On September 20 the military policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will end. For me, this change offers an opportunity for our country to come into deeper alignment with our values.
No matter what my thoughts on homosexuality; no matter what my thoughts on the military; the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is something to be celebrated. While I may believe that the way to peace is not through war, I acknowledge that I live in a world where wars, and therefore military forces exist.
A visit to the U.S. army website lists the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage as the higher standards to which they strive. The core values of the U.S. Marine Corp. and the U.S. Navy are honor, courage and commitment. the U.S. Air Force sums up their core values in the statement: Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. The common denominators seem to be integrity, honor and courage.
Currently the policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” seems to be out of alignment with the very values each branch of the military strives to uphold. How can someone be in integrity when they are asked to hide who they are in truth? How can someone honor this country when they are not even allowed to honor themselves? How can courage be promoted, when the courage to show up authentically and honestly is stifled?
It seems to me that the very policy that was created was completely out of alignment with the core values of each branch of the military. That is why I celebrate the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
It is also a reminder to me to reflect on my own life and the choices I make. I can ask myself,
Am I living in alignment with the principles that I say I value?
Am I showing up honestly and authentically in the relationships that I share?
Do I exhibit the courage to be myself and not who I think you want me to be?
Am I honoring my true nature in all I say and do?
Life continues to offer a mirror to me so that I can reflect on the deeper message and meaning for me in my life. It may be time to repeal some thoughts, idea, and habits that I have that prevent me from living in integrity with the values I hold.
As I celebrate the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, I celebrate the repeal within myself of the many ways I hide my true nature. I make the choice to be courageous and simply be me.