Like most of you, I am nervous about the 2012 election and the future of our nation. HOWEVER, I am proud to live in a country that even if the vote is as near 50/50 as you can get, there will be no rioting in the streets, there will be no government overthrows, and those who voted against the losing candidate will not have to hide their families and fear for their lives. What a blessing to live in a nation where opinions can be expressed, challenged, and voted for!
I have been reading the book, The Miracle of Freedom: 7 Tipping Points That Saved The World, and the author Chris Stewart argues that even when rounding up less than 5% of the people that have ever lived on this world have ever lived under “free” conditions. Only 5%!
My heart is full of gratitude today as I reflect on one of the greatest blessings that can be enjoyed by humans: voting and taking part in one’s own government. As an avid history buff, I have noticed that more often than not governments have oppressed and not protected its citizens. More often than not governments have been a source of fear rather than relative peace. More often than not governments have sought to limit, rather than support, its people’s dreams and ambitions.
[LINK: Read The Miracle of Freedom]
Thankfully I was raised in a very patriotic home. My family always attended the break of dawn Flag Day ceremonies, kept up political issues, participated in our community, voted with pride, and taught us to always respect veterans. One tradition we had was on patriotic holidays we would sit down and watch movies about war or read accounts of soldiers. For example, to this day one of my favorite films is Return With Honor containing interviews with Vietnam prisoners of war. I learned that I have the privilege and duty to vote because it is an opportunity that has come at a severe cost.
[LINK: Watch Return With Honor]
I am heading out the door now to vote. My mom texted earlier to say that the polls in Arizona are overflowing. It warms my heart to see my fellow citizens exercising a privilege less than 5% of the world’s population has ever seen! I saw the picture above this morning and was reminded that voting is a very recent privilege for so many in the world and still a dream for others like the people of Tibet I met this last year. It may be normal for Americans, but it still a special experience. Yes, I am still nervous about the result, but I know that despite what happens today, our nation will survive and our people will remain unified on the foundations expressed in our constitution!
[LINK: My Trip to Oppressed Tibet]
I am grateful for the freedom to worship how I choose. I am grateful for the freedom to pursue my dreams. I am grateful for the freedom to not fear for my life in my home country. I am grateful for my family who taught me to respect my nation, its military, and the privilege to vote!
Life is oh-so-good!
P.S. I am reading through my favorite patriotic books this morning to help me put this election in perspective, thus all the recommendations in this post 😉 Here are a couple more, enjoy!
[LINK: Read Saints at War]