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 ~

 

We have a choice.

Some appear to be choosing hate or even violence for “the other guy.”

Some appear to be choosing to try to cause friction between two groups for their own, self serving motives.

Some appear to be choosing honest debate, problem solving, and bringing groups together.

Freedom of speech does not mean you should call people names and belittle them for having views different than your own.  Have you  ever changed someone’s mind by yelling insults at them?  So is your goal to just hurt them? Sometimes that may be your goal, but chances are you will just succeed at getting them to yell back at you. Or, perhaps, just block you out and ignore anything you have to say.

Freedom of speech does mean that someone may challenge you on ideas that you express.  Sometimes they will challenge you in rude or insulting ways.  Someone may find your ideas insulting and tell you as much.  You can engage or not.  It is your freedom to choose.  You do not need to choose to take it personally.  You may believe that someone disagrees with you because you are white, black, brown, Asian, immigrant, male, female, poor, rich, college educated, not college educated, Republican, Democrat, or whatever subgroup of America you identify with.  Maybe you are right or maybe they disagree because they think you are wrong.  Maybe you ARE wrong.  It can happen.

Leaders and TV personalities are spending more time commenting on perceived motivations and personal attributes of those with which they disagree.  Maybe it is because in the medical field we are discouraged from making nonobjective remarks in our documentation. Maybe it is because many look to these individuals for some hard truths of what is real.  But it is disappointing that some of those that would lead are either fanning the fog or trying to reflect back what some in the community are putting out.  News and investigations will be reported and sometimes through red or blue glasses and that is fine. It is the school yard name calling that they have the freedom and the responsibility to choose to stop.

Party leaders seem to represent the extreme bases that they represent. They are worried about  primaries and donations during their next election.  Moderates have some representation in Congress but the game of politics does not allow their voices to be heard.  That would mean working with the other side that have been painted as evil, heartless, or un-American. If you have convinced your voters that someone is evil, how can you ever be seen negotiating with them?

Can we lead our leaders?  I do not know.  I will try to start to editing myself more and will be calling people out on social media when they cross the line.  Please call me out if my sarcasm crosses into rude or mean.  I will not bother trying to give a “freedom to choose civility” speech to everyone.  Some types of mean are just better to walk away from to avoid calling attention to the stench.

Let us friends use our freedom to choose to

BE THE CHANGE

that we wish to see.

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,

Continue reading