Swinging and Freedom

I attempt to avoid the news. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. (I only watch for the weather.) So many people say America is going down the toilet. (Insert flushing sound.) It makes me recall something my parents taught me in my youth, “You can swing your arms as much as you want, until you hit someone.” Meaning, you are free to act in a way that makes you happy and safe, in your own sphere, until you impede on someone else’s pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. I call it the “Rule of Swinging.” (Yes mom, I listened!)

Our founding fathers understood the concept when they drafted and enacted the Bill of Rights and Constitution 223 years ago. In example, you can say or write what you please until you damage someone with slander or libel. (I won’t even begin with those who are easily offended!) Or, you have the right to shoot a gun, but when it’s used to threaten or the bullet hits someone, you have (literally) ruined their happiness. I suppose you can say freedom ends at the tip of another’s nose.

This is the reason why we have laws, to protect ours and other’s lives and safety, thus equaling our happiness. (In example, speed limits and seat belt laws.) I can’t help thinking, if each person was reared and taught properly, with high morals and respect for their fellow men, and followed the “Rule of Swinging”, we wouldn’t even need laws. I must include the inherent problem of selfishness, greed, or as Chaucer put it, avarice (love of money.) Eradicate these, and many of our country’s daunting problems would be non-existent. (Including healthcare legislation.) In my opinion, our elected leaders must rise above the petty bickering and childish side-taking and remember to strongly embrace democracy and the Constitution, and all they represent, for the good of the people. It was shaped and molded with God’s help, because it holds true to key values and inalienable rights of each and every human. If we spend our time and resources worrying about ourselves and stay out of other’s business, that would help, too. (I’m not refering to countries in need. I’m speaking on a more personal level.)

The bottom line of my rant comes down to the urgent need for unending kindness and love. (That’s the problem I have with Trump. He might get things done, but with incessant unkindness and whining.) How do we teach kindness? How will we improve our current situation? What can little me do?

We cannot sit idly by. I believe the moral-based teaching of future generations is an integral part of the solution. My future grandson could be President of the United States! (You just never know!) What we do and say is so important. The other part of any success of the nation includes respect and unselfishness. (I know it’s not that simple. So many variables come into play.) We must be the good example.

As I quoted a song, in an essay about America that I wrote about 30 years ago, “Perfect or not, it’s the best thing this world’s got!” I personally think we would thrive as a country if we were just more kind! (Our nation, according to Kim!)

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