Pondering the Perspectives of The People. . .
With Rights Come Duties
December 2018 -- As a child growing up in the 1950's I was educated in the common style and method of patriotism and prayer. The phrase, "under God" was added to our pledge of allegiance to the flag, while I was in school. We stood at attention, hand over heart and made that pledge at least once a week, perhaps every day, usually guided by a voice above our heads from the school office recited it over the loudspeaker. Whether it was daily or weekly, it matters little, I remember pondering on one extremely hot and humid day, "How many times am I gonna have to say this before I'm believed?"
Today, I still feel that I've said it enough. I feel that my word isn't respected if I have to continue to repeat the same pledge over and over. You know, I have raised my hand and pledged to give my life for my country and served as a military member of the legion. The United States of America has my loyalty until my death. I don't believe I have to repeat this pledge over and over for the world to see, because it resides within me. Forever and ever.
With this perspective in mind, let me say that I believe that we're in dire straits these days and that everyone needs to study up. Learn history because right now we are being tricked into trading our Liberty for Safety. I believe our forefathers would not be pleased about that. I have, in the past, been in communication with those who are working hard, very hard, to bring us around, put our ship going in the right direction. It should be more important to find our similarities than it is to flaunt our differences. If we keep pushing each other around, pressing for our special identity, then it will be easy for us to be pressed down as a larger group by those who have the money, power and influence to control the direction we're headed.
So, as an elder and a veteran, it is my Duty to inform you that we have wolves at the door and they are hiding behind the face of kindness. When your enemy presents the fierce face, you know you are seeing your enemy. When someone presents a kind face but does ill toward you or society, then you are seeing another enemy. But, will they be found out in time? Perhaps not. It is exactly this circumstance that makes it necessary to have laws and written rights. Your Rights must be My Rights, too, or this Democracy won't work. No one can be treated as a lessor Citizen or this Democracy can't work. It is our Duty to fix our society so that everyone is treated the same under the law. Everyone must have fair and just treatment. I do realize that Humans are NOT the same, and some are really bad people, but we ALL need to have the same Rights guaranteed to US under the law. Even if you don't like it, any Human on our soil deserves to be treated humanely and with respect. It must be this way, or our Democracy is a lie. Another important tenet is that your Rights cannot infringe my Rights, or Democracy will not work.
Let's Do All we can to make our country more fair and democratic for EVERYONE. We need a Democracy that works for US All. Don't you think it's obvious that with Rights Come Duties?
~~Bridget E. Smith, Portland, Oregon
If I were given the choice between the Right to Vote or the Right to my Religion, I would choose the Right to Vote because then I would have powers to regain my Right to practice my Religion. Most People don't realize that some people were fleeing Europe to be freed from the oppressive religions being practiced during the 1600's and 1700's. People were being burned at the stake and vicious torture was being carried out on people who were only guilty of practicing religion in a different way. Sadly, our world is still suffering from such madness.
Then, came this unique place that promised freedom from filth, hatred and suspicion: The Colonies. Myths grew up that it was a mystical, magical place, never mind that people already populated the land and who were to be mistreated by the people fleeing the old countries. When pioneers invaded their lands, perhaps they brought some of that hatred and suspicion with them. Today, we are still a boiling cauldron of beliefs, languages and dreams. Let US continue to fight the good fight to improve our world and way of life. Our world needs US now, more than ever before, to be fair in our dealings with others and to project the good light before US. We can do this. It is possible. But, we must start now.
A few years ago, back when Obama was still in command, 2012, I was sent a document soliciting my support and my consideration. I don't know where that original email is at this moment, but I present their hard crafted document for your pondering. The document invokes the magic of the our revolutionary past and presents an update to our original document that is not quite 300 years old. Drum up Hope! We are still a young nation, compared to many of those in Europe, so we should be able to be bendable and flexible enough to change as needed. So, without too much more fanfare, here's the link for that document.
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When injustice begins to rule, it's time to pick up the pen to work for Justice for All.