February 26, 2016

Gaining Altitude — Growth Opportunities for the Week

Chaplain (Maj.) John M. Von Almen
412th TW chaplain

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community
As a white child of the 1960s I cannot remember the violence of the Civil Rights efforts of that decade. I was not aware of death threats my father received when he spoke out for educational equality and the integration of Georgia public schools. As a white young adult of the 1980s I celebrated the diversity in the University community, hoping society had left racism behind us. Now, as a white adult of the 21st century, I weep because racially motivated violence continues in places like Ferguson, Mo., and Charleston, S.C. As this year’s annual celebration of African American Heritage Month concludes, I, as a white male, a person of privilege in our society, understand that I cannot KNOW the repression and injustice felt by my brothers and sisters of color. I can but listen with an open heart, seek to understand, and cooperate as appropriate to build a better future for all.

Through our prayers — an opportunity to pray for the needs of our community
God of hope, guide humanity to a fuller expression of “love for neighbor” and assist us all to truly do for others as we would have them do for us. Amen

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Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

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