Thursday, July 4, 2013

Be Truly Patriotic This 4th of July, Speak Out!

We have a lot of Independence Day traditions, but you know, there's nothing more patriotic than participating in our democracy. I've been looking at the uprising in Egypt and reflecting on this yet again. How much would you personally be willing to sacrifice for your freedom? Not just the freedom to act out your dreams, but to even talk about your dreams or speak critically of a leader who is actively suppressing - say - the rights of women to do just about anything. Now that you've answered that, rest easy. Most Americans don't have to sacrifice a thing to be heard. Millions have already fought for our liberties. The least we can do is exercise them once in a while!

We honor our military veterans with parades - which is great, I love being in and watching parades - yet it occurs to me that the best way you can honor the fallen, wounded, and those currently serving is by speaking out. About anything. Make your voice heard. Yeah, it's a holiday, but guess what? Congressional offices are open tomorrow July 5. So, think about what CONSTRUCTIVE thing you would say to your senator or representative and put it in a handwritten letter...or an email...or pick up the phone and leave a voicemail. Global vaccines? Renewable energy? Women's rights? Early childhood education? Veteran's benefits? Student loans? The pothole in front of your house? Well, that last one is really more of a local alderman kind of deal, but okay, go for it!

In fact, here's a web page on the RESULTS site that gives you tips on how to do these things for your U.S. senators and representatives. Even if you don't want to talk about poverty, it still gives you all the tips and links to find your member of Congress' contact info and how to structure your message on your favorite topic. Depending on which action you choose, this will take you between 90 seconds and 10 minutes. 

Now that you've done your duty, it's summer vacation. Go jump in the lake!

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