Sentinel-Echo.com

Columns

September 20, 2012

My Point Is...Freedom shouldn’t be limited

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — One of my favorite sayings is, “Variety is the spice of life; Moderation is the key.”

In a perfect society, there would be no troubles and trials that test one’s ability to stand unified and strong against the unpredictable twists and turns that life deals out. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way most of the time.

While the overwhelming tribulations of life have sometimes all but gotten me down, I refer back to another favorite saying I’ve often quoted to friends and family: “It isn’t the hand that life gives you, it’s how you deal with it.”

Hesitantly, I admit that my dealings haven’t always been in the best interest of myself or with others involved. The sad thing is, I can compare my own behavior with the state of our country today.

Our society sometimes unknowingly encourages over indulgence. From fast foods to prescription drugs, we have become a society that wants everything instantly. We go to fast food restaurants for quick meals. We expect the Internet to pop up on our computers within seconds after a click. We believe a pill should cure any ailment, physical or mental, within a few minutes.

 On the economic level, we thrive on cheaper prices but we often sacrifice quality for price. With the turmoil in our world today, it would be easy for  foreign countries to engage in chemical warfare when they import products. A prime example occurred a few years ago when the products sold in “bubble gum” machines that dispense rings, necklaces and other items geared toward children were discovered to contain too much lead for American standards. The imported items could have poisoned countless numbers of children, thus endangering the American population.

Our foreign policy for mass production not only crippled the American workforce, the aftermath of this extremely bad choice could affect the future well-being of our nation.

With the Middle East petroleum producers putting a hurt on the American consumers, it is imperative that we seek alternative means of energy without depleting our natural resources or the pocket books of the American people. Rather than being the independent nation that we were founded to be, we have evolved to a nation dependent upon foreign countries, most of whom wouldn’t blink an eyelid if given a choice to destroy our homeland.

Our government has allowed the “variety” to override all other issues. We have become so diverse that we have lost the American traditions in the process. It is politically incorrect to say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Thanksgiving,” or “Happy Halloween” — holidays that are long-established traditions in our country. I’m waiting the time we have to rename Independence Day because it conflicts with some activist group’s belief. Our country has allowed itself to become so diverse that it has buried its own customs.

 It is now time for our elected leaders and their supporters to look at the “moderation” facet of life and apply that to the rights of the American people accordingly. Those who don’t wish to celebrate or recognize certain days, religion, traditions or events have the right not to. But it should not become policy in our country that long-honored traditions be muted or eliminated because it is controversial to certain groups.

Freedom is what our country was founded on, but those freedoms should not be limited to specific groups — it should extend to all people with respect given to individuality but with the application of common sense that our society seemingly has long forsaken. Rather than extremists, we need to return to the nation founded by our forefathers and remember those who have fought for these freedoms.

Variety is good, but only when common sense is used along with it.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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