By Daren Gardner
First let me say Happy New Year to you all. I hope this day finds you well and with your spirits high for the future that is ahead of us.
This week our nation ushered in what I certainly hope will be a true new beginning for us as American citizens. This week on January 5, 2011, in Washington, DC, the 112th Congress of these United States was sworn in to uphold and protect the Constitution for the United States of America. It was an honor for me to be in Washington on this day to see a couple of the new congressmen sworn into office. Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho and Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina.
I had the opportunity to be able to attend some of the events of the day with the great citizens of the state of South Carolina. Rep. Jeff Duncan allowed me to be a part of this because just a few months earlier our paths crossed. You see now Congressman Duncan and Congressman Labrador, whom both were gracious to be a part of the Constitution Ride Across America 2010 and represent their respective states in the signing of the Constitution Resolution For America.
My intent on this day was to personally deliver to these two gentlemen, their copy of the Constitution Resolution For America, just prior to them being sworn in. Although I did mail all the signers a copy, I just thought it would be a great reminder to these two gentlemen who went on after the rally in their respective states, to be elected to the US Congress that it is still about the US Constitution. It was with great honor that I was able to do this. The importance of this happening on this day, and being able to meet both of them in their office, and presenting them with their copy of the Constitution Resolution For America, would make an imprint in their minds, and allow them to remember their promise to the citizens.
The task of ahead of them is a great one, and I was glad to see the reading of the Constitution to begin the 112th Congress of the United States. A lot of decisions have to be made. A lot of strength, confidence, and boldness have to take place if our nation is to rebound from the valley we currently find ourselves in.
A lot of us are truly feeling the effects of being in this valley. I for one certainly am. As much as it was an honor to do the Constitution Ride Across America 2010, and the support that those of you gave to make it a reality, the realities of life are still present on the home front. I am finding myself in a place that I never thought at my age I would be at. I have been out there, being a part of waging the fight against the wrongs that have been oppressed upon the people of this nation, and felt encouraged to have so many stand beside me.
I am now forced into having to make a decision of whether or not to close the business I have owned and operated for the last 8 years because of the effects of the economic woes that have gripped our nation. I am not the only one in our nation in this situation. We as citizens have had to change the way we have to run our lives. This change of habit has put some tough times on my family and I, and have now put us in a financial situation I never thought I would face. I totally understand why companies have to do what they do to survive the times, and I have cut myself to hang on as long as I could and try and ride it out. Well, it has finally caught up with me and is forcing me to make some very uncomfortable changes and decisions. I am now looking to find a way to provide for the simple needs of everyday life. I am basically an unemployed business owner who could not collect a dime, as a lot of you that have lost your jobs are able to do through unemployment benefits. This is one of the curses of being a small business owner, everything you invested in gone, and you have nowhere to go. I just happen to be one of the small business owners caught up in this economic downward spiral. I know that many of you will face similar situtations as the year moves on.
The one thing I am sure of is that the sun will rise tomorrow morning, and will set tomorrow evening. That my faith in God will never take me to something that he would not bring me through. It’s the same God that our founding fathers believed in when back on September 17, 1787; they inked the Constitution for the United States of America. Our nation has come through many tough times, and we will endure these as well. The sacrifice has been made before by many citizens in order to survive, and as we look into the future, more sacrifice is required. Times ahead will not be easy, but I am glad that through it all, I have a peace knowing that the future holds good days ahead if we are willing to focus on the truths that protect our nation. All of us, “We The People”, have a responsibility if this is to happen, and all of us need to remember this as we roll forward into this New Year. I know that in the end, “Through Change Comes Strength”.