My art gives me an opportunity to meet many people, sometimes those people come from different countries. I enjoy talking to these people, just to get a better idea of their lives, culture, and what they think and believe in. My goal is not to judge those people, but to learn about them and their countries. I had that chance a couple of years ago at a Christmas bazaar I was working at. The booth next to me was selling massage items, one for your eyes, and one fairly portable one, but not hand held, that worked for you shoulders and back. There were 2 men working in this booth, and as the day progressed we talked quite a bit as it was not a super busy bazaar. I found out one was from Israel and one from Ireland. I enjoyed working next to them, they were nice people.

As we talked, we started to talk about freedoms and what it meant for regular people like us. We talked about the bazaar that we were at that very day, and several like it that they had participated in, and that I had participated in. Their comments were very interesting to me, and I have thought a lot about them since. The one from Israel made most of the comments and had the most questions. He asked me what my thoughts were on the capitalist system, and I told him I thought it was the best system for the general population, as it gives everyone the right to earn in a way that they desire, if they are motivated enough to work hard, and to keep the majority of what they earned. When I asked them their thoughts, he share his experiences with me.

In Israel at the time, he would never have been allowed to sell anything that wasn’t government sanctioned. There would be no vendors like me, selling art or products that I made, without me jumping through a bunch of regulatory hoops. He said, even if I made it through those hoops, then the government would take the profits and give me back what they felt like I needed or had earned. He said it wasn’t much. These men worked for a larger company, but they were well paid, they enjoyed meeting people, and they enjoyed the freedom to move around and do as they wished. I am grateful to have met these men, to see from their eyes what it was like for them, where they came from, and for the appreciation it gave me for the freedoms that I enjoy.

So, what does the word “Stand” have to do with any of that? We need to stand up for our freedoms. Whether it be in our blogs, or in our social media, or wherever, stand up and be counted. I think there is a huge amount of people out there, working hard, and “keeping their heads down” so to speak, hoping everything will level out sooner or later. But I don’t see that happening. So, today I will tell you, and I hope you can pass my experience along to other that you know, and that you will share your experiences with me, and with the world.

I stand for the Constitution of the United States. I know it’s not perfect, but it’s more perfect than any other government document that has been written in history. I have studied it. The founding father’s weren’t perfect men, but they knew that. The Constitution is written as a living document. But the basics, the bones of the Constitution should not be messed with. I stand for the Bill of Rights. I have read and studied them. I believe that if we all had read and studied them, we wouldn’t have nearly so many disagreements in our country. I do not believe that the rights set forth in the Bill of Rights should be infringed upon.

I stand for the Human family, and believe that every human being should be treated with the same respect as any other. That’s not to say there aren’t bad people in this world, but I think that most people are good. Most people are just trying to make it through this life, just like I am. Most people, when given an opportunity, will help rather than hinder a fellow human being. There are so many examples of this if you’re willing to look, and your skin color, your ethnicity, your yearly income, doesn’t matter. It’s what’s in your heart, and most people have a good heart. That doesn’t make any of us perfect, but I think there’s a lot of people trying.

I stand for God. I believe in God, I believe that He is our Heavenly Father, and that He truly loves us. I believe He has given us guidance and instruction to assist us in becoming better than we could be by ourselves, and that if we strive to follow that guidance and instruction, we can improve every day. I also believe that we need to allow each other to improve. Sometimes people make huge improvements, and the people around them won’t let go of the person they were, and it makes it hard to stay the new, better person. Allow people opportunity to change and become better.

I stand for the family unit. There are some saying that it’s not important to have a family unit anymore. That the government, or agencies could raise our children better. There are others who think parents aren’t important, one or both. I believe that every child has the right to a family, with parents who are working hard to help that child succeed in life. It’s a commitment of time and energy, a lot of both, but it’s a commitment that no one else can do as well as that parent, for that child. No parent is perfect. We are learning as we go, just as the kids are learning as they go. But working together as a family changes lives in ways no agency or government could ever accomplish. The love and concern that a parent has can never be duplicated.

I stand for personal responsibility. I don’t think it’s the government’s job to tell us what to do, when to do it, or what to think about it. We need to do our own research. We need to examine both sides. We have a responsibility to be well informed in anything we stand for. But, as stated earlier, I stand for the human family. No matter my opinion, or your opinion, we need to be respectful to one another and find ways to work together for the greater good of our society as a whole. Something to remember when working together for the common good though, is that just because you or I believe something, doesn’t mean that our way is the best way, or the only way. It’s when we can see each other, when we can open our minds to new possibilities and solutions, different than either side has previously thought of, that we will come to the best solutions to the problems facing the human family. I know there are solutions out there for every problem that will benefit both sides of any situation, but when we get entrenched in our side and aren’t willing to look at anything else, that’s when solution aren’t forth coming.

Whether you agree or disagree with me on any point, is not really the point here. We each need to determine where we stand, because if we don’t, we will fall for anything that comes along. We need to be firm in what we believe so that the shifting tides of every new idea don’t keep shifting us around. And we need to be willing to look for those alternative ideas that benefit everyone. There is a lot happening in the world today that wants us to be constantly stirred up about every little thing going on. We can choose to be stirred, or we can choose to stand. I would love to hear your ideas on any of these subjects, or hear what you stand for as well.

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