What Does it Take to Live the Pledge?

What Does it Take to Live the Pledge?

Do you remember back in grade school when we started our day with the Pledge of Allegiance? With right hand over heart, we recited this pledge every day while admiring our Flag. I remember feeling very proud but not sure I truly understood what I was actually pledging OR, that someday it might take something more than words to fulfill the pledge–it might require action.

My son said the same pledge when he was in school and my nieces still say it today.

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.

So, what did that actually mean? And, more importantly, did we really mean it?

Pledge: to promise solemnly.¹

Allegiance: devotion or loyalty to a person, group or cause.²

Republic: a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.³ 

Indivisible: not divisible; not separable into parts; incapable of being divided.⁴

Liberty: freedom from arbitrary or despotic control. Power of Choice.⁵  

Justice: the administration of law, especially the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity.⁶ 

All: Everybody, Everything.⁷

Most of us have probably rarely considered the possibility of losing the liberties we’ve been so fortunate to have in the United States of America.  

If we truly pledge this allegiance (promise to be loyal to the cause), we need to be highly aware of decisions and events happening in our own country and around the world so as to prevent the slow encroachment and violation of our human rights and liberties.

We can begin by knowing our 30 Universal Human Rights and make sure others know them as well.

Freedom is not free. It comes with responsibility.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 21, Section 3 states: The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government. Our responsibility does not end with a vote. Another action you can take is to continuously use your voice effectively with your Congress people.

Know Your 30 Human Rights. Live the Pledge. The power is in you!

Post By:  Ellen Firestone

Where Does Peace Begin?

Where Does Peace Begin?

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21st. The United Nations’ General Assembly declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

Is peace simply the absence of war and violence? Or, do each of us contribute to peace every day of our lives?
On Saturday, September 19th, I made a trip to the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania to visit my family. I decided to stop at the local mall prior to arriving at my parent’s house. It was a beautiful Saturday with lots of people enjoying a day of shopping with family and friends which suddenly crashed to fear and chaos.

I was inside Macy’s looking at some clothing when I heard what sounded like a stampede and kids screaming. I looked up and saw a bunch of high school kids running so thought they were messing around. Then more and more people were running and someone yelled “Get out, get out someone has a gun.” My first thought was is this for real? Obviously, there was no time for analysis and I just ran to the nearest exit (with the suit jacket still on that I was trying), hopped in my car and quickly drove away. As I was leaving the parking lot, I saw a few police cars entering and then realized this is for real.

Thankfully the news report the next day was that no one was physically harmed—4 rounds shot inside the mall, but no one hurt. However, there were photos of children crying and stories of people hiding until police came to escort them out. Some of the emotional harm was traumatic. The terror and chaos created at that place and time was definitely not a contribution to peace.

We may not be on the top governmental lines to stop wars but we can certainly be responsible for our own inner peace and peace in our communities.

Where does peace begin? It starts with the thoughts we think and words we speak and actions each of us takes. True peace does not come in a pill or a bottle.

Serenity is defined as the state of being calm, peaceful or untroubled. We can work on that each moment for ourselves and our families and contribute to peace in the larger world. We either cause peace or we cause something else.

The short answer is, Peace begins with you and me.

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Post By:  Ellen Firestone