Tuesday, October 21, 2008
that first line
Here's a quote that ended up in my inbox this morning...and it settled itself right here on this blog, because it is apt as it leads right into what I have been struggling to bring to light here.
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. --Nelson Mandela
Saturday night, here at Beauregards farm- we had a gathering, a wiener roast, a barn dance and a kind of opening farewell to our friends and family. The bonus of the evening was when friend Jill and Opie brought out their guitars and played. We had a hootenanny by golly- and it felt so good. Around the fire were democrats and republicans, Lutherans and spiritualists. Young and old and a few mixed breeds- dogs and cats included. Although to my eyes, I saw a gathering of people and beasts very much alike. We all put our pants on the same way- we all sat under that beautiful sky, I suppose some saw it as dark, others- star lit. But what truly mattered, the key to the whole gathering- we were free to be you and me. To think as we thought, to sing off key or harmonize with one another. The freedom we all allowed ourselves that evening is a freedom some defend, some take for granted and some disallow others to feel. When you get right down to it- freedom is more an expression than a stance. For every one of us who believes that black is black and white is white- that the republicans are better than the democrats or vice versa- that is our right to express. But to become unglued or desperately biased against another who does not see things the way we do- well, that's just wrong. I don't like the division, it takes away something in the equation.
How can you yourself be free if you do not allow another to express their own mind and opinion?
How can you feel so right that other's must be wrong?
Freedom is a choice we make every day- but there is nothing free about hating or dismantling someone else's right to be as free as you. We don't necessarily have a black man running against a white man- we have a presidential choice based on qualities of leadership and intellect. Children seek validation, grown-ups seek information and then reason with the facts they gather.
I do not wish to persuade anyone to vote one way or the other. Freedom allows me to think for myself, to act upon those thoughts and declare, "May the best man win." We as Americans will decide once and for all...who that man will be. We are still united, even if my guy or your guy gets in. We only become divided when we forsake the freedom of the other because we disagree with a donkey or an elephant. I think we can all agree that this country is in bad shape- I hope after the smoke clears, we might look at the Constitution and hold that first line in our heart-"We the people..."
That document was written by some pretty sharp men... they understood that they were to represent the masses- the common man. Those folks there at the big house have forgotten not only who they represent- but what they represent. I hope as a united nation, as Americans- we, as a beginning step- bring about some clarity. It is not you and I who have run this country down- although we do an awful good job sometimes at running each other down- that has just got to stop. The culprits in high places need a wake up call...it is our congressman, Senators, representatives that we should reckon with, not each other. Their high spending ways to bail out a system that they themselves decided upon- by the sweat of our our brows- and the deceit of our votes. They have betrayed our trust, our future- yeah, my neighbor gets on my nerves sometimes. But he or she does not help her self to my hard earned dollars- (Although my ex sure had a time with my savings....) I don't know how that man sleeps at night, I don't know how the donkeys or elephants do either. Isn't it time we stopped defending the parties and started defending our neighbors, ourselves? Stand up for each other and stare down the mega hucksters?
Just some thoughts on freedom...and free wheeling ways of our leaders. Gosh- don't you think it's time to talk in terms of justice and liberty for all? The essence of the Constitution as a whole - The Constitution is based on the assent of the governed. When did the smoke become so thick that our political representatives dropped the "n" from assent, causing them to become only interested in the asset(s) of the governed? We, the governed do not agree- seemingly with all the roar I've been hearing- with the governors of our time. But instead of taking it to the top- our disagreements- we take it to each other. Truly- what does that change?
No more talk about all of this from me...I agree with you, or I disagree with you, either way- I'll try to respect your opinion and find some common ground. Up above, I hope I did. Take care-