Thursday, July 03, 2008

Talk Thursday: Carry Your Flag

In the seventies it was bumper stickers – Save the Whales, Artesian are well Endowed/or Hung (depending on who was driving,) and Frodo Lives. In the eighties was T-shirts touting your favorite band, concert festival, and the beginning of a western world cognizant of global woes in song – celebs who banded together to sing for dollars to feed Ethiopia, support troops at war, and global awareness. The nineties were all about tree sitters and environmentalist that still hold true to their beliefs. And with a new millennium came a rainbow of magnetic ribbons and blogs; blogs that tout daily life, political stance, the need to read, write, be, and all things green.

How do you chose which flag to wave? Which to embrace? Which crowd has the loudest voice, the biggest fist, the most clout? I have no friggin’ clue and I don’t care – because I was taught to not run with the pack. I just know what I believe and that is what I stand by.

In America we are in a new political era. Women have run for president before. Geraldine Ferraro and Elizabeth Dole both were consider contenders for a whole fifteen minutes. This year Hiliary Rodham Clinton waged a respectable battle (until she sunk to old boy’s club tactics) for the Democratic Party presidential bid. And now we are on the eve of voting for the first black man to be his party’s nominee for president. All these thoughts made my daughter (Psam) cry as she filled out her mail in ballot this year during Oregon’s May Primary election. We are in a new era. Damn, I’m proud of that girl.

I applaud Americans; I love my country (best when it’s not run by the Republicans,) baseball, mom, and apple pie (berry, coconut cream, and lemon bars too.) I believe nothing is truly free, but freedoms are worth fighting for (our freedom – and thank heavens that hasn’t happened for a long time.) I don’t believe in scare tactics, making you think the same way I do. I believe in diversity.

In this election climate email smear campaigns have run rampant, slamming Barack Obama for being a Muslim (which should not even be considered… except for that prejudicial fear backed by the ignorant,) that he doesn’t place his hand over his heart during the national anthem (I don’t either,) that he hadn’t been wearing a flag pin (do you wear a flag lapel every day? No I didn’t think so,) and oh mi gosh a bunch of other stuff. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for a big change – and that change is in the wind (thank you Dylan.)

Michelle Obama recently has been criticized for saying (and I paraphrase) that for the first time in her life she is really proud of her country. What is so friggin’ wrong about being truthful? About being ashamed of the actions of your countrymen, your leaders, your country’s history and aggressions?


I love America, but I remember that we have hated and destroyed the lives based on their religion, their skin, their potential at being different – communist – catholic – retarded / smart – or their sexual orientation. We are too often eager to point fingers, place blame, and allot inferior labels to take the focus off of our inadequacies and personal wrongs.

Today we are fighting a war for oil, destroying a country (and threatening another) because they don’t subscribe to the western world’s definition of the “right life” or and have a lot of oil. It’s time America gets over itself. I love my country, I will wave its flag proudly, but I will also fight against its wrongs – what a long list it is – and rejoice in its rights.

America, Happy Birthday, remember you were sought and founded on a belief that all men were created equal… over time. Okay, so “all” needed a broader definition, we’re still working on that.

So what is my personal flag? It is my belief that I need to be the best I can be; to stand true to the conviction that I am no less nor more important than the whole. I need to remember that my fellow man is neither less nor more than the whole. I can not expect another person to be fair, but that I must be fair. That life is too long to hold a grudge, far too long to be miserable, and far too short to not be happy. That it’s all relative; the important things are in your heart and your relationships, the materials things don’t mean jack in the long term of events. It is important to honor diversity in creed, ideology, religion, politics, application of all the above.

I am no better than my word and my honor.

I am blessed to be loved by those I love, cherished by people I cherish, and liked by people I like right back.

That I have a chance every day to prove all the above.

I may despair at the actions of others, at the actions of my country’s leaders, but I am still glad I am where I am, who I am, for as long as I am.



sideon said...

Bases loaded, and you hit a fantastic home run, Cele.

Outstanding OUTSTANDING post.

I love how you wove in the historical perspectives and "causes" and built to a very powerful modern day description of beliefs.

Anonymous said...


I very much agree with you... but I feel it is important to remember that a lot of your points should not be specific to our country. Every people, every where on this planet have, at one point in time, been pursecuted, killed, or abused because someone else believed differently, worshiped differently, loved differently or simply looked different. Humanity, in whole, has been mean and hateful and unjust. We, historically, have all hurt and been hurt. And what a wonderful thing that HUMANITY, as a whole, is coming to learn the wrongness of it. We have a long road to go, but we have hope too.

Day by day, we overcome old ideas. Look at the progress we've made in the last hundred years. Think of the current struggles we're fighting. All we can do is keep fighting and set an example for the rest of the world.

Everything happens for a reason. I think that if we walk away having learned a lesson, nothing is in vain.


Cele said...

Sid, thank you. I had no idea how I was going to tackle this topic that you set.

Psam, we have, I agree. My point is that we are growing, and where we have been is who we are. That the things we point out in others are the very things we have in us.

Cele said...

By the way, Psam and I are notorius debaters with each other. She makes me think, I hope I make her think. She makes me see, I hope I do the same with her. plus she can probably kick my ass.

Anonymous said...

HA! Of course you make me thing. Of course, you make me see. And Of course, I could kick your ass! but your my mommy and I won't.