Symbols

Standing in a line with my teammates, everyone falls silent, the music begins….

I used to get chills every time the national anthem was played.  I stood quiet, still, and at attention.  I do not remember placing my hand over my heart, but my heart was in it.

The respect that I showed was not for the flag or for the anthem.  It was for everything that this country was and was striving to become.

Protesting is part of the foundation of this great country.  It was protesting that created it. It is protesting injustices within and outside its borders that earns it respect.  Allowing peaceful protests of a minority shows this country’s strength.  When protests bring injustices to light, this country has shown the capacity to recognize the injustice and to work to correct the situation.  Protests do not always bring the change that is sought.  Sometimes the change happens but it is decades later, after the seed has had time to grow.

The story this weekend seems to be centered around respecting the flag and the right to protest.

First: As I may face a cross to pray, be very clear on this, I pray to God not a cross.  As I stand and face the flag, I pledge allegiance to what the flag stands for, not to a piece of cloth.  I do respect these symbols but it is what they stand for that is worth a fight.  If someone wants to kneel quietly during the pledge or the anthem in order to bring attention to an injustice, then good on them for being brave enough to take a public stance for something they are passionate about.

Second: I dearly hope that amid all of this talk about what POTUS tweets/says and what various NFL players/owners are doing, that the actual issue that is being raised gets some real discussion.  Some action points on how to address inequalities extending from streets to jails would be nice.

With this one very large issue to solve, please do not lose site of health care, Russia invading our elections and hacking our infrastructure, hurricane and fire victims, Flint, tragedies and travesties around the world, Syria, North Korea, Afghanistan, Ukraine, veteran suicide rates and health care, physician burnout and suicide rates, and list goes on. Overwhelmed? Ya, me too.  Maybe start with loving your neighbor and get a good night’s sleep.

Be the change you wish to see.

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Independence to Choose Civility

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Our independence and freedom have come at no small cost.  Most can agree that we are enormously thankful for the sacrifices both known and unknown that have been made to supply that independence and freedom.  

We have an obligation to treat this gift with some level of reverence. What shall we do with this freedom?

~ Who Do We Want to Be ~

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Dear Leaders of these United States

Dear:

President Obama, Vice President Biden, Speaker Ryan, House Minority Leader Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Reid, RNC, DNC, Secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump

CC:  PBS, NPR, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, FOX

So, here we are.

I know that you all must be frustrated and tired.  So am I.  The history of how we got here is important, but I do not care right now.  Everyone is at fault.  Instead of pointing fingers at past mistakes, let us move forward.

What I ask may be especially hard for those in the House.  Their districts have been carved in such a manner as to make it difficult for them to appear to be cooperative with the opposing party.  Be assured, no matter your place on the political spectrum, you can speak with a civil tongue.

Words matter.  The words of our leaders have the power to spread division and hate.  They also have the power to spread hope and understanding.  Choose wisely.

I see the abuse you take on social media and on TV.  “Liberal” and “conservative” should not be used as insults and I wish those were the worst labels that people used.

The arms race of rhetoric can only serve to further divide us.  

We are all family.  Siblings can disagree but there must always be that foundation of love for our family.

Please state your views.  Use logic and reasoning to honestly explain why you believe so strongly in your views.  Then stop.  Resist the temptation to blame others for a problem.  Resist the temptation to throw a sarcastic jab.

After you are done speaking, the hardest part of your job begins.

Listen with the intention of understanding

Negotiations between political parties in these United States should NOT be as difficult as negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

I believe this country to be both strong and precious.  I have deep respect for the country and I respect you, the elected leaders.

I ask that that you conduct yourselves as if you respect the elected leaders.

Before you decide to announce that “Democrats are ______” or “Republicans are ______”, please remember that you are about to insult roughly half the citizenry. 

Gentle men and gentle ladies, I ask for your leadership.  

Thank you for your service.

USA post election fear prediction: A table with no legs

My mind was musing this morning as I sipped my coffee and watched pundits pundit.

Most seemed simultaneously excited and fearful of the possibility of Mr. Trump becoming President of these United States.

There is a chance he may lose the Republican primary, but with every delegate that he gathers, there seems to be an unease.  By the end of my coffee, everyone seemed to calm down and settle into acceptance that he really may win the nomination.

He may, actually, become President.  Yes, he would need to win the general election but there appears to be a H-U-G-E (Trump voice over) enthusiasm gap that could lead to poor Democratic voter turn out and high Republican turn out.

I began to think…so what….if he really goes off the rails, then Congress can get rid of him.  Well, Congress has agreed to nearly never ever agree on anything. With Trump’s marketing skills, I cannot imagine anyone up for election in the next 4 years would agree to it.

So the Supreme Court could take care of it…..well, I suppose, but they will be short a Continue reading

Letter to Our Leaders

Dear Mr. President and Congress,

We are tired.   We are tired of the games and are desperate for you to behave like leaders.  We implore you to put away your personal and party agendas and follow a higher calling.  It is time to sit and work out solutions to this wonderful country’s problems.  No candidate fits all of our views so we have to compromise when we vote.  It is time for you to do the same.

We do NOT care whose ideas are used.  We do NOT care if you take ideas from everyone.  We care for progress and NOT witty little sound bites on talk shows.  We want you to stop being so myopic, arrogant and self-serving.

We care about this country.  We care about our families.

We are tired and dizzy from your spin, your half truths, and all out lies.  Try spreading the WHOLE truth and demand that the news covers the whole story.

Your games are causing insecurity in your constituents and instability in business and the world. 

You have been behaving like incompetent children.  The stakes are too high.  That is why we beseech you to draw on your collective knowledge and experience and sit at the same table and not get up until the business is done.

We believe in this country and its people.  We believe that we can overcome and triumph over any challenge.  That “we” includes YOU.  You can do this if you choose to.

So with a desperate gasp, we plead with one voice, “Just get it done already!”

To My Fellow Citizens,

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