdicts handed down in courts, to the quality of our roads, schools, and other government services.
Public corruption also costs billions of dollars every year, which can be better spent on programs including education, health care, homelessness, unemployment, and veterans’ services.
Compounding public corruption, the crisis of character also negatively impacts us through a culture of greed in our corporations, and every other facet of society—sports, entertainment, family, and even faith-based communities, where we witness alarming stories of scandal, deception, and betrayal.
As detailed in my article titled “America’s Leadership Crisis: Reigniting Our Character” for the Epoch Times, Sept. 12, 2014 edition, “Character must be the heartbeat of the nation and we must heed the words attributed to Thomas Jefferson, one of our founding fathers: ‘Yes, we did produce a near perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.'”
America’s Culture of Violence
In my presentations throughout the United States, particularly since the Columbine tragedy in 1999, I have used a metaphor of a head-on collision of a crisis of character and culture of violence, to audiences of educators, law enforcement, government officials, community leaders, and students.
America’s culture of violence is continually manifested throughout our workplaces, schools, campuses, houses of worship, communities, and families.
Aside from many other forms of violence, recent and notorious mass shooting tragedies are indicting America for its failure to prevent violence:
Dec. 2, 2015: At least 14 people died and 21 were injured during a holiday celebration for county employees in San Bernardino, Calif. It was the deadliest mass shooting in America in the past three years.
Oct. 1: Nine people are killed, eight students and one teacher, and nine are injured at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore.
July 16: Two military centers in Chattanooga, Tenn., are attacked, leaving four Marines and a Navy sailor dead along with three wounded.
June 18: A suspected white supremacist kills nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.
Sept. 26, 2013: A former Navy enlisted man shoots and kills 12 people and injures three at the Washington Navy Yard, in Washington, D.C.
Dec. 14, 2012: A shooter kills 20 first graders, 6 and 7 years of age, and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
April 16, 2007: The deadliest shooting in U.S. history by a single gunman takes place at Virginia Tech with 32 students killed and at least 17 wounded.
America’s Devastating Natural Disasters
Just this past week, the natural disasters of dangerous snow, bitter temperature, devastating twisters destroying communities, widespread loss of power, and major flooding assaulted much of America’s central section, leaving dozens dead.
As nature unleashed relentless havoc in Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama, with more dangerous weather coming to America, we are reminded that nature can be cruel.
Natural disasters demand that the crisis management principles of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery are always front and center.
All responsible for safeguarding communities must heed well that competence, professionalism, and vigilance must always be the order of the day. Also, America must always respond with compassion toward all who summer from calamities.
Leadership, vigilance, and collaboration as our heartbeat will resuscitate America.
America will rise from the crisis of character, culture of violence, and devastating consequences of natural disasters when we reignite the principles of leadership, vigilance, and collaboration.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen To Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.