Football coach Aaron Feis is a hero – the kind of hero America needs. Feis died while valiantly shielding students during last week's Parkland, Florida school shooting. Denise Lehito, spokesperson for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's football program, said Feis, "died the same way he lived – he put himself second." America needs an army of "seconds" right now – a multitude of selfless souls just like Aaron Feis. Putting others first is a foreign concept in America these days.
The No. 1 problem facing us is not North Korea or the Russians – it's fellow Americans behaving badly, fixating on differences when we should be conversing with one another in our common quest to find solutions to our problems and helping each other.
Take a look at interactions on social media – there are a lot of posts and tweets all about us. And when it isn't about ourselves, it's about how someone else is wrong or evil. It seems as if many Americans have nothing better to do with their time than to tear people down in futile attempts to make themselves feel better.
Guns aside, language has become our go-to assault weapon – and we have magazine after magazine of verbal ammo to keep the onslaught going indefinitely. We cut people down with our tongues before we even understand what another person is trying to say. And, even when we do understand, if we don't agree, we don't know how to disagree diplomatically. We resort to sarcasm, name-calling and bullying. These tactics are used by every race, gender and political party. We are only thinking about ourselves, our goals and what we want without giving second thought as to how it might be impacting another person. We all do it at times – and that's why our nation is sinking.
Enter Coach Feis, the man who reminds us that putting others first actually saves lives. What if each of us adopted his approach every day? Who will you come across, today, whom you can listen to, encourage and find common ground?
What if Coach Feis became your new selfless role model in your family, on the job, and in your neighborhood? My hunch is that Feis' approach, if embraced en masse, could lead to a revolution – and brothers and sisters a humble revolution is exactly what our nation needs.
Stop pretending to listen to people. So many of us seem to listen only for the opportunity to inject our thoughts. Instead, start paying attention to the heart of what people are saying – and ask questions for clarity before making negative assumptions. There's not one person in all of history who is considered to be a hero who was selfish. Think about that for a moment. The odds are against any of us bucking the trend. If you want to be a hero, you have to be selfless. Like Coach Feis, you have to become second.
The good Lord gave us two ears and one mouth, and I think the ear to mouth ratio is a great reminder that we should listen twice as much as we talk. Try it for 30 days and see what happens. It will revolutionize your life, family and workplace. If you did this, and encouraged others to do the same, America's second revolution will be underway – and not a single shot will have been be fired. Here, atheists, agnostics, and people of all faiths can finally agree on a Bible verse that applies, big time, to America: "If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other" (Galatians 5:15).
Arrogance, anger, back-biting and talking at one another won't solve a single problem in America. They'll only inflame things. Aren't there already enough fires burning? It's time that every American starts seeing his or herself as less important than the other guy, just like Aaron Feis. We need a legion of humble heroes right now. The great news is that you have a direct say in whether or not you're one of them.