Monday, May 29, 2017
Today I am grateful for brutal honesty. Of ourselves. Me included. Many people will be throwing on their red-white-and-blue today to “celebrate” Memorial Day with picnics, family outings and parades. But instead of “celebrating” could we please “honor”. Somehow celebrating feels odd when you are remembering the men and women who have lost their lives in service to our country.
And while you are dressing in the colors of our nation, ask yourself some brutal questions. Do you keep yourself up-to-date and informed on the issues facing all people of the world? When your happily biting into that hot dog ask yourself if you promote kindness instead of hate, acceptance instead of fear?
You’re busy, of course, you’re busy. We’re all busy. The world knows we’re busy. These are busy times not only for our physical bodies, but also for our brains. Do you make your brain work? And rest? Our brains need rest in order to work. Are you able to think past your own personal needs and act in a way that supports the greater good of human kind?
If you are physically and mentally capable, do you vote in every single election, even the primaries and locals? Did you vote in the last presidential election? The one before that? Or before that? Do you recognize that it is not only an honor, but a responsibility? Do you realize that many people have died for democracy?
I’m not trying to be Mary Morose this morning, but I’m thinking about these things myself so I’m regurgitating them to you, too. I love seeing patriotic people all decked out in red, white and blue. I love seeing flags everywhere. I especially love honoring our veterans.
But if those wearing the colors or flying the flag are propagating hatred to their children, ignoring the needs of the poor and/or elderly and spouting lies and fear every time they speak, then I wonder why they bother wearing the colors, or flying the flag. And when their big mouths are open abusing people of different religions or ethnicities, telling them they have no business in “their” country I want to remind them that this is MY country, too. All are welcome. This is the United States of America.
No one has to agree with my opinions. That is not now, nor has it ever been my goal. But if you do not value the inalienable rights that make America special, then maybe you should dress like any other day and keep that flag in the closet.
Do you vote? What is your brutally honest answer? I know what mine is. It wasn’t always, but it sure has been in the last 20 years, since I returned from the developing nation of Indonesia. This is my country, so I vote. Always. Too many men and women have paid the ultimate sacrifice for me to take it for granted.