The #fourthofjulychallenge this year is to take a picture with the preamble to the U.S. Constitution (find my free preamble printable HERE or use any version of your choosing) and then share about what any one part of the Constitution means to you/your family. Or just what your favorite part is. Period! No need to be anywhere near as wordy as I’m sure I’m about to get.
Whether you’re a U.S. resident or not, I would love to have you participate!
I’ve had a lot on my mind lately so I decided to take what was going to be a social media post and make it a blog post instead about the question, How can we secure the blessings of liberty? I’d love to hear your thoughts too! Please share or comment below!
Well, what are the blessings of Liberty? Freedom of speech, religion, press, privacy, and the right to bear arms are some that might come to people’s minds right away.
So how do we protect those and other blessings of liberty?
Learn, Learn, Learn
Oh man, if there’s anything I’ve learned in 2020, it’s the value of being able to research and sort between fact and misinformation. I really, really believe that knowledge is power. And how much more powerful is our knowledge if it’s based in facts! To me, securing liberty goes hand in hand with securing sound, truthful information about history, current events, medicine, and more. Liberty never involves misinformation. It’s something that has been on my mind so much lately.
So please take some time to learn how to recognize faulty, or flat out made-up statistics. Speak up when you see it. Don’t spread it. When we promote misinformation, we are potentially impeding on someone’s ability to make the most educated decisions for themselves in how they want to live, or in how they will allow others to live.
If you’ve been on the internet lately, maybe you’ve seen some “charts” similar to ones I’ve noticed. These charts have no titles. No references for the “data.” Just categories and percentages or numbers. If you pay attention, maybe the percentages add to 200%. And the categories may not be comparable. But one category will have next to it an absurd number. Like, how, out of 6 groups, does the group Black people killing Black people group get a 98% next to it? And what does that 98% even mean if there is no title or data reference? So how can you solve this riddle?
Share it on your page and ask if anyone can verify or explain it for you?? Nope, nope, no, no, no. That is spreading misinformation. Remember, the whole internet is at your fingertips to find answers without having to publicly spread something wrong, just to ask if it is wrong.
The only thing that would be clear about a chart like this, is that someone was trying to say “Black people are violent, low, less than, etc.” And still, you might see people liking and sharing it. It’s horrifying to see these things spread like wildfire. Yes, we have certain liberties to say whatever we want, but can we not end up losing some freedoms by abusing that power? Do you not take away someone else’s liberty to comfortably exist in their own skin when you choose to use your liberty to negatively label them?
The moral of the story here is: the internet can be a tool for either good or evil ridiculously rapid information spreading. So, if you can’t share something with verified statistics and facts, or that you believe in with all your heart, then don’t share nothin’ at all. An important lesson I learned from Thumper. Kinda.
If you need help checking facts, then University of Central Florida created a list of fact checkers to use: https://guides.ucf.edu/fakenews/factcheck
On the other hand of keeping unverified facts to ourself though, we can definitely ask questions and realize that some “facts” change and we might have been right yesterday but are wrong today, or vice versa. Do you know how much more I’ve learned this year by hearing out every argument and wondering, “okay, where are they right?” instead of looking for “well, where are they wrong?” Yes, I still find plenty wrong, and don’t usually change my stance, but I certainly come away with more valuable information when I let the person know I value that they have an opinion. And personally, as long as someone can pull up a relevant source to back their arguments, I’m a happy and eager listener!
Being openminded when looking for the truth of anything is important because the first definition of “secure” when I google it is,
fix or attach (something) firmly so that it cannot be moved or lost.
And I feel like thats what so many of us usually do. We find one fact and attach ourselves to it, gosh darnit! But when it comes to securing our liberty and truth, I think we need to stop being so hardheaded and brawny, and look at a definition further down the list:
The truth can be so, so hard to find! And I love this idea that we can succeed in obtaining truth and liberty, but it’s going to be hard. Another truth? Don’t believe everything you see on the internet. Take some effort and time to find what’s real. The truth is what sets us free.
Has anyone counted how many cliches I’ve thrown in here? But I mean every one of them.
And Then, Vote!
So all this leads to saying that we need to learn (and for some of us, unlearn) how to dig for truth, and how to spread truth, so that with the truth we can make the most of our voices and votes. I’ve only recently felt a stronger pull towards my duty to really be involved in knowing more about politics and voting opportunities. After reading the book, “The President of the Jungle” my 3yo has started using this new conversation starter, “What is an election? You get a new leader!” And I love it as a gentle reminder that I should be excited that I can ELECT MY VERY OWN LEADERS.
And when I really stop to think about it, it’s amazing that our voices can actually count towards saying who we want to be led by. And it’s so sad that there are places where that is not even on the table! We often don’t get to choose how we’re raised, what we’re taught (in a broad sense), who our specific teachers and community helpers are, or what kind of situation we’re born into. But when we come of age, we can finally say, “No. I don’t think its right to have y-type people making decisions for me. I think that z-people will end up causing more harm than good in a certain position right now. I want someone like l,m,n,o,p.” And then you can go out and vote for someone like that, hopefully. Heck, you can run and pave your own way into a leadership position!
And for so long people all over this earth have been told that some voices are more important than others, but in that U.S. ballot box, I’m told that my vote is supposed to whisper just as loud as the one next to it, “Here is what I think we should do.” And by so doing, I hope that I have put in enough difficulty to succeed in obtaining liberties that will be further pushed and continued by a good leader.
So in short, how can we secure liberty? We can secure good education and truthful information sharing.