Hey America: An Open Letter To The General Public

Hey America,

Land of the free.  What does that mean to you?  Ponder that for a moment while I explain to you what I think.

Freedom: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants (Oxford Dictionary Online).

Being free means having the right and freedom to think and believe the things you do, and live the life you choose.

That means freedom of religion.  In theory, you can believe and practice any religion of your choosing.  Whether you’re Christian, Muslim, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Sikhs, or anything, you can practice you beliefs without consequence, so long as you aren’t harming another individual.

With that kind of freedom comes respect and acceptance.  This is not a Christian nation.  Nor is it Muslim, Jewish, or any one religion.  The term melting pot used to be thrown around a lot for a reason.  BECAUSE IT’S TRUE.

We are a nation of multiple faiths, colors, genders, and cultures.  To run a country based on one religion, or one race, or one gender, or one culture is wrong, and it will never work.  When you choose to base laws off one religious belief, or exclude members of society based on any of those things, that is discriminatory.

Keep your religion out of our public schools.  There are multiple faiths represented in classrooms across the country, and they do not all believe in the same thing.  Faith is not science.  It is faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something; strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof (Oxford Dictionary Online).

Teach your children about your god, and how the world was created according to your religious doctrines at home, in church, or any other religious place of worship you so choose.  You have that right!  However, it is disrespectful to push it upon other people who do not share your faith, and make it the way of the land.  That’s not going to fly.

While we’re at it, this is also not a male nation.  Nor is it a white nation.  Women make up 50.8% of this country.  Blacks make up 13.1%, Hispanics are 16.9%, and Asians are 5.1% (USA Quickfacts, US Census).  While whites may be a majority, that does not mean they can disregard the lives and freedoms of others.  Women are the majority (barely), but we are still being governed over our bodies, and still earning less than our male coworkers.

When you rule based on one race, gender or culture, dissension occurs.  That is not freedom.  That is an exclusionary culture that has no place in a modern, civilized society.

Wake up, America.  If one of us is not free, none of us are.

Love,

A Tired Citizen Worthy Of True Freedom

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Societal Disconnect: Misplaced Attention and Priorities

Over the weekend, news of Syria using chemical weapons on its own people broke.  It wasn’t the first time this type of story came out of that country, but there are pictures and video of it now.  Dead women clutching their dead children with no apparent shrapnel or gunshot wounds on any of them.  There were no destroyed buildings, or signs of an explosion.  The evidence seems to point to Assad using chemical weapons on his own citizens.  On children.  Innocent children who never stood a chance against such atrocities, who should never have to fear or face them in the first place.SYRIA-CHEMICAL_2650175b

Syria wasn’t the biggest news on mainstream media or social networks though.  Also over the weekend, MTV hosted the Video Music Awards, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Miley Cyrus’ performance was…interesting.  It has been the topic of debate and conversation for two days now, with much of it surrounding the questionable behavior during the performance.  Weird tongue action, foam fingers touching places it shouldn’t, and the twerking happening every so often.  Her performance has been deemed inappropriate, disgusting, to sexual, and just plain trashy by most.  I will admit, I even through out some faux rage about it.  She is young, was a Disney star (Hannah Montana for you rock people), and is trying to show she’s an adult now with this type of show.  What about her young fans?  What about a little self-respect?

I used the word faux because what was I really upset about? It happens all the time, especially at the VMA’s.  You don’t watch that awards show for the awards, you watch it for the outlandish attire and questionable performances.  I was also  a 20-something once, and I did questionable things then too.  So why is there such surprise at Miley’s?  Why have we misplaced the outrage upon her, and not the true atrocities in the world, like Syria?

It really says something about our society, and the things we deem important when we choose to focus on the lives of celebrities instead of the lives on innocent children.  When was the last time you saw the face of a child living on our own streets on our nightly news?  Or the massacre of people in Sudan?  I can’t remember the last time.  I might see tiny blurbs of it here or there, but a lot of focus is on what Kim Kardashian’s body looks like post-baby, or what celebrity slipped up and did something stupid.  Social media is even worse, and a true look into what society is thinking about.   Trending today on Twitter is Miley Cyrus, twerking, and the VMA’s.  At the very bottom of the list is Syria, and even then it drops off the list off and on throughout the day. 

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How many of you can actually find Syria on the map?

Why do we care more about celebrities than children being killed, or the fact that Congress and the President keep taking vacations instead of passing a budget?  When did our attention shift so much that many people do not even know what is going on overseas?!  THAT right there is a real problem.  Our world is so small in comparison to what it used to be.  The internet connects us all every day, as well as global trading, and even seemingly small every day events can impact the world.  Our focus should be the real problems in our own country and abroad, like poverty, famine, and mass killings, not the life of a celebrity just because they are a celebrity.

We must be the change we wish to see in the world.  We can’t expect the violence to end if we do not even give two thoughts about it.  Washington wont change its tune and actions until we focus our attention on them, and force a change.  I just wish I knew why it changed, and where this misplaced attention will take our society one day.  I can’t think of anywhere good it could drop us.

Let Kids Be Kids!

It’s that time of year again: Back to School shopping.  Samantha starts First Grade next week, and decided to grow like a weed over the past few months.  I’m not sure what we were feeding her, but I would sure like to figure it out so we can stop doing that.

This is Sam. She is 6, and loves art. This came costume came from an art project we did. <3

This is Sam. She is 6, and loves art. This costume came from an art project we did. ❤

Clothes shopping is a pain for me, as I hate trying on new clothes and then subsequently feeling poorly about myself.  Clothes shopping is a different kind of pain when it comes to Samantha.  She has an issue with certain types of materials touching her skin.  They make her itchy.  Like sequins on shirts.  The inside has the stitches to hold the sequins on, but it also has the material over the stitches that is supposed to help with the itching, but really doesn’t.  It sucks because she loves shiny and sparkly, but we move on with some kicks and screams.

The other issue is the types of clothing made available for purchase.  Skinny jeans are one thing, as you can buy them a size bigger and they wont be so tight.  However, now they make super skinny jeans.  For girls as young as mine, and younger.  Also low-cut shirts, mini skirts, midriff baring tops, and tennis shoes with wedges inside them (just to name a few).  When did our little girls become young women in the eyes of corporations?  OR, when did they become young women in the eyes of society?

This is Lauren. She's about to be 1 year. She's spunky, and loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. <3

This is Lauren. She’s about to be 1 year. She’s spunky, and loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. ❤

When I was a kid (yes, I went there. I also went there up hill and through the snow…one way), we didn’t have these kinds of clothes.  Sure, in the 80’s we had bright, obnoxious neon colors, with high tops, and scrunchie socks.  However, I do not recall ever seeing inappropriate clothing for my age, or clothes that read “Too pretty to study,” or some other nonsensical crap.

Why do we want our children to grow up so fast?  When did it become OK for young girls to wear shorts so short their butt cheeks hang out, or tops so low they would show cleavage if they had any to show?  I don’t want my kid to dress or look any older than she already is, but it’s so hard to find decent clothes out there for her age and size.  I miss the cute dresses with butterflies and ladybugs.  Now the clothes have stupid saying that make girls think it’s OK to be viewed as “dumb,” or clothes too short and make them think sexy is a good thing (Not for their age!).

I want my girls to know that smart is sexy AND cool.  That their looks should not define them, and that it is never OK to be objectified.  I want them to know that they are worth the same as any man, and should be treated the same, no matter what.  I want them to know that they CAN do anything they set their mind to, and that they should never let anyone tell them they can’t just because they are women.

I want them to know all these things…in time.

Right now, can they just be little girls?  Can they continue playing with My Little Ponies or dolls, and jam to Kidz Bop?  Maybe letting them be kids is the best thing for them, instead of pushing the world and all its problems on their shoulders.  They wont be little forever, so let’s try to keep them that way for as long as possible.