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Sunday, November 20, 2016

As a Nation: We Must Learn to Embrace The Suck




The ability to cope with the world around us comes from the most unusual places. I realized that this morning as I indulged in the music that carried me through the darkest part of my life I can remember. 2001 through 2008 were the seven years that would define me. I experienced the death of my grandparents and stepbrother, failed relationships and severe bouts of depression which culminated in suicidal ideation. It was in the music of My Chemical Romance, Panic! At the Disco,Three Doors Down, Evanescence, The Foo Fighters, Everclear, Metallica & Ozzy Osbourne (#NotASponsor) that I learned to embrace how dark, and cold the world and life itself could be. Not only to embrace it but to defiantly love it was the noblest act I could conceive.

According to NPR in their article on Embrace The Suck: A pocket guide to Milspeak by Austin Bay "Embrace the suck isn't merely a wisecrack it's a raw epigram based on encyclopedic experience. Face it's soldier, I've been there. This ain't easy. Now let's deal with it."
Disclaimer: I do not come from a military background. The first time that I heard the phrase "embrace the suck" was in the 2005 film Jarhead. The concept was striking though and was Illustrated so brilliantly that no complex allocution was needed.

Fast forward a decade and we live in a world quaking in economic spasms, wracked by Islamic extremism and war. We live in a nation that is lapsing into racial turmoil and violence, a polarized and angry body politic. Our minds and hearts are inundated by social media and mainstream news with hatred, injustice and vitriol. It is in this world of darkness and cruelty, in this age of indifference and apathy that we struggle each day for an answer. Our churches hold a dim candle in the maelstrom, but many of us cannot even lift our eyes to see it. Many of these lights have been placed under bowls (Matthew 5:15) or put out an entirely. No, the light must come from within A Deux Lux Nostra: our light comes from God.
What's left to us is to join the black parade and carry on, to put on a tourniquet and return to Salvation. Despite that it feels like we're going down in flames, and we're so far down, away from the Sun the single most rebellious act we can take is to love one another as brothers and sisters and as a nation, in spite of and perhaps because of our flaws, our dark moments. Simply, we must embrace the suck. 

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