December 17, 2017

“I don’t like bullies. I don’t care where they come from.” A Motto from Captain America that will change your life!

At the end of this video, listen to the line that makes this blog post powerful for those who step on the little guys (or little girls)!

 

 “Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.” Psalm 82:3 (NLT)

I have watched the movie, Captain America: The First Avenger, more times than I can count, and the main character and superhero, Captain Steve Rogers, never backs down from a bully and fight, sometimes at his own detriment, saying “I can do this all day.” He keeps getting back up time and time again even with blood spewing down his shirt out of his mouth, depicted as the fool who will not go down without fighting time and time again. I admire his-never-back-down attitude.

Rogers constantly seeks to serve his country in the allied war against Germany. He continues to be denied by doctors to pass the military physical (so he can inevitably go to war), using several fake names and home states in the process. His small stature eventually transforms into the muscle-bound Captain America, and his dreams come forward to go to war. When finally successful to attain an approved appointment with the health clearing exam to join the military, a doctor behind the super soldier campaign asks Rogers, “So you want to kill Nazis?” He then responds admirably, “I don’t want to kill anyone. I don’t like bullies. I don’t care where they come from.” Through a series of tests at boot camp, Rogers takes risks for the “little guys,” the underdog you cannot help but root for as an audience member.

My cowriter and close friend, Tim the Upbeat Retired Guy, believes that I write too critically of others in my life sometimes on this blog and then in my book, One Flight Short of a Cuckoo’s Nest. I must personally admit I have never really liked bullies (guys and girls included). I do not really care where that bully comes from. I am not one to give a free pass to any leader who uses authority to push other people around. The range includes all kinds of individuals from all walks of life, politicians, academic institutional deans, stewards, and presidents, and perhaps even spotlight ministers. Like Captain Rogers, I am not looking to hurt anyone or ruin someone’s reputation. I will simply not tolerate those who bully others around.

An example in my life comes to mind: While in high school, I wrestled on the 2000 Alabama State High School 6A Championship team. Our team grew close in extraordinary ways, and we really had each others’ backs, all for one, and one for all! When one person stood in trouble or in the line of fire, we all did. No one messed with our girlfriends or with each one of us. We especially had no tolerance for a guy disrespecting or bullying a girl. There is just no room for that on my watch! While in the hall one day, one of my best and closest friends, Elizabeth Sanders, was picked on and degraded verbally by her boyfriend, Patrick, at her locker, whispering condescending comments into her ear while she frowned to the point of tears. Her boyfriend was a real jerk, and I never really liked him anyway. In fact, had I been the man I am now, I would have asked Elizabeth out when she was single. I told her boyfriend to back off and stand down. My good friend, brother in Christ, and wrestling team mate, Jonathan Dobberman, stood there by my side when I faced Patrick. Patrick responded, “Who is going to make me?” I said, “Me and my wrestling army!” That was the end of the conversation. He walked away, and with a grateful hug for me around my shoulders and slight smile on her face, Elizabeth quietly said, “Thank you!” What can I say? Some of us have bigger mouths than others. And Patrick even later that day apologized. Those who stand for what is right often reap the rewards (and sometimes the costs) for doing so.

Where am I going here? Scripturally as soldiers and warriors of Christ, we are not meant to back down for a just cause as men of God. We are meant to defend the cause of the orphan, the disabled, the widow, the homeless, and those who cannot stand up for themselves in any way.

I recently have dwelled on yesterday’s excuses, reasoning, and mind doubts of why I so often lack to take action today, not against bullies, but moving forward with life. Yesterday is gone and so are those excuses!

We excuse ourselves from the hard struggles, challenges, adversities, and tasks in life and remain okay with that. Well, I am not okay with a subpar existence, and I will never be okay with a bully. While words written hurt the bully who takes action, the narrative of God’s soldiers triumph every time. When you play the political game to drown one who suffers, I cannot simply stand by and let that go. I will write. I will fight. And I will speak out.

I don’t want to kill or hurt anyone. I just don’t like bullies. I don’t care where they come from.

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Until the End of The Line – The bond of family that no force can break…. (Captain America’s Motto)!

“Then finish it….cause I’m with you til’ the end of the line.” –Steve Rogers, also known as Captain America, in the movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).

You will find the scene depicted here with the memorable quote. It would benefit you to watch this and truly understand the significance of my written words here.

I have learned the value of family relationships with a blunt reminder when two close loved ones died this past year….two grandparents fighting an incurable cancer. My father recently turned sixty years old with two grandchildren and Lord-willing, three more to eventually come. My grandfather (my father’s Dad) turned eighty-six. As I grow older, a natural hardship with life tends to be the loss of those precious to us, and more continue to pass with each new year forward.

My grandfather is James Louie Cartee Senior. My father is James Louie Cartee Junior. And my name is James Louie Cartee, the Third. I have never figured out where Louie came from; however I am grateful to still have these two men in my life….continually present to help me in any hardship that comes my way.

Many families break up. Many families fall apart. Again thankful, my mother and father never separated for any reason. That same observation is true with my sister who has now been married for slightly over ten years. While strong marriages last over time with a promised commitment to the mind, body, and soul, many fall apart for often various complicated reasons. Humans, by nature, are sometimes very selfish and even flakier when it comes to true commitment. Humans want the easy path, and therefore some people easily quit—no matter what the difficulty, always running away from their problems.

My father and grandfather never gave up on me, even when I failed to believe in myself. The same evident truth can be said of their commitment to marriage with one person.

I took the reality for granted that I could lean into others, family and friends. I never needed to ask the question if they would be there. I just always knew the answer. I’m with you til’ the end of the line.”

No matter what happens….no matter what conflict occurs….and no matter when I fall to my face, both men serve to stand at the front lines with me, side by side, hands held in unity.

While you really need to watch the two movies or read the comic books to understand my references in the video above, the scene illustrated represents the bond of family and solid friendships in my own personal circles. Captain America, known by his common name as Steve Rogers, refuses to fight once best friend, James Buchanan Barnes. Several years before in the 1940s (now modern day 2014), Barnes was experimented upon with a risky surgery to replace an amputated limb with a metal cast, super-strength arm. He was then tortured and brainwashed for several months to turn evil. He almost died due to previous war injuries. Fictionally he was cryonic-frozen, where his cells slowed to endure a lifespan much longer than any normal human being. Therefore he would resurface and fight Captain America seventy years later, from the historical time period of when their real friendship started.

Before I venture too far off the scene’s plot, The Winter Soldier was Rogers’ nemesis in this movie sequel. At the end of the movie, Rogers refuses to fight, even though he would probably have killed Barnes as a result of his combat skills. In previous battle sequences with the movie, as also hinted by the comic books, Captain America possessed a distinct fighting advantage over “Bucky” Barnes, the Winter Soldier. Rogers believes in the deeper good that still exists in Bucky Barnes. Some characters viewed Barnes as a lost cause who would never again return as his original self, the comrade who once fought by Rogers’ side and not against him.

In his refusal to fight back, Captain America falls to the water as the helicarrier plunges to its destruction. Unconscious, a metal arm reaches to rescue Rogers before drowning. The plot infers that The Winter Soldier can still do good and act honorably, no matter the evil committed or the brainwashing with memories erased.

That is also the bond of a grandfather, father, and son, all whom share the same bloodline and the same name that understands commitment with renewed faith. I never ask for help because of the men I know both these individuals to be. I know that each of us would and will always say, “I’m with you til’ the end of the line.”

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Until The End of the Line – Poetry That Never Betrays (by Photographer, James Cartee)

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(original photograph by James L. Cartee, III)

Seaside Memorial Park and Funeral Home, Corpus Christi, Texas
Nothing Separates Our Shepherd Until The End of The Line
February 10, 2015

Until The End of the Line

While fighting against the supposed advocate, I did not know who you truly were.
You showed yourself in the blue punk daft of a teenage skateboard chick.
Society presents flakes at a sudden moment’s notice in the second;
However I saw a sudden fascination deeper inside cognitive health traumas.

After a few months’ time, starting again to realign priorities with opportunity,
Eyes open to sunrises and sunsets on ocean fronts to fit the pair created
In heavenly times from the very onset of the wombs’ conception to breathe.
I gaze from the Vulcan’s monument to realize the captivation of paths collided.

Darkness causes memories to fade in the mental drunkenness stupor
With continuous exertions to forget and even ignore the adversity in relationship
From a break-up in time from over a decade ago when roses wilted
And close relatives died in grief alone with no one around.

“I’m not going to fight you. You’re my friend.” – mentioned the cowboy city slicker.
Leadership, rather than management titles, brings forward examples set to inspire.
Inspired you were to work, write, educate, and bear my Ugandan children.
I believe that your hard work beats anyone’s talent when talent does not work hard.

You stand by me. You serve by me. You travel with me. Your share your soul with me.
No longer the bare essentials of survival mode, we push barriers to break for more
In the purpose-driven foundations that God has abundant blessings ready and given.
Our journey took an unexpected path to bring my belief in beauty, once again, back to life.

You took me by surprise. You stole my heart. You held my hand tighter
With fingers interwoven where I knew you would never let go
To die, to surmount, to live, to decline only to rise from death,
In April hotel room showers, fireworks sounded off at the bliss of a new beginning.

Hope arose. Angels cheered. Destiny prevailed.
And home-bound, you received the answer from heaven in your walk
That brought us closer, not farther in distance,
Because from Austin to the ocean, we made our 2,000 mile desert journey.

Tracks in sand simultaneous together stuck like Elmer’s glue,
With the example of Grandfather, Father, and now son, all of the same name,
I honorably commit myself to finish this race with where I eternally started,
Because I’m with you until the end of the line.

 

March 6, 2015

 

(original poetry by James L. Cartee III)