Saturday, May 18, 2019

What's an American to do?

At this juncture in American politics, what is an average American to do to better their life, their community, their country, and their world?

Stay away from the distractions
Self serving politicians want to distract you with slick marketing techniques. These types of politicians and leaders do not see you as people, but as objects to manipulate to get what they want for their own personal gain and fame. Do not be distracted by their me-first techniques, but instead take the time to actually write down what it is you want and hope for for your life, your community, your country, and the world.

Personally, I believe in a country that elevates "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all." I believe that if we're all doing well, then everyone rises, but if the poorest and most challenged amongst us are forgotten, then we all suffer the consequences. I believe that as a people we are bright enough to figure out the algorithms of good living for our families, communities, states, nation, and world, and I do believe that there's enough to go around if we work at it. I believe to demean the poor and destitute is to demean all of us, but to work with each other to lift the lives of those who have little and suffer the most is to bring us all ahead. I believe that fair taxation can ensure a good standard of living that includes safe neighborhoods, nutritious food, good homes, quality education, accessible health care, and clean soil, water, and air for all of us. This is essential to good living.

The threats, lies, exaggerations, shaming, blaming, theatrics, and storytelling of #trump and his cronies are meant to distract us from our values, our laws, our beliefs, and our good living. Figure out what you believe in, and then work for it.

Understand, Speak up, act, and vote
The recent law in Alabama which treats abortion as a one-size-fits-all situation demeans human rights. Every women who has had a pregnancy knows that abortion is a complex situation and not a one-size-fits-all situation. To truly understand the complexity of what abortion is, Americans unfamiliar with it, have to study all aspects of it and work for what is right and good for a woman's physical and mental health. While I believe that we need to protect life as much as we can, I also know that it is not a simple matter:
  • It is not a simple matter when it comes to pregnancy. 
  • It is not a simple matter when it comes to health care related to illnesses. 
  • It is not a simple matter when it comes to a clean environment that ensures safe soil, water, and air. 
  • It is not a simple matter when it comes to peaceful international relations. 
  • It is not a simple matter when it comes to what happens on a battlefield. 
  • It is not a simple matter in neighborhoods riddled with violence. 
  • It is not even a simple matter sadly in our schools today.
One-size-fits-all laws that don't take the complexity life issues seriously are meant for their sensational, political power, not for truly helping people gain "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Americans need to make time to deeply understand the issues. They have to be willing to speak up and share their beliefs, understanding, and desires. They must find time to act and also vote.

Aline with good groups and leadership
In our complex world, we cannot advocate for what is right and good by ourselves, we must work with one another to do the best we can. That's why it is critical to aline with groups and people we believe in. We must look at our time and money, and budget some to support our beliefs and our vision for a good world for ourselves and our loved ones.

For me that means supporting organizations that promote human rights in the United States and abroad. I want a world that works for the rights of all, not just a few. I believe we have the capacity to promote good living for everyone, and I believe that good living depends on equitable, fair laws, taxation, and distribution of services and wealth. I don't believe that people have to all have the exact same amount of money, but I do believe all people can have a standard of living that affords them communities with opportunity and the essential ingredients of good living.

You Matter
I have heard so many Americans say, "I can't do anything about it." That's what the powerful, self-serving, me-first politicians and leaders want you to believe. I always remember when a leader like that told me that she did not want voter registration to happen in high schools because then more people would vote. I was astounded by her words, but then realized if all people voted, they would not vote for self-serving politicians like her.  Every vote matters. Every person's acts and words matter. No one can stay silent at this time in American politics and world events. To build and forward a strong country, takes all of us. We all have a responsibility to do what we can to make American great for all, not just a few as our self-serving leaders would like it to be. #wecandobetter