Today is considered one of the more pleasant and fun holidays in America. This freedom we exercise today didn’t come easily or harmoniously. There were intense arguments when the Constitution was written. Freedom never comes easily. The fighting was fierce, even amongst men who basically wanted the same thing.
As I sit at with my MacBook Air on my lap, I’m reminded that I live in a country that has engraved in its value system, freedom. Most importantly, freedom of speech, something gained with blood sweat and tears, not decided over at an ice cream social. Serious issues drum up high emotions. Intense feelings drive motivation, give energy to make decisions.
We can look around the globe and see inside prison cells, people just like us, who said something or wrote something that we would consider benign. Three journalists were just sentenced from 7 to 10 years in an Egyptian prison with charges considered absurd. In North Korea, there are at max, 5500 websites, all controlled word by word, and you don’t want to know much more about their concentration camps and people they sell into slavery. This story of a Sudanese woman jailed for her Christian faith is horrific as she was forced to give birth in jail, waiting to be hung and given 100 lashes. That didn’t happen and she was released, only to be stopped within a few hours on trumped up charges that her documents are not correct.
There are many stories like these all around the globe. The world is a heavy, dark place for so many. In America we complain bitterly when we can’t have our way, because we don’t have a global perspective. I’ve been witness to much whining and foot stomping here in Nashville, because we can’t buy wine in the grocery store. While I would enjoy that convenience, next to every grocery store is a store selling wine. Not really much to complain about, because in some countries if a woman drank wine, she might be stoned to death!
We hate each other when we have a differing viewpoint, because we forget how awesome it is to even be able to exercise debate and intense discussion. Talking heads tell us daily that our country is divided, but they forget to tell us the positives of this.
When countrymen can’t debate, totalitarianism is right around the corner. When one side has too much power, corruption worsens, and when everyone believes the same thing, that means some dictating force is corralling the thought process. It’s dangerous and it’s how Hitler succeeded. We never want a country of agreement. We want people duking it out. We NEED to hear the other side. We need a country that allows its people to have heated debates and high emotions. When people stop feeling, stop caring, evil takes a better hold. Someone somewhere will always care about what you are doing and how you should be doing it. You need to care more and you need to be willing to stand strong in whatever it is you believe in. I’m not proposing violence in any way, but I am opposing apathy.
We may get roaring angry at each other, but we’re free to fight. Right now our country is divided along many lines and the Supreme Court whipped up a good one this past week. Hooray for a country that has a Supreme Court and Hooray that decisions are not predictable, purchased or made at the end of a pointed gun. Hooray for protests. Hooray for principles. Both sides got to scream theirs out. I love America for this.
Fighting each other through words and legislation is a good thing. The day we become the country where we all think alike, is the day someone else is making us think that way.
When an entire group thinks exactly the same, look behind the scenes for indoctrination and radicalization. Look to lose your freedom.
The United States of America is not a cult. Thank God for that. We do not dress alike, walk alike, worship alike or talk alike. At times we hate the opposing views of our neighbors.
I don’t have the same views I used to have. I live in a country where I have been able to read a bit of everything, experience a bit of everything and change my views by myself. I used to be a pro-choicer and somewhere after my brother’s death, I ran to the other side, because the way I viewed life dramatically changed. I used to be a member of NOW in college. That is now hilarious to me, as I am barely in agreement with anything they propose. I used to work for a union when I was 19. I now liken them to the mob.
None of these changes would have been possible had I been born in various other countries, where there is no freedom of thought, no freedom to write a personal truth.
The next time you complain or feel hatred for your fellow American, think about this. Write something. Know that the freedom to speak and write was fought for. The goal of a people should never be to get everyone thinking alike or living in total harmony. That is the goal of a totalitarian regime.
Jeff Goins wrote a great article today, The Revolutionary Power of Words, where he says, “live a life worth writing for.”
What would you write about if your fear was removed. What is worth writing for?
There’s no way to segway to food from this, but I have to leave you with something nice.
Enjoy your holiday today. Drive safely. Exercise caution with your fireworks. Eat fun foods like these posts that I think would be great for this holiday.