Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Can You Imagine Not Being Free? Maybe We Should!

Voting.  It seems so simple.  So basic.  It's a right.  Right?

Well, it is for me as an American (for the time being anyway) and, depending on where you are from, it might be for you, too.  But it's not as basic as automatically being a right just because one is born into the human race.

Not everyone is free like I am or you might be.  Can you imagine not being free?

In school, Little Mister and I have been studying the process of voting in our country.  In one book we read, there was a photo of voting in El Salvador, where, at the publication date of the book, people were required to vote, and were watched by armed guards to make sure they did so.  I wouldn't call that a "right" to vote, but a mandate, and it would be difficult to convince me that in a setup like that, there wouldn't be some coercion for particular votes going on.

Today we watched a documentary called, Please Vote for Me,  about a 3rd grade class in the communist country of China who were allowed to experience democracy and vote for their classroom monitor.  These children had no idea what voting or democracy meant until it was explained to them how it would work in their classroom.  My heart was saddened as I thought about how the right I took for granted for many years is a freedom many will never experience.

These kids fell apart at times and, misguided by their parents, stooped to the same nasty tactics we see politicians use here in the States, the third grade version of them anyway.

It was interesting, but still heart-wrenching to think of living a life never knowing anything but dictatorship.

And it makes me sad to know that if things don't change here in America (and soon!), my future grandchildren could live that existence. 

And my own son may someday only remember what it was like to be free.

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I would love to know what is on your mind and heart. Respectfully-written differences of opinion are definitely respected here! :)