Friday, November 11, 2016

They fought to give us a gift of a free country.. let's not mess that up

Veterans' Day represents all of our military who sacrificed their time and potentially lives to represent our country. My grandfathers worked to free concentration camp victims in world war II. My father worked communication at a time when we were defending democracy in SE Asia. My brother helped defend a small country in the Persian Gulf from an aggressive neighbor.

We did all of these things because we believe that the right to have free elections, and exist in a country where all views  (religious and personal) are taken into account is valuable.

Everyday in my work as an educator I try to discern what people are thinking, how much they know, where they got their resources. I pay attention to whether they are treating others with respect, I try to teach them critical skills like seeing issues from several points of view, collaborating and compromising to achieve goals.

I am a history teacher at heart, so I worry that people see the whole picture and understand how the government works, how different leaders affected history, how certain movements over time worked to achieve rights for women, all races religion and sexual preferences.

I am perplexed and upset every day by what I see happening in our country.

I have many friends of all kinds. I don't limit myself to only listening to people who agree with me.

I know educated intelligent adults who spent the last few weeks spewing hate and name calling. With all of the de-friending on social media, I worry people are retreating to their little boxes of like-minded individuals.

So if you are still reading this realize :

Presidents rarely keep their campaign promises : I know many of you are afraid that our Latino LGBTQ and women friends will be affected by walls, new laws, and supreme court reversals that will threaten our families and ways of life.

There are many more steps that have to happen before that is a threat.

 Is it great that the same party now controls possibly all three branches of government... no, this is not ideal. But in just two years there is a midterm election that can change that.

So many of you think that by electing  Donald Trump our country gave the green light to disrespect of disabled people, women, homosexuals, and immigrants.

NO . Each us has the power and responsibility every day to respect everyone around us.

We have a fair and free election system. My friends that voted for Donald Trump did so overwhelmingly because they believe that our country needed to shakeup Status Quo economically. Much remains to be seen about policies and practices that will or won't make changes.

I am upset that protests put my 20 year old daughter in danger in California this week. My initial reaction was to sarcastically "thank" DJT. My logic was : his hateful comments, caused a visceral response creating a vacuum of common sense and therefore a forum for protests and hate. Yes, that is all very ugly.

But I am thinking more about individual responsibility now to be true to each of our own values while working together in government systems. I am putting in perspective times in history where groups worked peacefully and productively to make sure that their values and messages got across .
( MLK comes to mind.)

I am listening to the plans for the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency and I  am not hearing the threats to civil liberties some of my friends are very concerned about.

I see very few people being able to stand the optimistic middle ground that I am taking right now. I have felt accused by both sides of being a horrible person. My liberal friends are being accused of being "crybabies" as they express their concerns about the outcome, and my conservative friends have been labeled the devil incarnate for supporting Trumps views.

Please join me here in the middle where we try to respect the government system our forefathers set up knowing that we have a lot of different views in our country to manage . And try to respect each other every day. The whole " We " and " Them" thing is getting in the way here..... on many many different levels.

No comments:

Post a Comment