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Your Voice Makes a Difference

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
In this country, every year at this time we stop to celebrate the Fourth of July. This is a good thing. We have a lot to be thankful for and a national holiday is only fitting to honor our esteemed forefathers who endangered their lives and fortunes to pave the way to our freedom from the tyrannical practices of old King George III.

Now we are some 231 years later and what have we achieved in the interim?

For one, we are still a free nation. That is to say we are not nor have we been conquered by some outside country in the passing years. We can argue about immigration at some other point in time. We still have certain fundamental liberties which others throughout the world only wish they had. We can speak out against our government without the threat of going to jail. We can worship as we please and honor our version of God, whether it is a supreme being or a tree. We have certain rights that belong to us that no one else in the world has.

So what’s the point of this? Well, each day I pick up the paper or watch the television and I am besieged with negative social issues confronting us at any one given time. What to do about immigration? How to wrap up the war in Iraq? What to do about abortions? How do we educate our children? How do we stop pollution? What can we do to produce more energy in our country and divest ourselves of our dependence on other countries? How do we rehabilitate criminals? What can be done to stop drug usage? How to take care of the medical issues surrounding our citizens?

The list goes on and on and sometimes it makes you just want to crawl into bed, cover up your head and stay there until the sun comes out. You tend to feel overwhelmed by just the sense that there is nothing you can do to change things or have any impact on social issues that are this large.

Well, if that’s what you’re thinking…..then get over it. YOU do count; your voice makes a difference. Last week we saw this happen when the immigration vote was taken. Millions of Americans voiced their opposition to this piece of legislation not because they did not think there was a problem, which there is….but because they felt the legislation being offered was not the correct and proper solution to the problem. On the other hand if more people felt as if it was the proper thing to do, they could have voiced their opinions as well as those who were opposed to it. One thing is for certain, the folks in Washington were fairly vocal about the citizens out in the heartland actually voicing their opposition to something that was being considered as a slam dunk deal. They did not like to hear from us.

That’s my point. I don’t care what you are, whether it’s a Republican, Democrat or whatever. Tell me where you can go in this world and have the kind of opportunities that we have in this nation? I don’t know about you, but I get tired of the naysayers telling us that this country is going to hell in a hand basket. Sure, we’ve got problems. Sure, we’ve got issues that need attention and need to be dealt with fairly for all of us, but so does any nation that is moving towards solutions for these problems. We need to look at the glass as half full, not half empty. We need not be afraid of our opinions and our stance on any subject no matter how small or inconsequential it may seem. Write letters to your congressmen and congresswomen. Call or e-mail them. Write to the editors of your local newspapers. Attend school board meetings. Get involved; say what is on your heart. Ask questions, learn from others and listen to the voices and hearts of those who have suffered and experienced life’s road bumps that you have not shared and hopefully never have to. You might learn something from them.

This is truly the richest and most blessed country in the world. Others would like to stop us. Others would like to change our direction and restrict our freedom. We cannot ignore this in the world we live in. We must be vigilant and on guard. We must also be aware that no matter how imperfect this country might seem to be, it surely beats anything close to it. The men who signed that document on July 4th, 1776 were truly men of vision.

We must faithfully continue to carry on their ideals and concepts in order to make us a greater nation in the years to come.
© Peary Perry
Letters From North America

July 3, 2007 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers

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