Posted by Mia:
Yesterday we spent the day at Gettysburg, PA this was my first time to see the battlegrounds and to really delve in depth into this portion of history since High School. We drove around the fields following a three hour audio auto tour. I'd completely forgotten the battle at Gettysburg had only taken place over 3 days (July 1-3) and to date is still the largest battle even fought on USA soil. I was touched and moved by the dedication of the soldiers, and more so by President Lincoln himself.
Good and bad can be said about his politics and personal life, but today I want to focus on what I learned about him directly connected to the battle at Gettysburg.
On the tour it was said Lincoln knew this battle had to be won if the civil war was to end, and the country was to remain united. The battle was won. And after the battle, Lincoln was still saddened, because one of the generals told Lincoln (paraphrased) "We pushed those rebels off our land". Saddened by the fact the general had lost focus of the war efforts, it wasn't to "push the rebels home", it was to RE- UNITE the UNITED states of america. And that it was ALL OUR LAND! It was literally brother fighting brother.
In the Gettysburg speech Lincoln addresses this concern. That WE are a country created were ALL men are equal, and WE are a UNITED country. He says to honor those that die for our freedom we must "increase devotion to that cause".
Today as AMERICANS we have adopted the concept that ALL MEN includes: all colors of man, that "men" includes women, and we use this same concept and apply it to protect our children.
This concept that our country IS founded on is in the Declaration of Independence: "
It is my personal opinion that we are now in a new time of oppression again, where all "men" are not being treated equally.
I am not getting on some political soap box about "what is wrong" instead I am asking that you, look at your own life and ask:
Where am I not treating others as an equal?
I am not asking this rhetorically, and if you feel you are equal across the board please allow me to give you some thoughts for reflection.
*Do you hesitate at certain religions, life choices, or colors?
*Do others choosing differently than me make me uncomfortable? (What do I do with that discomfort?)
*Do you lock your doors in certain areas of town?
*If you want to restrict another person a right you already enjoy, how would you like it restricted?
*Are you surrounded by only like minded persons if so why?
I know it can be scary when others aren't "like us" but WHY is it scary? Is it scary just because of the unknown? or is it that we are afraid of losing ourselves?
I will let you choose your own beliefs to follow: (Do unto others.....)
Christian: Luke 10: What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you understand it?” He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength and with all your mind.’(Deuteronomy 6:5) And, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ ” You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do that, and you will live.”
Taoism: "Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss." T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien
Judaism: You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:18
Buddhist: "One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter." Dhammapada
Hindu: "One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of dharma. Other behavior is due to selfish desires." Brihaspati, Mahabharata
Islamic: "Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you." Muhammad, The Farewell Sermon
Confucianism: "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself." Confucius, Analects
Rastafarian: "One love, Let's get together, it be alright" Bob Marley
The Gettysburg address: