This I Believe

Robin - Houston, Texas
Entered on January 16, 2009

It’s a beautiful day, and as I watch my toddler, Amber Dawn play, I revel in how fortunate we are to live in this time. I’m excited how wonderful our society is today. We just elected the first African American President of the United States of America. This proves American society as a whole, is open to everyone. Yet, there are still individuals who don’t embrace these ideals. They’ll try to go contrary to society, and violate other’s rights. This doesn’t mean our society is intolerant. Our society has created laws trying to rectify these transgressions. There have been many injustices in our society in the past. We MUST move forward and judge our society on today’s standards. We can not change history, just remember it.

Civilization is only as good as the next generation who becomes its steward. It takes constant vigilance to sustain a civilized society. We’re fortunate to live in the US where the citizens have been given the privilege of being free. Our founding fathers had the wisdom to create the Bill of Rights as part of the Constitution. These 10 amendments along with the living breathing Constitution are a guide post for our freedom. But only with the adherence to the principles of tolerance, respect, and taking responsibility for our own actions, will we perpetuate the freedom we all enjoy today, for generations yet to come.

The US is unique, with tremendous diversity. We continue to try to develop peace and justice in an open society with personal freedoms, in the World’s most diverse society.

Stereotyping people is the easiest way to cripple a society. It’s an outfall of fear. Fear of the unknown. Stereotyping allows the ignorant to easily label and categorize the unknown into something known. It’s based on partial truths, resulting in partial falsehoods. These falsehoods only perpetuate the fear. It becomes an ugly cycle of fear that can’t be broken until the stereotyping is replaced with knowledge and understanding. Diversity causes special care, to be open to divergent ideas, while requiring protection of everyone’s rights.

It would be easy for me to retreat to familiar surroundings and avoid the uncomfortable situation of interfacing with others who are different. Different in appearance, culture, or behavior. We all need to be tolerant and respect everyone.

We’re all responsible for our own actions. As our society becomes more diverse it’s more imperative we practice tolerance & respect. The election of President Obama does not resolve all ills in our society. What it does show, is we can no longer blame society for our misgivings, but to look at ourselves and each other as individuals for justice and equality. Our Society has proven it’s now mature, and it’s up to each and every one of us, to step up to the standards set by our society, and treat others as we would wish to be treated. The survival of our civilization depends on it. Amber Dawn’s future, depends on it.

This I believe.