Conservative, Liberal, Progressive, Libertarian, Beatnik, Fundamentalist....
They are all just labels when it comes down to it, would't you agree?
I don't know about you, but I know that I personally don't like to be labeled.
Some labels seem to be fitting and undeniable. Black, Caucasian, Oriental. All labels for categories of people, categories which you either are or are not a member of. Others are totally manufactured; African-American, Irish-American, Mexican-American for example. Perhaps you did personally cross a border and recently obtain your citizenship, in which case, the "label" applied to you is probably quite accurate. However, my Irish family emigrated to the United States over 100 years ago, so realistically, I am no more an Irish-American than I am an African-American. I did not emigrate to these so called "United States", I was born here, as were my parents and my grandparents. The Irish-American label only seems to validly apply to my great-grandparents, whom are now long dead and gone.
Yes, I said "so called United States". From where I sit & from what I've seen on TV and read on countless blogs, articles and news sites, I am of the opinion that these States are anything but United at this point in our history. Well, that statement might be true to some degree, but catastrophe has a way of Uniting people in the most profound way possible.
Either way, that is not the point of my rant here. The point is, Labels are bullshit. A label does not describe who you are as a person, unless you allow said label to define you as a person.
Labels however, are also just a fact of life in modern society. In order to describe something, it must be labeled.
As far as labels go, most people would consider me to be a liberal or a progressive, as the definition of said words applies in modern society. Talk to me for a little while though and it is easy to see that I am far more than the definition of the word liberal.
Open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.
A person of liberal views.
generous - bounteous - lavish - bountiful - free
Based on the following definition, from google.
"Open to new behaviors or opinions"
I realized something about myself recently, within the past year or so. What I had realized, or more accurately remembered, is the reason I perceive the world the way I do.
What I remembered was an encounter with my great-grandmother. Yes, the same great-grandmother mentioned earlier. Grannie, as we called her, died while living in a convalescent(?) facility when I was quite young. I dont remember exactly when it was, but I couldnt have been more than 6 or 7, 8 years old max. Prior to Grannie moving to this facility, she used to live with one of her daughters a few blocks from my grandmother. When we would go to Grams house, she would usually take us (my sister and I) over to see Grannie for a little while. While we were there, we would sit with her in her room while she watched her "stories" on TV.
Now, I remember visiting Grannie at the facility, as well as the house. I remember the facility quite vividly because there was a massive silo of liquid oxygen at the edge of the parking lot when you were leaving the facility. The reason I remember this is because by this point in time I had already learned enough about rockets and space travel ( note, this was all well before the Challenger exploded ) to know that liquid oxygen was a fuel and was quite explosive. It boggled my mind that such a thing would be placed so closely to so many elderly people. Anyway, the point is, when Grannie was at the house, I must have been between 4 and 6 years old because I know she lived in the facility before she died ( at the age of 97 I might add ).
What I remembered recently, was an experience I had while visiting Grannie at the house. It was this experience, I would recently realize, that gave birth to my worldview.
The experience came while sitting with Grannie in the house, watching her watch TV. I didn't know how old Grannie was, but I knew she was older than; myself, my sister, father, mother, grandmother... all of us. I knew I had been alive for a few years and I was able to understand the concept of a "year" well enough to relate the number of years I had been alive compared to the number of years Grannie had been alive.
I couldn't multiply at this point, but I could count, so that's what I started to do. Count from 1 to 100 (not that she was 100). As I counted, my eyes panned around the room and took note of the objects and items that populated the room. A bed, blankets on the bed, Grannies Rocker (with her sitting in it), the dresser (I wonder what kinds of clothes she has in there?), the TV on top of the dresser and the table next to her bed with the alarm clock and telephone (still corded back then).......
wait a minute... That TV, that clock... that phone.. Did Grannie have those things when she was my age? We got in a car and drove over here to see Grannie. Did Grannie have a car when she was my age? The lights! The lights came from electricity, so did the TV, the clock and the phone. I didnt realize it then, but the car had electricity in it too!
Holy Cow! Almost as fast as I noted these things, it occurred to me that NO! Grannie did NOT have these things when she was my age. In fact, most of these "things" that surrounded Grannie had not and would not be invented for many years when she was my age.
I was sitting before a person who grew up in a world that was remarkably different from the world I was currently living in. In the lifespan of this single person, the world she knew and inhabited when she was my age had changed in ways she could not fathom.
As I noted this, more things around me started to "reveal" themselves to me. Glass windows that slid open, the air conditioning, the refrigerator.. So many things.... The more I looked, the more things I saw. The concrete we drove on while making our way back to Grams house. Grams House!!!!
What this meant, to me, was that the world we live in, the things in our worlds, can change so much, so dramatically, and so fast. We are a very dynamic organism living in a constantly evolving social structure. We shape and alter the world around us to suit our ever changing needs. Everything about the human condition is subject to change. Things we once thought permanent, will be proven in time to be anything but.
If we insist on altering and shaping the world around us, then we must be willing to reshape and alter ourselves as well. Grannie did it.
It is a fools errand to wish & yearn for the days of the past, for they will never return.
I am not a Liberal, Conservative, Fundamentalist anything. My political points of view are subject to change as new information and new frames of reference are made available.
I am not a Christian, Muslim, Jewish creature. My religious affiliation is not important to any single person but myself.
My nationality is subject to change as well.... I could move somewhere else. This nation could collapse under the weight of its own ego, ignorance and foolishness. Civil War is all but one match away.
I am a 34 year old Human Being, who happens to live in America. We are all Human Being's first and foremost. It is our job to take care of and better ourselves first and foremost. It is our duty as a sentient species to move the whole of our species forward in our evolution.