Independence

My little herd of Shetland Sheep

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And what does Independence Day have to do with sheep?

It was beautiful here today. Perfectly calm, sunny, in the mid-70’s. Late this afternoon, while standing outside and looking across the field at the trees and hillside beyond, I began to think about all the people who have put everything on the line over the years to define and ‘parent’ this incredible sense of freedom and peaceful tranquility that so filled my view. But it was only after my gaze settled on the Shetland sheep grazing below–who were as healthy, happy and content as any could be–that I began to feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the sacrifices made by so many in my family tree (e.g., the Scottish Rebel). Without which, I wouldn’t be here to experience this extraordinary freedom I feel, and the beauty I see.

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9 comments on “Independence

  1. And you are very lucky to be able to note that lovely feeling of gratitude when you feel it. So many people are so full of woe they forget to just look and be grateful. c

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    • I know exactly what you mean. I seldom see any sign of anyone thinking or caring much about anything but the present (plus or minus a day or two).

      “So what about the future? Aren’t you worried about what’s just around the corner?”

      “Nah, I’m too busy to think about that crap…it’ll take care of itself!”

      “Then how ’bout the past? Do you ever think about the sacrifices others have made to make your life possible?”

      “Are you kidding? What a waste of time! I got better things to think about. Besides, they only cared about themselves anyway.”

      (And thus the future is defined… ;-)

      P.S. Speaking of ignoring the past, today was the first time (ever) that I’ve bothered to look at comments in the spam folder. This one of yours was hiding there, along with several others that were clearly misplaced. A good example of how easily we (including me) let things “take care of themselves.” ;-)

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  2. Yes, fortunate indeed for the choices that made freedom possible! But we have to keep it! I’m not usually overly political, and I don’t pretend to know what political choices will ultimately be best for the future. But I do know that we need to choose carefully and thoughtfully in this election season.
    I like your sheep! ~ Sheila

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    • “But I do know that we need to choose carefully…” I would add to that: “…pick and choose…” Because that really is the root source of the problem. Only roughly 3% of the population actually ‘picks’ the candidates that will appear on the ballot. It is, in fact, just that tiny bunch of hyper-active party ‘faithfuls’ who, from the millions of prospects in the general population that we might otherwise seriously consider, choose instead their candidates from an even smaller group of the hyper-active members of their party who most thirst for political power. In short, the two people we are typically offered to decide between have been selected by and from an extremely tiny (and often very questionable) segment of the general population. So, what can we do to change that? Simple: The general population needs to become far more actively involved in the basic grass-roots selection of the actual candidates!

      So…Is that wishful thinking, or what?! ;-)

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      • Sadly…yes! Wishful thinking! You know, political wisdom says most people don’t even begin paying attention in an election year until after Labor Day. By then, unless someone REALLY screws up, the decisions are largely made. I think a lot of our process should be revamped, and surely, with all the modern technology we have now, there are ways to insure that we do not have election fraud, and at the same time, make voting more accessible. Time for another constitutional convention?

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        • “Time for another constitutional convention?” Yes, I think so. One held specifically for the purpose of adding an amendment to the Constitution that would substantially re-define both the structure and the level of (required) popular engagement during the candidate selection process. And, because of modern (computer) technology–and especially the collaborative power of the Internet–there is no reason why that level of participation could not be quickly and very securely orchestrated. In short, we certainly have the ‘brains’ necessary to accomplish an extraordinary overhaul of the candidate selection process. The only question is, do we have the will?

          I do. Do you? And, if so, then what does one do to start the ball rolling…practically speaking? Got any suggestions? ;-)

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          • Yes! Term limits to begin. It is very difficult to unseat an incumbent. All federally elected representatives, senators, the president, etc., should have mandatory term limits. In particular, I would suggest extending the president’s term to six years, and limiting tenure in office to one term. Make it long enough to accomplish something, but take away all the focus on reelection.
            As far as how to make these sweeping changes…I don’t see the politicians doing anything useful, unless there is a groundswell of public support and demand…and that will probably take a long time. People are pretty apathetic, I think.

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