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My human, Mia, has been working so hard. She is so inspired by my plan. My plan is to go all over the United States meeting new and wonderful people, to share their stories, and to find the connection between all people. Mia is so wonderful, and I want to meet more wonderful humans like her.

Friday, October 1, 2010

9-30-10 - Gettysburg - Inspired by Equality

I'm going to let Mia post about this one, she was very moved yesterday.

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: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." 

 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." BrihaspatiMahabharata 

Islamic: "Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you." MuhammadThe Farewell Sermon

Confucianism: "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself." ConfuciusAnalects

Rastafarian:  "One love, Let's get together, it be alright" Bob Marley

The Gettysburg address:

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

1 comment:

  1. Wow, very moving post - thanks for "re-creating" Gettysburg and reminding me of my responsibility.