Passing the Baton

Four runners with sleek muscular bodies take their positions around the track. The first runner takes the baton firmly in his hand. He sets himself in the blocks and coils his powerful body into the starting position. His muscles tighten as he prepares for the start.

At the sound of the starter’s gun, he explodes out of the blocks, his eyes fixated on his team’s next runner. He quickly expends all of his energy in order to get to the next runner as soon as possible. As he nears the next runner, his teammate begins to run away from him. The first runner strains to reach the second runner before he gets too far down the track and is disqualified. He stretches and strains to put the baton firmly in the next runner’s hand making sure that it is not dropped.

It has been a matter of mere seconds from the start of the race until the baton is passed to the second runner. Exhausted, the first runner stops and watches as his teammate races toward the third member of the team. He anxiously watches as each teammate passes the baton to the next runner. Adrenaline continues to rush through the first runner’s body driven by the pressure of praying that his effort does not end in defeat.

As I read this fabulous description of a relay race the other day, I could see what a clear metaphor it is for life. We all want for our leg of the race to make a difference. In this vein, we dutifully save for our children’s futures, get them into the best private schools, make sure they eat their vegetables, get good grades, play sports, and see a dentist. We run as fast and as far as we can in this life to make sure our children start their leg of the race in the best possible position before we pass the baton.

If someone stole the money from your child’s college fund, would you let them take it without a fight? If someone tripped your daughter, just as she was about to go onstage for her first recital, would you sit by and do nothing? We all know we would fight like a lion to protect our children. But think about it…what is the one thing without which your child cannot grow to be a success? The one asset that allows the amassing of all the others? Liberty. Yet we sit idly by as power-hungry individuals, many of which possess not even a tenth of our intellect, steal our liberty. Like rats, they scurry under cover of darkness, nibbling away at our freedoms while our attention is elsewhere.

Ronald Reagan once warned,

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
As students of history well know, freedom and democracy are the exception, not the rule. The founding of America was an incredible milestone in the history of mankind. Our predecessors ran their leg of the race better than we could have ever hoped. They gave us an incredible start. But each runner must do their part. Freedom, as they say, is not free.

We must be worthy of that freedom and pay for the honor of being Americans. The cost is to be ever-vigilant against those that wish to steal our liberty, especially those that do so under the guise of creating a utopian America or providing safety for her citizens. We must hoard our freedom like misers. It is more precious than diamonds, gold or any tangible possession. It is our life blood. We must not let it go without a fight. In this vein, I will be driving with the kids to attend the first national taxpayer march on Washington D.C. on September 12th. I hope some of you will consider doing the same. We are now in the middle of our leg of the race, let’s not lose any more of the valuable ground for which our ancestors fought and died.

I was so moved by the following photo I thought I would include it here. A drive to D.C. and an occasional newsletter is nothing compared to the sacrifice so many others have made.


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