SRWYLIE
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Day 360 - November Gratitude, part 24

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A brief recap of my blog from yesterday - I met with the Associated Students today at noon to talk about the relocation of their student lounge and got to draw the winning tickets for the 5 tremendous Thanksgiving gift baskets (with turkeys, potatoes, green beans and corn, roasting pans, rolls, and more). It was so moving to select "Valley Fire victim" as one of the winning tickets. Lena, one of the student officers who was a victim of the fire, was unanimously selected as the recipient of the basket. It was a great moment, and I was so pleased to be a part of it.

But that's not the subject of today's post. I've already written about how great our students are and how much I care about them.

Today's post is about something even bigger.

The horrible acts of a few people in France last week really set my focus on what makes the United States such an amazing country to live in. We were founded on freedom. We are free to be who we are, to vote for leaders who we believe represent us, to raise our voice against oppression and bigotry and hatred. Singing our National Anthem on the day after Veterans Day just reminded me of how grateful that I live in such a great nation. We may not always get what we want after Election Day, but we've learned to cope with the results knowing that the majority of voices made their opinions known and heard.

If you live in a country that doesn't feel free, what can you do about it? There are many people who are trying to leave their oppressive regime, and some may be trying to come to the US, only to be turned away by people for whom freedom is second nature. It's hard for me to imagine that many of us, whose ancestors may have immigrated to this country, would think that someone trying to escape from a terrible environment doesn't deserve to be here.

I am moved by the struggle of those who battle against, or escape from, oppression. I know what it feels like to be put down and belittled. I would want to go to a place where there were open arms to embrace me and make me feel safe and secure. I have found that in my life, and much of that comes from my experience here on Spark. If only we could all find a place like SparkPeople to make us feel like we belong and are accepted.

I'm grateful for my FREEDOM, and pray that everyone can find it, one way or another.

Keep Sparking, friends!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • PICKIE98
    I ma so happy for Lena. I know this will make her Thanksgiving a very special one, mostly for having great friends.
    1972 days ago
  • no profile photo JEANNETTE59
    As I have said before, Steve you make me smile. Today it was the Thanksgiving gift baskets. It's in just such moments that our better selves shine. Humanity has the spotlight if only for a brief moment.
    But more and more hate filled words and actions rule the day. Outright lies are taken as gospel truth. As GGRSPARK noted, our freedom is being attacked. I agree but the greatest danger does not come from enemies of our country or terrorists of any stripe.
    It comes from within, it comes from those who use the right of free speech to diminish the rights of others.
    America is better than these posers, at least the founding fathers thought so. And they were followed by others with even broader visions. The Women's right to vote, Emancipation, African American's right to vote, Women's right to choose, LGBT rights and so much more.
    If we deny refugees entrance to this great country, we no longer have the moral standing to allow the Statue of Liberty, that magnificent gift from our ally France to stand proudly in New York harbor.
    1972 days ago
  • CHICAM
    Great blog Steve. So happy that Lena won a basket. God blessed her and her family on Thanksgiving with this good act of kindness. When something bad happens to us we have to cling onto all the good things that come our way to move forward with our lives. emoticon Enjoy your Thanksgiving my dear friend.
    1972 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/25/2015 1:14:00 PM
  • RHOOK20047
    I think too often we take our freedom for granted. Looking as the scenes from France, horrified me, and made me think, :"What if that happened here?" I know that my great grandparents came from Poland many years ago and was welcomed by this country. I have no problem allowing them here, I just think we need a better way of screening the people before they come, as times and intentions have changed. There are those coming to this country with one thing in mind and that is to destroy the freedoms that we have. We should all be thankful for the freedoms this country offers, and learn to support our country in better fashion.
    1972 days ago
  • JJMPLSMN
    A few nights ago on Seth Meyers show, he had Sarah Palin on. She was spouting the usual lies about refugees, and one of the coolest things I have ever seen is how Meyers changed the discourse, explaining to the ever-ignorant Palin that all her "talking points" about refugees were wrong. These people, just like our ancestors, came here for freedom from oppression of many kinds.

    We are so lucky to be able to have our freedoms, AND to be able to be free of all kinds of oppression.

    This constant hypocritical religious nightmare from the religious right, trying to force their religion on us, but saying that other religions are wrong, IS wrong. 98% of Muslims are good people. The rotten apples should not be what the entire race is judged on.

    Thanks for writing this, Steve.

    We are lucky to live here, lucky to have had some brilliant men write our constitution, and lucky to be able to offer sanctuary in this country to some lucky refugees.

    Spark on.
    1972 days ago
  • CHERALA
    Here's to not only being able to imagine walking in someone else's shoes, but being grateful for the experience if only to understand what freedoms you have.
    1972 days ago
  • MEWHENRYSMAMA
    It's time for nations to stand united against the unacceptable! It needs to be a world wide power! And we, the people, are part of that power. I do hear more words of love and less about hate...this must be where we stand together. We are certainly blessed to have our freedom and not experience the atrocities that are going on in the world! But we must be aware that it is going on and not be willing to accept it and to turn away needy desperate people who have nowhere to go!
    May we ponder our blessings this Thanksgiving, be grateful and open our arms to our fellow man...
    1973 days ago
  • MARINGAL
    Beaitiful message Steve. Unfortunately not all politicians would agree with you. Breeding hatred in our country is similar to what happened in Germany 60 years ago or earlier. It is a very scary and sad time right now for those unfortunate immigrants with nowhere to go.
    1973 days ago
  • FITNIK2020
    The situation in France made everyone sit up and take notice but this sort of terrorism has been going on elsewhere for decades without notice. Not to diminish the atrocity, but maybe now the world will wake up. Our freedom is being attacked.
    1973 days ago
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