The Freedom to Choose

This week marks Remembrance Day. In fact, while this post won’t go up today, it currently is November 11 as I sit down to write this.
Additionally, here in Canada we recently held our Federal election. In the US, next year will see there own.
What do those two things have to do with one another? Those fallen soldiers, and all those who fought and returned to us, did so to ensure our freedom. Freedom from oppression, yes, but also the freedom to do something like choosing our leader. Many gave their lives for that freedom. Many returned with scars, some visible and some not. For my own part, the veteran I was closest to was my great uncle Neil, who fought in World War II. Neil was a kind, gentle man who loved to make furniture. He also liked to talk. But I never once heard him talk about the war. He was proud of his work with the Legion, he participated every Remembrance Day, but he would not talk about the war. I’ve always thought that this fact told me all I need to know about what those brave souls faced.
All so we could have that freedom.
Which brings me around to elections. We seem to be living in an increasingly divisve world. This is not a phenomenon relegated to just one nation, but many. Yes, division has always been part and parcel of the whole humanity thing, but the “us vs them” mentality seems to be increasingly pronounced. I’m seeing more and more incidents of “if you don’t vote for the party/person I voted for, I don’t want anything to do with you”.
I can understand feeling angry about who may or may not be in power where you live. It’s a touchy subject, especially these days. Or, on the reverse, being angry at the anger you seee directed against your chosen person. But we seem to be getting angrier and angrier at one another.
Look, here’s the thing. Be angry in the face of injustice. Speak up against racism, sexism, homophobia and all other forms of prejudice. Those are things worth your passion and your anger. But we need to stop with the belief that anyone who disagrees with us is bad.
That’s not the freedom they fought for. That’s not what those countless sacrifices were made for. And hate and anger are not, at the end of the day, very effective tactics in convincing anyone to see things your way.
Be bold. Be passionate. Just please, try to remember to hold onto compassion for the other side, too. We all deserve the freedom to make our choices. You deserve your choice, even if it isn’t my choice.
We’re all in this together.
Want to follow or interact with me on social media? Find me on Twitter by following @jennifermorash or head over to https://www.facebook.com/jennifermorashblog. I post blogs every Wednesday.

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