Respect

May I pose a question?  Given I don’t have the benefit of hearing your answer, I will assume permission granted and for that, I thank you… here’s the question:

“Have we lost respect?”

Take a moment – stop reading, sit back with your eyes off the screen, and think about you, your family members, what you read on Facebook that others have posted (including images), our politicians, the candidates for President (including the one in office), or any clerk with which you may have recently engaged while shopping. [STOP HERE FOR A MOMENT TO THINK ABOUT THIS - THEN RESUME READING]

“So!” – First I have to make sure I say, I know many that also hold these values dear.  So reading on, my feelings and observations are general – broad views of what I feel is a direction for many that does not seem good for anyone.

And of course, we might have to consider this discussion with age groups in mind.  I bring up age because the question under consideration involves our society at large and the interactions between people, pre and post the year 2000 – And I speak to the broad use of the word, “us” – not just each of us – it’s all of us.  So, realizing I might be skewing this to my fellow boomers,  I ask those getting long in the tooth, “Is society today as respectful today as in your youth?” – for me, the answer is a definate, “…not even close!”

So I ask, “What happened to our respect for each other?”

I see my own friends and family members posting images on public sites that contain the infamous, “F-Bomb!”  On just about any day of the week that word can be heard in any number of ways and in any number of places.  But much more than a simple word, it’s the feeling we have and hold for each other.  That deep sense of pride in self – words like honor, integrity and of course, respect.  Are these emotions and feelings you see and feel in the street or see on the news?

To me, the point about respecting each other has risen to the top of mind and I think it was one of the early debates for the Republican candidates that made me realize how things have changed in society.  Even giving politics a pass because, “politicians-have-always-smeared-each-other”, the thought goes much deeper into life and society.  Then I wonder where we are headed… what next?  If families fall apart, people lose respect for each other (talking about general society now…), our Congress can’t seem to find any common ground or mutual respect – how deep?  How pervasive does this go?  And then what?  To me, the moral fabric of society is the family unit and the respect for self, family and others.  As that unravels, goes society, and our nation.  And to me, that gets pretty scary.

 

 

 

State of the Union

Tonight, the President stands before Congress and and before us, the citizens of the United States of America.  As he presents, consider the following concepts as though you were in the room with those that risked their lives to create this republic.  Imagine standing next to the founders as they discussed the lines; “We hold these Truths to be self-evident” – that group of men talking and debating the concept that suggests a more natural law and moral reasoning would form the foundation from which a people choose to self-govern.  Continuing, “…that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that amoung these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted amoung Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the Governed.”

From the consent of the governed – that’s us.  And the rights should be very, very limited with respect to the Federal level – states rights are another topic as are county, city, and community law, rules and regulations.

We live as a free people and our Constitution was to guard from oppressive Government – and to the point – the one we have today is just too big and over-reaching.  Someone needs to be in that office to restrain the government and put the power back to the states, and to the people.  This is starting to be upside down and we need to fix it now.

The Declaration of Independence and Constitution were to protect us and I, for one, and sick and tired of seeing our founding principles trampled by career politicians.

 

Ron Paul

Ron Paul scares me to death – I do love his views on the Fed and he does has a grasp on our founders intent but he loses me with his comments on foreign policy.  I did, however, hear him speak more deeply on that topic on a CSPAN session and it was interesting to hear him explain with more insights and facts about issues outside our borders – that certainly makes me want to hear or read more so I more fully understand, but his public facing comments make me furious.  I guess the bottom line is that Ron Paul is the type of person one needs to investigate by reading the “full article” and not the summary sound bite.

 

SuperPacs

I really do not know what to think about these organizations – my gut tells me these are not so good for the country and open for abuse by those with lots of bucks.  The laws around this do not seem to work right – any candidate can communicate to a SuperPac just by a simple press release or public comments.  And Mitt attending several of his SP meetings then standing aside while someone else asks for the checks… did that really happen?  If that’s the case, then these are clearly wrong and we as a society should demand their demise.

 

Now and Then…

Change… just how much change and what kind of change is happening? I’m not sure I want a lot of change. I remember an America where our doors were never locked. Neighbors came in at will and gave a shout “Hi – got any coffee?” – they would just open the door and come into our home. The milkman would knock, enter the house, open our refrigerator and add whatever we needed. We got up, did our chores then off to school or play, depending on the day and season. People spoke English except for a few from Mexico that come in to help with the fruit harvest in the valley.

People were friendly, honest for the most part and very helpful. If someone in the area needed help – it happened. Neighbors helped each other.

We were free to travel the road of life and take whatever turn we wanted to take. We choose what doctor we wanted, shopped anywhere we wanted, paid a fair tax, supported the family, the community, charities we choose, the region and our nation. We voted at the local school house – mom always worked at the voting place… We always put our hands over our heart during parades when the flag came by and it felt like most Americans did the same.

I loved that America – and still today have most of that lifestyle available but it’s starting to feel like something is wrong. Very wrong. Maybe it’s the signs in the campground last weekend – written in English, Spanish and Russian. Or maybe it’s the muslim call to prayer that I heard in a campground over the weekend. Perhaps it’s GM and the government intrusion or the new medical plan… the lies from our congressional leaders. Why do they lie to us? What’s the point? How on earth are we letting the government get out of control? Who voted for these people and what are they really doing? I have so many anxieties and it sometimes feels horrible just to listen to the news – and I fear for our America. Our beautiful and wonderful country is changing and I don’t think I will like it.

Liberty

Has this happened to you yet?  Have you picked up a book about America or read any articles, biographies or historical documents about America?  As I age, I have taken it upon myself to read more about our Constitution and the founders.

During my school years, of course we read about “civics” and studied history – or maybe a better way to describe those days is I had a history class – saying I “studied” history would be a stretch or downright lie.  But in recent times, I began to wonder about America and how we became this unique nation of freedom loving people.  Starting with the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (fascinating, by the way and free on Amazon) – then some of the Federalist Papers – on to “1776″, then the very, hard-to-read 5 book set from John Marshall, and other works about George Washington.   I began to understand  how dangerous it was for our founders.  When they pledged, “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor” – that was death if the British caught them.  The years around 1776 were indeed, dangerous for those seeking freedom from oppression and unfair taxation.

If you have time, I urge you to read more about American history and the original ideas to allow people to self-govern and limit the powers of the central Government.  I suggest you might come to the same conclusion as did I – freedom is unique, special, and how we were meant to live.  And I give my heartfelt thanks to those folks who gave everything they had to create and maintain this gift from God called America.  I have traveled around this planet on numerous occasions and cannot think of a finer place to enjoy life that right here in the good old U.S.A.

 

 

Debate exchanges

Why on earth are candidates fighting with each other and getting into negative comments.  Would it not be more productive, informative and interesting for us viewers to see the candidates talk about what they will do if elected?  Would it not be more interesting to hear about solutions and approaches to issues that we all face each and every day?  I know it’s important to understand the past, as it is with history of the country.  The more history a person knows about any topic, better and more informed decisions can be made about people and issues.

I urge all of the candidates to either contrast their ideas and experience with the current administration, or stick to how they intend on solving problems.  Stop this petty and demeaning bickering back and forth – they should have stopped that behavior in 6th grade.  I fully expect a world-class presentation from the best minds in politics.  If you have any intention of being the President of this great nation, then behave like one.