Friday, September 14, 2012

Have you Ever Stopped to Think...

...Just how lucky you are?

Lucky to be looking at this computer screen?

Lucky to have a house, or at least shelter at this very moment?

Lucky to, most likely be safe, secure and warm for another night.

Lucky to be living now, when even though the world is still a scary place, we are more secure than at almost any time in history?

These last few days, I have thought about this a lot. With the deaths of Chris Stevens, and 3 others on the heels of 9-11 it is easy to get lost in it all.

The deaths of so many people in needless stupid wars fighting over oil, riches, or religion. The anger spewed by those unqualified to speak. The way much of the world looks at the USA, either as a beacon of hope, or as a evil bully. Neither are right, but both extremes we can certainly see, especially when so visible in political candidates we have running right now.

I see the world reaching out for what we have here, freedom of speech, freedom to say what we want, be what we want, and worship who or what we want. While at the same time, I see people in this country seeking to destroy these things. Freedom after all is scary to many. Freedom in this country is misunderstood. Yes, I have the freedom to say whatever I want, or even to make a movie of whatever I want. But I also have to stand behind those words and the actions they can cause. I can't say something and then say I shouldn't be judged for those. If my words or actions result in a more dangerous world, it is my fault. And at the same time, if I can worship who I want, or what I want, it means others have the same right. To do so safely, proudly, and without fear. Without fear that someone will murder them in their mosque or church, without fear their children will be persecuted, hated, or killed.

Every night, I pray for the safety of my President and other leaders. I pray they have the guidance to keep us safe. I pray that the rest of the world realizes that we are not the extremists, just like I realize the rest of the world is not. I pray for the safety of the children and men and women who are not as lucky as I am. Those who are living every day with the fear of bombs, soldiers, and death. Those who have seen things most of us can not even fathom. And I realize, that it's my responsibility as a voter in this terrifyingly powerful country, to make sure that I vote, and make my voice heard. Otherwise the minority will win. Those who say that killing and bombing are good, those who want to murder, those who use the tragic death of Chris Stevens as a political tool instead of letting us grieve.

Power attracts the best and the worst people in the land. All I can do, as a citizen, is my best to make sure that those I vote for have the judgement, clarity, and soul needed to make the hardest decisions. As a country we have made terrible mistakes in the past over who we elected. Mistakes that led us directly to the situation we face now in the middle east. It is our responsibility to make sure we don't repeat history. Especially not now.

We are all our brother's keeper, and we are all family on this world stage. No matter where you are, what god you worship, or what you believe. All we really want is to love, be loved, and be safe. We can accomplish this as a world. We really can. There doesn't have to be an enemy, there doesn't have to be a war. There can be peace. I believe this with all my being. All we need is love.

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