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Americans must work for greater good
Letter to the editor

Editor, “Greater Good” is a point or ideology that has been defined, perceived and twisted. So what does this mean? I wonder if it’s even fair to apply this concept because, at the end of the day, the definition is construed. Man is still making that determination.
Here we are with the Ebola situation and, yes, this has the potential to become a crisis. We have a virus that is extremely contagious with a short incubation time and is easily contracted. So, my question here is, why would anyone not want to be quarantined for a whole 21 days to make sure they are not a danger to their families, friends and the general population? This is especially true for a nurse, who is trained to understand the devastating effects that are possible. Quarantine seems to be a no-brainer as to what course of action is needed for the greater good,  
For the “greater good” of our country, sometimes hard decisions need to be made — decisions that may offend or be construed as a violation of one’s rights. Right now, this country’s leadership does not have the intestinal fortitude to make “hard” decisions for fear of offending or looking unsympathetic.
Granted, many of my convictions and opinions are based on my military service, where leaders had to make life-and-death decisions sometimes daily — decisions that had to be based on the best course of action for the mission. Personnel did not have the luxury of ensuring there would be no loss of life.
Right now, in our country, no one is saying, “What’s good for all?” It’s “What is best for me?”
We have long forgotten JFK’s challenge to the country: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Until we start to make conscious decisions to be part of the solution, nothing changes.
At the end of the day, the “greater good” is what America needs. We need leaders who can objectively evaluate a situation and make a decision that is based on what is best for all. Right now, it seems decisions are based on the “flavor of the week” or what special-interest group is upset. Decisions no longer are based on an unbiased assessment of what the issue really is. No one checks to be sure those decisions pass the “greater good” ideology.
If you live in this country you are an American. Be an American first. When I first joined the Army, the answer to any equal-opportunity question was simple: “We are all green.” And that’s how it was, period. If we finally decide that we are proud to be Americans and work together to heal the divisions that exist, then apathy, hate and ambivalence will no longer be status quo.
There is no country in this world that is better than the United States of America. Be proud of who you are, be proud to be an American and let’s start to heal our nation one random act of kindness at a time.

— Retired U.S. Army Sfc. Joel Jacobs

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