I've been working on some blog posts, the usual Always Aubrey fare, about food, travel, and other things I have been enjoying lately. But the news, the events happening in the U.S. this week, it's got me down. It just doesn't seem appropriate to post the happy-go-lucky stuff this week. I'm just sad.
I'm not a political person. I'm a humanity person. I'm a realistic optimist. I'm a social liberal who owns a gun. I'm a fiscal conservative. I'm a military Veteran. An immigrant's daughter. I'm a crazy mix, basically. My opinions are all my own.
On Monday, the 4th of July, I posted the following on Facebook:
"I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a Republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag; and to defend it against all enemies."
-William Tyler Page
We recite this at every official DAR function, and today it felt especially poignant to share! Proud to be descended from a Scottish-born immigrant, who fought for our country's independence, and proud to be the daughter of a first-generation immigrant, naturalized soon after my birth. Both of my lineages remind me of what it means to be American, with equal importance.
Today, I posted more, in light of recent events...
I posted on Monday, Independence Day, a quote that I recite often: "I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed... established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity..."
FREEDOM to legally speak our minds and to bear arms without fear of being killed.
EQUALITY to be respected for our differences and receive equal protection under the law, not feared or profiled for being of a different race, religion, gender, orientation.
JUSTICE to have faith in a fair system of law enforcement, trial, and punishment, without prejudice, and to have trust in those who have sworn to protect us and keep peace.
HUMANITY, where we are all guilty of faltering right now. When life is stolen from a person unjustly, it is a crime. But it is also a tragedy. We need to remember to love one another, and accept that differences are what make us richer, not what should divide us.
We have abandoned our principles. As someone who once carried an assault rifle or handgun every day for a year in Iraq, a scary place with scary people, I learned that sometimes fear can push us towards prejudice; in those moments, we have to remember our principles, our rules of engagement, and understand the proper reaction or escalation of force. I also learned that we have to have trust in our fellow Americans, even when we sometimes want to doubt, because divided we fall.
If we claim to be colorblind or gender blind, we are just BLIND, because as humans we DO see our differences. Our minds naturally identify the differences. And an eye for eye makes us more blind. We have to accept one another, remember humanity.
We all bleed the same color, trust me. We all cry the same color tears.
What are your principles? Where are they right now?