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Elevating Young Voices: Be true to your convictions

It doesn’t matter what side of the political aisle you find yourself on. Right, left, center, there’s one thing that I believe most Americans want, and that is the best for our country.

One of the reasons for the division that we experience today is not being able to look at somebody who thinks differently than you and believe they love their community as much as you do.

Of course, there is a small group of people in this country that wants to see America fail.

It is true that there are people out there who believe America has no redeeming qualities and want to destroy it from the ground up.

But I think if we’re honest with each other, we all know that the small group of people that would see America brought to its knees, don’t speak for the majority of Americans.

America is a country full of courage, determination, and diversity of race, religion, economic background and, most importantly, diversity of thought.

The courage of the Founding Fathers to set out into unchartered waters to begin that great experiment of establishing a country founded on freedom, liberty, and personal responsibility ultimately gave birth to the greatest country in human history.

The determination of the “Greatest Generation” to travel thousands of miles from home to storm the beaches of Normandy to defeat fascism and restore freedom quite literally saved the world.

The diversity of race, religion, economic background, and diversity of thought that powers innovation and progress made the United States the world’s superpower and is what keeps us the world’s superpower.

When you boil all of what makes America great down to its simplest form, the common denominator is people.

The ordinary people who love this country are what sets America apart from any other country in the world.

I want to introduce you to one of those people now.

Cedric was born in Las Vegas, raised in central Alabama, and has a heart for community service.

When I asked Cedric if there was a moment in his life that drew him to community service, he said “Growing up, I was always interested in history. It always stood out to me. I remembered the stories of settlers, colonials and explorers coming to a new world.

“Those stories ignited something in me.”

Seeing people around him so selflessly gave of themselves so that he could have a good chance at life also deeply impacted him.

Cedric was raised by a single mother who worked two jobs to take care of not only Cedric and his siblings, but his mother’s siblings, as well.

Because Cedric was raised by a single mother, his grandfather stepped in to become the father figure in his life.

“My grandfather wasn’t drafted to go to Vietnam, he volunteered to go because he loved this country and believes in the promise of the American Dream,” Cedric said.

Cedric’s grandfather was born in the late 1940s in the aftermath of World War II and was a part of the sit-ins and protests in central Alabama.

“One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from my grandfather is that it is easy to tear things down, but it’s better to build things up, and that’s something that takes time,” Cedric said.

Combining his love for history and the impact that his mother and grandfather had on his life is what kickstarted his love for community service.

Early on, Cedric supported Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.

“I thought he was going to unite us, but within the first two years of his administration, there was so much hostility in politics,” Cedric says.

He went on to say “They pushed Obamacare, and for those two years, it was a series of lies and deceit to ram that agenda down the throat of the American people.”

During the mid-terms elections, Cedric had a shift in opinion from Democrat to independent, but over the course of the next few years leading up to 2016, an even bigger shift took place.

Cedric said “In 2016, everything changed. Hearing talk about all the racist comments, made me stop and actually go watch the speeches, and I didn’t hear what the media told me I was supposed to hear.”

Cedric continued on to say “What I heard was America is under siege, and America is worth fighting for, and those are the same principles that my grandfather taught me.”

Cedric said when it didn’t go unnoticed. He said he received multiple death threats for his support of President Trump. 

Cedric said that doesn’t worry him.

“My job is to talk about my faith and my values. I will follow Father wherever He leads me,” Cedric says.

Cedric embodies what makes America great. Someone who is true to themselves and his convictions.

We spoke on the phone for an hour, and I was in awe of the truth and wisdom in his words.

Cedric is one of the brightest, wisest, and truly most selfless people that you’ve never met, but if you’re ever lucky enough to meet him, you’ll surely be impressed.

Nate Butler is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News. You can find him on Twitter @realnatebutler or on Instagram @_nate_butler

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