Independence Day

4th

In honor of our country’s Independence Day, July 4, 2017, I decided to write about the political turmoil that looms over our country each and every day. Please be assured, this post is not intended to start or stir a debate. It is meant to appeal to everyone-no matter which political party (if any) they support. I earnestly ask for your compassion, grace, and good-nature while reading and comprehending that which follows:

I am careful to not get involved in political discussions, unless forcibly engaged. These types of conversations often become too argumentative and overemotional. Like most people, I often read postings on social websites and hear conversations aimed at the political arena that are intended to be more hurtful than informative. Unfortunately, friendships and families are suffering over differences in political opinions.

Mass media does little to extinguish the flames and often embellishes the truth with the hope of increasing viewership and raising ratings. Mass media has become ultra-proficient at manipulating public opinion. We are often oblivious to their subjugated ways due to our insatiable thirst for more knowledge and information. Mass media sources perpetuate by inciting controversy. The daily discourse they dispense is solely intended to sway opinions and leave their audiences hungering for more.

With everything going on in the world, I wonder at what point did we got sidetracked from what is really most important to us? When did respect and understanding evolve to hate and intolerance? Basic human nature, common sense, and history should be enough to push us toward wanting to exhibit compassion and understanding. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not advocating for blindly following and believing the opinions and ways of all others. Sticking our heads in the sand and blindly ignore what is going on around us is not advisable, either. I am stressing the importance of implementing empathy and tolerance.

We have the unalienable right to observe, interpret, and formulate our own opinions. We should use caution when expressing ourselves. Using opinions to judge or accuse others may create a divisiveness that is too large to ever rectify. Sometimes, our opinions are built on falsehood and misinformation. We are often too quick to express judgment without knowing all of the facts and details. Put simply, sometimes we are wrong.

Many are voicing their opinions in public forums. While others are interpreting what is being said as rhetoric. Either way, respect should be reciprocal no matter where one falls on the side of argument. A silent protest is just as formidable as a resounding one. We can demonstrate intelligence and passion by expressing our opinions without purposefully attacking and/or hurting one another. There is a high probability that what we choose to say or do will have a minimal effect in swaying the opinions or practices of others. They have as much right to their opinions as we do to ours.

An expression of individualism is a freedom. I do not believe our country’s forefathers envisioned the freedom of individualized citizens would be used to tear our country apart from within. I strongly believe the authors of the Declaration of Independence wanted freedom to unite people through a common belief. We are (and have always been) at our best when standing together; united as one.

Have a happy and safe Independence Day!

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