I love the idea of a TED talk, but I’ve never been invited to their stage, and do you know why…it’s because I am nobody and yet, I am every one of you. I have been young and old, I have been poor and relatively wealthy and middle class, I have been redneck and blue collar and white collar too. I have been single and married and divorced, I have been the minority and the majority. Roles change in our lives, we are never just one thing, we are the cumulative result.
The atrocities committed over the last few years and our reaction to them have me contemplating what is wrong? What has triggered this reckless disregard for human life. And while I’m not smart enough to determine, I know what the one, biggest thing is that I struggle with. It is the divisiveness of my country.
Remember 9/11? Fifteen years ago, 2,996 people died in an act of aggression on American soil. Do you remember how many gays died? Do you remember how many blacks died? Do you remember how many Republicans died? No? Do you know why? Because it didn’t matter, what we know is how many people died. We didn’t classify them, we didn’t automatically say it was a “fill in the blank” community problem, it was an American problem. It didn’t matter their nationality, their color, their religion, their education, their sexual orientation, their politics. What mattered was that it happened here. Do you remember the unity that was America 15 years ago?
I am tired of the labeling, the attack in Orlando was not targeted at the gay community, any more than the bombing at the Boston Marathon targeted the running community. The attack in San Bernardino didn’t target an “office” community, these acts are being perpetrated against all of us. We need to see them for what they are. We need to stop segregating and start seeing people, plain and simple.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and with that,
I pledge to take responsibility for my actions.
I pledge to take responsibility for my health and wellbeing.
I pledge to treat all people within our borders with respect:
regardless of age;
I pledge to live and let live.
Towards that end, I ask my government to NOT legislate:
My free will
My actions that harm no one
My decisions on how to earn and spend my money
My decisions on how to live my life.
I will serve and protect my family as my government serves and protects my rights. I will abide by all laws, rules and regulations and exercise my right to worship, vote and bear arms as I see fit, these rights afforded me by the Constitution.
I’m going to STOP being offended, STOP being right, STOP assuming others are out to get me, STOP labeling, STOP judging, STOP taking things personally and STOP being entitled.
I’m going to START respecting others, START serving, START caring, START living, START helping.
I ask my government to stop making new laws, new rules, and new regulations for my protection and simply enforce those already in place efficiently and effectively, and if unable to do that, repeal them so all citizens are treated fairly.
This is my pledge, this is my plea, folks, it’s time to stop separating our communities and work together for the America we all love.