President Ronald Reagan in 1984 said in a speech “We must always consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill-the eyes of all people are upon us.”
This comes from Matthew: 14 and is a phrase from the parable of Salt and Light on the Sermon on the Mount.
I gather that it probably means in the context of President Reagan, that we are being seen even though on a hill and the people of the nation are watching our deeds, hopefully all good ones. I am not a biblical scholar, nor do I come close to being one.
It is a good saying to let us think, that even though we may be high up, we must watch what we say and do.
It is a good line to apply to our daily lives. It is said that “you were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.” Many times things do not go our way and we wonder why this did happen to us? Some will say that we are being tested. I do not believe that. I think that when unpleasant events happen to us; we have to resign our self to be strong and resilient enough to overcome them and to continue on in our quest for a good, happy and complete life each and every day. Some days are more stressful than others; other days are more gentle and happier than others.
My friend Steven Behr in Steilacoom, Washington wrote to me the following after reading one of my last articles, the one on Dignity. He wrote “hopefully more children will be influenced by positive role models than those destructive ones they experience or see in the news and the media. That’s where you come in, so continue to influence in a positive way and let’s keep dancing.”
This is a nice compliment and when I was a kid, of course, there was no television to show killings, robberies, sex, embezzling, and any other wrong doings. Of course, there was radio that we listened to, but we did not SEE the things portrayed, except in our mind’s eye and our minds. I believe once television became a part of our lives when I was fifteen, we watched quiz shows, comedy shows, news, stories like doctor shows. On the doctor shows, there was usually a young and new doctor in the practice and the old senior (not called that in those days yet) doctor and he always advised the patients and the young assistant in a kindly and knowing way. He always received respect and courtesy. He himself was courteous to his patients and any one he came in contact with. There were some soap operas on the radio and the worse thing happening on there, was a missing person from years ago came back and was welcomed; or a man left his wife for a younger woman. When soap operas went on television, then they became more impacted with troubled married couples, older bosses and younger secretaries who became their girlfriends, naughtier children and meddling mothers-in-laws to the lovely young brides their sons married. There was the older generation, then their children and then their children. Often, the elderly lived with their children and grandchildren. The elders were always giving wonderful and caring advice to everyone in the community.
On television, we saw all these things happening and when on the radio, we had to envision them and what the actors looked like from their voices. I remember once, I saw in a magazine the picture of the actress portraying Portia on the soap called Portia Faces Life. I was amazed that she did not look like I had imagined she would look like from her voice and the character she portrayed. They had a thought that they said that when the soaps went on television, they would have to get different actors to play the part; because the current ones did not look, like I said, like the characters should look. I do not think they changed them and everyone got used to seeing the radio stars become real life, that you could see stars now.
I had a cousin who when you spoke to him on the phone, had this booming and gorgeous voice. When you saw him in person, you could not believe that this short guy was the voice from the phone. He gave off on the phone as being a six foot tall guy and very handsome. Imagination is sometimes faulty and very disappointing and that is why online Internet dating took off so well, because the future dates were seen in advance by the hopeful persons. Of course, I am sure that some do put in their pictures from years ago. I know someone who hired a real estate agent from his ads in the local paper and when he came to her door to talk to her about selling her house; he was like forty years older. He had inserted in his real estate ads a picture of when he was about thirty. She could not believe he was who he said he was. He laughingly said, “I guess it is time for a new photo.”
The eyes of all people are upon us and when we have creative pursuits, we allow our bodies to rest from pressures of living and everyday life. I came across that saying recently and it is so true. It means that when we do creative or good things, our selves can rest from anxiety and then we benefit and receive psychological and health rewards.
I have just gotten interested and I am still trying to figure out the game of football. I love our Ravens as everyone loves their hometown teams and I somehow get pleasure of wearing a purple outfit on Fridays as many Ravens fans do. It brings together people of all persuasions and religions and gives us a common denominator to be proud about during the football season. The next day coaches and critics still do their criticizing even when we win; yet everyone is on the same team and that is nice for a few months of football.
We are having good psychological rewards, when we discuss the team, whether it did well or bad the next day and the eyes of all of us are visible and we are a shining city on a hill, as President Reagan quoted from Matthew.
Let us all be together even after football and baseball seasons are over; and be shining examples to young people and influence others in a positive way and not be like our politicians, who are not shining in their attitudes to us and to the other candidates. Let us remember that we have been given this life because we are strong enough to live it.