Monday, February 7, 2011

Fear Of The Unknown

As we begin another week - and another week of the protests in Egypt and the Middle East - our thoughts keep turning towards the idea that there really aren't so many differences between people over there, and people here in the United States.

Over there, people want democracy. Our people enjoy having that here. The people of Egypt, and many other Middle Eastern countries, want the freedom to worship as they see fit - and we're proud we have the right to do that here. The people over there are tired of having a significantly stratified economic structure. This is also the case in America.

However, unlike our counterparts in the Middle East, and especially Egypt, Americans seem to be doing very little to defend our freedoms here in our own country.

This past week, we've seen Muslims standing guard defending Christians - and Christians reciprocating the gesture. We've seen the Egyptian military defending the rights of the people to protest - and, in some instances, defending the people from the corrupt state security and police force.

In so many cases, we've seen the people of the Middle East standing up for their rights, often willing to die for them.

Meanwhile, in America, we continue to meekly accept as truth so much of what we're told.

"There's no problem at all with building that oil pipeline above the aquifer that satisfies the water needs of virtually everyone in the center of the country," we're told. So we simply say OK.

Even though the company behind the pipeline doesn't have the best record.

Even though our government doesn't have the best record of managing those kinds of companies. (See 'British Petroleum')

Even though similar projects often fail to create the number of jobs their promoters claim they will.

We're not saying that Americans need to overthrow their government, like the Egyptians are in the process of doing.

What we are saying is that too many Americans may have blindly trusted too many of our institutions for too long.

Freedom - whether economic, religious, or political - is something that can't be expected to simply continue with no effort on the part of the citizenry. It must be defended and striven for every day.

It is worth noting to quote the inscription over one of the entrance doors to the Nebraska State Capitol:  "The salvation of the state is watchfulness of the citizen."

Perhaps it's time we citizens all became a little more watchful instead of just believing everything we're told.

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