I Don’t Know About You But …

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Freedom Of Speech (while not coming with a specific caveat regarding good manners and acceptable social behavior) does indicate that it should not be intrusive or take away from another citizen(s) and yet (I shall repeat this) …

AND YET … voicing your right to express your opinion now obviously includes the right to be openly cruel, petty, malicious, mean, insensitive, and judgemental to others not in agreement. (That IMO is frequently voiced because of not adequately understanding/ misinterpreting facts or a situation, or just plain feeling the need to be obnoxious to get attention).

Whether it be any social media source or any news media source, rude behavior seems to have become the acceptable norm.

Verbal personal attacks are horrible examples to pass on to children and each other. It achieves nothing positive of value, in fact it would indicate our values are currently residing in the gutter.

Do I have a point, other than the obvious diminishment of self worth and respect for/from others? Yes, because it is just as important in our ability to come together (inspite of differences) as a country for the good of all of us for improvement and advancement of our lot in life.

The sad thing is I don’t anticipate much reaction from this except some head nodding in agreement because for the most partWE have accepted this current status quo, meaning … We The People of this awesome country … are as guilty as those who actively participate in rude, crude, cruel and mean bullying behavior. Because we’ve  accepted it, which, as you know is painfully obvious each and every day!

Oh, and one other thing, being strong does not mean being brutish and insensitive to other people … EVER!

That’s it.

The Heart of the Matter ~ American’s looking for America!

A very dear and cherished friend of mine (not an American, he’s from Scotland currently residing in France)  wrote a flash fiction (100 words or less) story for Friday Fictioneers (a very successful weekly writer’s challenge “based on a photo”. Rochelle, congrats on your third year as the awesome facilitator for this literary blog).

His short story was about a trip he took to my country – to experience America – a few years back. It did bring excellent memories of his time here in the Tri-Cities of Washington, as well as Portland, Oregon, and of course San Francisco and many other towns, cities and communities he visited. Here is a link to his story “Greyhound”.

At the close of his story he shared the video of Simon & Garfunkel singing the song “America”! And while it brought back wonderful memories it also reminded me of where we, as Americans, are today.

It seems we Americans are all searching for America with our many concerns and fears for the now of things and our futures but I truly believe the Heart of America is still where it’s always been … inside each of our hearts. (Going all the way back to indigenous Americans and then the steady addition of each of the many of us whose ancestors and current family members came as immigrants and settled here in our amazing country.)

America is truly an amalgamation of all peoples, races, creeds, religions and of course individual points of view. To find the hope and potential of America, my fellow Americans we’ve but to look within our own loving hearts. There is so much potential for all of us. Working together we will accomplish more than we ever have before.

So now after this long introduction, here is my 100 word flash fiction story based on the photo below:

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PHOTO PROMPT © Ron Pruitt

Quietly waiting for her turn to board the bus, an elderly woman carrying a ticket, small bag and guitar stood in line. While adjusting the items she carried, a young man also standing in line asked if he might help. The man was thanked and given the guitar to hold.

“Where are you going?” He asked politely.

“Downtown.” She replied. “First to vote and then to attend a gathering of fellow musicians to celebrate.”

“What are you celebrating, and why bother to vote first?” He responded.

“Because I can!” She said answering both questions, a huge smile on her face.

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~*~

Thank you, have a wonderful day,

With much affection,

~Penny

 

I Believe in “We the People”

Okay one more time here!

A little over a week ago I wrote about how I felt about being an American and the importance of voting, The American Coin of Freedom . But I left something out, the most important thing, so I’m correcting that omission with this post.

Our country was founded on the principles and beliefs that each person should have the right to live their lives in a responsible but free way. It was so important that the Preamble to the United States Constitution (one of the most important documents for freedom on the planet) begins with these three words…

We The People…

I believe in those three words: “We the people“. I believe in WE with all my heart and soul – gut wrenchingly so!

I believe that “We” are the legacy of freedom’s yesterdays and the dreams and hopes of tomorrow’s successes, not just for this country but for the whole planet!

I believe that “We” are the watchers of our countries caretakers. It is our job, our responsibility as “We” the people to keep an eye on those whom we freely elect to help run our great country.

I believe there is a whole world out there (our brothers and sisters – also our legacy from the past) ‘watching’ “WE the people” – being inspired by what we do right and disappointed, sometimes hurt and angry by what we do wrong, but still looking to us with hope and promise.

They wait to see how “We” will be today. What decisions “We” the people will make and how “They” will be influenced by our decisions.

~

I believe in “We the people” because “We” choose freedom and are strong and loving when called upon to be so.

I believe in “We the people” because I know when our collective voice needs to be heard … it is heard around the world.

And so I will say simply what I forgot to say a week ago.

I believe in WE “the people” of this – our great nation!

Every single one of us. This means each of you. Every single one, no exceptions…I believe in you, my American sisters and brothers.

And I have a strong enough faith to know WE will continue on…perhaps stumbling along the way but still …being free, being strong and being Americans…this I believe with all my heart!

Thank you!

Please vote!

If you choose to reblog this I will be very honored!
Penny

Copyright © 2012 by Penny l Howe

The American Coin of Freedom – Two Sides

A Troubled Eagle

I love my Country – The United States of America.

I disagree with more than a few people (In politics and my private life) on various issues. And I think we (all Americans) do have some serious problems to overcome. But we are “free” to do so.

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Regardless of the problems we face today, I still would much rather live here in America (and be free) than just about anywhere else on the planet

~.

These words I’ve written, that you are reading right now, represent a clear example of my ability to freely write what I think and feel.

To be creative in a free environment whether it be the written word or some other artistic format represents the very best that this country offers to each of its citizens.

~

I am proud to be an American even with all my own, my country’s and its citizen’s shortcomings. There is still much good, much love and much caring going on. You have but to see it and become a part of it.

~

Being an American is about three things,

Being Free, Being Responsible for that Freedom, and Accepting the Responsibility.

I think everyone of us has the first one down pat. And I think at some level of awareness most of us Americans are aware that there is a responsibility factor in the democratic way of Life (no not the political party).

It’s the third one that’s so troubling. I have never heard so many people – in so many parts of this country – on a multitude of social media – complain about what’s wrong. Pointing fingers, blaming others or talking about what they don’t have!

And many of these problems are true, but there are two sides to the American Coin. One side is Freedom (as in freedom of expression). The other side is Responsibility. This means accepting responsibility ourselves for what needs to happen to improve things that need improving, or change things that need changing. That means all of us who are able to do so in this country.

It is not about they or them, it’s about me and it’s about you. You can start by voting next month. We will stay free as long as we assume the duties as Americans that are our responsibility.

One of them is voting. The survival for our democratic way of life is dependent on us – our actions, or lack of them. It is that simple – A two sided coin, you cannot have one without the other, Always this is true.

VOTE!

If you haven’t registered to vote yet, go online, an easy thing to do my friends from the U.S.A. ~ Please, your/our country needs you! Thank you.

Once again thanks for stopping by, my best to you this day, Penny

Copyright © 2012 by Penny l Howe