Pride and Freedom

America was a land of the free and her citizens were allowed to choose whatever beliefs they chose to believe in. That is not true anymore. America is failing and her freedoms have eroded.

One of America’s most cherished freedom was freedom of speech. Now it is one of the most restricted parts of being in America. You must walk on eggshells and tippy-toe around others for fear of “offending them”. I’m waiting to see when word offenses become jail time events.

Even if you said or did something decades ago that is now not considered PC (politically correct), you are shunned, yes, shunned for it. You can lose your job, your place in society . . . everything but your freedom. When will that happen? When will we lock up those who dare to speak something different from what is demanded of Americans?

Then there’s the matter of pride. We can have black pride . . . “Black is Beautiful” is a slogan from the not too distant past. But if you dare speak of being proud of white heritage, you are immediately attacked. You’re shouted at that you’re a white supremist or a Zionist or whatever the person who is suddenly offended by your mere suggestion that you have a reason to be proud of your race, just as African Americans have a right to be proud of their race. No. For some reason, in this country, which was founded by mostly white people, white people must now be ashamed of their skin color.

I also see statues being destroyed, and today that is acceptable. It is a part of the heritage of this country. It is a reminder of when the country tried civil war and a reminder of many things that we do not need to forget. Someone said those who forget history tend to repeat it. I don’t think we need to destroy things that were designed to remind us of this country’s history.

We also take pride in those who struggle to do well. I saw a long article on a Down Syndrome child who was succeeding as a model and wondered why we don’t ever do long articles on a brilliant child who is succeeding? Our Academically Gifted school programs are mostly gone, but we have one on one programs for mentally deficient children in our schools. We hire at least one teacher in every school to teach non-English speaking children the English language, but we do not do anything for the brightest children we have.

I may get in trouble for writing this. I may lose followers. But let me share something with you that is how we treated differences of opinions when America was free. We walked away. If I begin to read something that doesn’t agree with MY beliefs, I quit reading it. If someone talks in a manner or about certain things I don’t believe in, I walk away or do not engage that person in conversation.

Everyone is not the same in America. If anything, our diversity is greater than any country in the world’s. It was what made us unique and what introduced us to different opinions, different religions, different cultures. Now? Now we must all agree, or something is wrong with the one who isn’t falling into step with all the rest.

I see something dangerously wrong in that.

 

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Where Did The Tolerance Go?

When I was growing up, we acknowledged that people were different. Sometimes we celebrated our differences. Other times we tolerated them. We believed people had a right to their own ideas and thoughts, beliefs and traditions. We didn’t try to force everyone to think alike, but delighted in the fact that we lived in The United States of America, where people had freedom to be themselves.

Now? Now you can lose your job, if you say or do the wrong thing. We all must believe exactly the same ideas or we will pay the price! Newscasters and leaders tell us what we should believe. If we don’t, there’s something wrong with us and we will pay the price!

Where did the tolerance go? I was fascinated with different ideas, difference religions, different beliefs. Sometimes I was persuaded to change my belief; most times I was just aware that people are different and different didn’t mean bad, it meant exactly that . . . different.

We have shootings in America now like we never had them before. You don’t know when the next place will be shot up and you sometimes don’t know why it happened.

Words have become more meaningful than actions.

People can say something about someone and instantly folks jump on the bandwagon to smear that person’s reputation. No one knows if it’s true; they just know someone said it, and they believe it. Used to be, proof was required.

Folks keep wondering how all these shootings can be stopped. Well, why don’t we try a little tolerance? If someone says something we disagree with, we can have a debate, or we can not spend time with that person. We had freedom of choice. It was bad enough in school when everyone wanted to be just like everyone else. We outgrew it. What is going on in this single minded country today?

Jesus

Did Jesus have to stand by helplessly as someone he loved suffered and died?

Did Jesus know the feelings of loss of a mother who succumbed to some disease?

Did Jesus ever watch his child suffer from illness and die?

These questions have filled my mind today. Jesus carried with him the power to calm the seas, raise the dead, heal the sick, make the blind see, etc.

Jesus walked on earth and many preachers have said afterwards God was more gentle with mankind. The God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament were not the same in many ways. Their attitudes towards mankind were not the same because God had experienced the world as Jesus.

But did he really experience the excruciating pain of loss, knowing he was helpless to do anything to help or save someone he loved?

That is my question today.

We are told that there is life after death and we will be reunited with loved ones. Jesus would even have had the certainty of that knowledge, while we are expected to accept it on faith.

I don’t think Jesus got the whole picture of what it is truly like to be on earth and helpless to change many things that come our way.

Jesus was never helpless. He chose to rebuke the devil. He chose to remain on the cross. He had choices the average human will never have.

Does It Matter?

I have been agitated by politics for a long, long time. I’m tired of the name calling and the suggestions that the election can be undone and how to keep President Trump from succeeding as a President.

I imagine myself in a store with threats of severe weather and wonder if I have time to get home before it hits?

I’ve never seen the world like it is today. People have gotten nasty with each other. They tweet and message and write all sorts of online things as if they are talking only to the machine they’re using. They don’t envision all the people out there who may read what they wrote.

I mentioned to my son last week that I wish I knew how much time I have left on this earth. There are things I still want to accomplish, but in order to prioritze them, I need to know how much time I have left.

I cannot continue to read things people post in the heat of the moment.

I just read one post on facebook that basically said if your opinion isn’t just like mine, it doesn’t deserve respect. Well, yes it does. If only to respect it enough to validate that’s what someone else thinks, and how I’d like to talk with them and see if I could get them to see the fallacies in their beliefs. And how I could listen to them to see any fallacies in mine.

I listened to a video on facebook last night. The woman has a very pleasant voice, and her message is worthwhile. I’m going to post that link on this blog post.

Time . . . I’m old and I don’t know how much I have left, but rather than wring my hands and look to see if the sky has fallen yet, I’m going to eschew political laments and try to do some kind of good before I leave. I’ve always tried to do good. I have not always succeeded, but I was trying to help the earth and my fellow man. (no, I’m not a man; I’m a woman . . . but it’s that kind of unimportant comments that will cause diversion from what I’m trying to say.) I cannot continue to allow my mind to be cluttered with other’s ignorance and rantings.

It is what it is. My time may be shorter than I think – or it may be longer. Whichever, I have a list of things I want to accomplish. Don’t post rantings or complaints, or anything else that will serve no purpose, but to try to upset me. I won’t be reading or thinking about them. Most are reworded expressions that I’ve read over and over for months.

Here’s the video that I listened to last night that still is affecting me this morning.

Don’t Assume

The doorbell rang today while I was in the shower. Needless to say, it did not get answered. I’d seen someone who looked to be proselytizing in my neighbor’s yard earlier. I think that was probably who was at my door as I later saw them farther down the street talking to other neighbors in their yards.

I am glad when others have faith that gives them comfort. I get angry when they assume they’re closer to God than I am and I need them to preach to me. I don’t like when they ring my doorbell, and I’ve very glad I didn’t get out of the shower to answer the door.

Weekends are for rest and relaxation. If someone wants to worship, there are churches everywhere in America. (If I’d been Jewish, today would have been a bad day to be bothered – a Saturday? The Sabbath?)

There are many religions. I don’t think any one of them have things exactly right. I’ve never met anyone who agreed with every doctrine their church supported. I don’t want anyone disturbing me at home to try to change my religious beliefs.

Don’t assume I don’t have my own beliefs. Don’t assume I need YOU to lead me closer to God. Don’t ring my doorbell if you’re not a friend or relative, or if you’re not expected. I don’t like to be rude, but at my age, I’m not putting up with it.