Charleston, SC is where my home is currently located. The recent situation of flood disaster across South Carolina has an interesting personal perspective from me as I continue to watch South Carolinians recover in the aftermath and the presence of true miracles. Values and reasons that sustain what we all hold dear are not entirely standard commonalities across any type of people for their similarities that may or may not actually exist.
South Carolina has been in too much pain. The confederate flag was removed from the state grounds and the history of the people of this state was asked denial. I have lived in the South U.S. variously enough of my life to understand a better world in the present day out of all of the Southern people that have grown and matured and created better civilization than the historic pasts. Validation of pain in the South is regression from what has emerged better that shows a stubbornness to arrive correctly in the present time. Now South Carolina has had a flood crisis and more rebuilding and resources are demanded on top of economic and other pains.
Most of us were born from a human being that gave birth that we call “mother”. I am a daughter and I do still have a mother. I chose for many real reasons in my life not to bear children. This does not invalidate the concept and realization of motherhood that still remains valid, even when I know I do not wish to live my life for, about, or because of children. We do not all become exactly like the mother we were born from and history bears children that are not history’s mothers and fathers.
Precious to me are a few honest things in my life: home, my cats (my childeren), men and women that care about one another and keep well in contributions they give and values they maintain for themselves in better lives, skills and talents and resources not wasted and disposed of, but most of all how human beings take responsibility for their own decisions and uses when freedoms are still alive and the viability of all compatible existing versions of love that are defined in human kind. South Carolina might redefine in some ways, but if you ever knew this state and believed in anything remember not to hate with destruction that does not leave value for the changes achieved as I, for one, would like a future that keeps well.
I gave thanks my ways for my home that still remains in South Carolina today.
Mothers and Fathers die and pass away. As an adult, I have realized we are not always there for everything that happens in our own we have had and we did not always know in all ways everything that was from our heritage. When we do not deny our own lives as we are now, or our histories from our own understandings, life sustains alive on the Earth and a future.
Right now! Today! We are not only products of women in History; we are making strides for History in our immediate present. Milestones have been achieved across the ages for women’s rights, women’s equality as human beings, and women’s progress in images, philosophical thought, and education. Too many points in history of serious achievements for females have occurred for me to list them all and not miss some of the important contributions for women from women. However, this does not stop me from admiring women making strides today for the female voices on our planet. Among the females I genuinely admire for making a difference in the present tense are: Gina Trapani with ThinkUp, Chelsea Clinton with The Clinton Foundation, and Lady GaGa.
I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s where feminism was a question mark and most media referred to women’s rights as “Second Wave” or “Third Wave” questions. The generations at the forefront during that time were not original women’s movement founders and female empowerment was relegated to a “non-issue”. Women in this country were outnumbering men in higher education although men executives still outnumbered females in corporate United States. We did not grow up taught to make a “happy home” as our future. Girls and boys had an equal chance at dreams for whatever they desired to become in the next decade. I did not understand that issues still existed between male and female in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.
Then the 1990s rolled in. Human rights became a priority in the women’s rights movement as we saw that other cultures did not support our ideals and images for the modern woman. By the time of the millennium, the two issues became inseparable. In later years, women’s rights would focus on economic stability and gender-based violence with resurgence in the assertion of female needs for children and pregnancy securities.
I have found myself something of an interesting sub-culture as a single, divorced, heterosexual woman in her mid-forties with no children. When I think of women’s rights, I agree to the humanitarian influence as important, but I am more concerned with the female as an individual- not as a woman that may be “at the mercy of a male husband” or dealing children’s needs. If we are going to talk about women’s rights or the female condition, I think we do need to focus on the opportunities available for females instead of focusing on issues related to prescribed female roles.
There are differences between the sexes. Laying aside sex based roles and issues forces us to deal with one another as individual persons. Women’s history has proven we can correctly make strides toward certain equalities. Perhaps we should consider that sexual bias of any sort has to be eliminated to obtain individual freedoms. When we learn that what we choose defines us and we have the opportunity to make viable choices, we will be more capable of eliminating abuses and discriminations based on those choices.
The government of The Republic of Sierra Leone is rising in recovery from the EBOLA pandemic with a voice that must be heard. Abdulai Bayraytay a National Publicity and Outreach Coordinator in the Office of the Government Spokesman of Sierra Leone gave press conference statements on February 10, 2015 citing: “Ebola still exists” and that “The fight continues”. The schools have been re-opened in Sierra Leone to provide the training and education necessary on EBOLA for community socialization on avoiding the chain of transmission.
The first outbreak of EBOLA in Sierra Leone was documented on May 25, 2014 and there have been over 2,000 plus deaths related to EBOLA since. An infected individual has a 50/50 chance of survival. Regional efforts in stemming the spread of EBOLA have been expanded in partnerships with Guinea and Liberia. Although the borders are still open between these regions, checkpoints are operating at intra-district levels to curtail the migration of EBOLA. In Sierra Leone international trade has been severely impacted; banks have reduced operations; and over 24,000 jobs have been lost due to the EBOLA pandemic.
Although EBOLA has heavily impacted the Sierra Leone economy, recovery measures are in progress. A key challenge is establishing a reliable health care system. The Ministry of Water Resources and of Social Welfare for Sierra Leone has partnered with UNICEF to establish over ten free healthcare treatment centers and the IMF has contributed substantial funds for relief and national stability. The Sierra Leone national census has been postponed. A “117” response phone line has been established for emergency reporting.
Vaccine trials started in Liberia are being extended to other regions and doctors in Uganda are working to prevent possible re-emergence and mutation factor controls. The Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation Is conducting ongoing inquiries into EBOLA spread and contamination causes, some of which have been identified including bush meat and bats as major carriers.
Abdulai Bayraytay was cited as reminding the press that “EBOLA is real and it kills”. There is a two-year jail sentence in Sierra Leone served by those found hiding EBOLA infected individuals and fines are applied for not reporting known EBOLA cases. All of the facts and figures listed above were officially released and the press conference may be viewed at this following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF56kKnXePA
Post EBOLA strategies are being discussed with a mind to continuing to implement the Sierra Leone agenda of prosperity with international communities. History teaches us that plagues can change societies. Perhaps the greatest change our modern cultures can show will be a new day where Sierra Leone is not left isolated and devastated but, through international coordination and efforts, education and modern medical science establish a presence that will preserve the future of the Sierra Leone population. Today EBOLA is an Emergency. Tomorrow the history books will show EBOLA as a chapter in our past that reflects a test of our humanity and our resources on a global scale, not just in The Republic of Sierra Leone.
“To the souls who gave their lives, to your sacrifice we rise. There are none who pass unsung when the laurel wreathes are hung.”- song lyrics for “Laud”
Complete freedom is completely irresponsible. The dream of complete freedom is an illusion. I value my freedoms: the choices still available, responsible or not, that I am free to make without hindrance. Some would argue that if my choices are “wrong” or more irresponsible than responsible, I should not be allowed these freedoms as they must be supported by some sort of answer that allows the irresponsibility. I disagree. In an adult world, some would argue that we pay our own prices for our own decisions and that when we do not pay prices others must pay for us. I disagree again. There is not always a “price tag” on every freedom. I may walk on the left hand side of the street or the right hand side of the street with no repercussions whatsoever. This does not mean I cannot be called out by a policeman for jaywalking in a heavily trafficked area and be asked to pay a fine. However, I might jaywalk in such an area and come across unscathed with no traffic problems resulting and no policeman writing me a ticket because I was not seen. There are good reasons for laws. We need to live together- space is not unlimited. Laws create the best possible environment, taking the environment into account, for all those in the environment to co-exist with the greatest amount of freedoms left to them on both personal and societal levels. There are vast differences between societal, personal, and basic humanitarian rights. To live more free is to achieve levels of choice in all three areas.
Unfortunately, the idea that we should enjoy more freedom usually leads to some form of running away. I know, from my own experiences in life, that running away does not result in freedom. In fact, it usually worsens an already restricted situation and causes a need for too much of a price tag to regain freedoms. When we find ourselves needing other choices, different responsibilities, and new environments it is necessary to affect changes instead of abandoning all we have in the present situation to chase a dream of illusion where freedom is found. This is not easy and at times can seem impossible when faced with limited resources. Human kindness, social recourse and economic viability are all necessary elements in achieving and maintaining our precious freedoms on all levels. Complete freedom demands no ties, no commitments, no necessities to take care of, and no loyalties. However, choices come with a capability and a willingness to establish ties, make commitments, attend to necessities, and form our loyalties. We cannot obtain freedom by running away. We can run away from losing our freedoms.
The “Star Spangled Banner” declares the United States the “land of the free” and the “home of the brave”. The two ideas must go hand in hand. I believe in keeping our freedoms. I have tried running away. Our dream in this nation is alive because we have choices- whatever we decide to choose.
In 1989 George H. W. Bush in his inaugural address called on the “thousand points of light”. On July 5, 2011 the metal core band “Unearth” released their fifth studio album “Darkness In The Light”. While these two events are widely dissimilar and unrelated, they speak of our time with eloquence. Our nation’s lights are tinged with darkness and we are trying to see in the night.
We are facing choices for a better tomorrow that we cannot have without maintaining today. Looking toward our future we are asking questions we cannot answer because the pathway forward is not visible past the shadows that surround us. A “thousand points of light” will not help illuminate what is up ahead unless the lights are gathered together so that we may see more clearly.
There is “darkness in the light”. We are divided in our answers so deeply that what we see is only our own pool of pale sun. If we cannot join our candles and see our way, there will undoubtedly be decisions made to travel separate directions and the visions of our people and our forefathers will only be the realization left for a few who find their way through on the strength of their own understanding.
Desert Storm began on August 2, 1990. The Iraq War began on March 20, 2003. The current shutdown of the United States government occurred in October of 2013. For so long, the United States of America has stood as a light for other nations. We have protected and served the global community as a stronger people with a greater purpose. Now, we must find that strength and purpose for ourselves. Our people are still here; our land still stands; but the darkness in our light will not dissipate unless we come together.
In a time when we are struggling with our leaders, it is not a time to be followers. We must, instead, walk side by side so that each and every candle shows what is ahead. Our differences in a multi-cultural, value driven, freedom-preserving society are not issues to be debated and torn apart over. These differences are the fundamental foundation for shedding individual “points of light” on separate pieces of our future. If we stand shoulder to shoulder, united in keeping today working together for the future, we will see the complete vision that the joining of our lights reveals.
In every community there is a neighborhood and in every neighborhood there are families. In every family there are individuals who may or may not agree. Now is not a time to debate our beliefs. Now is a time to realize that we are all part of a family, a neighborhood, and a community that needs to support, sustain, and maintain today for our future. The “darkness in our light” can spread to complete night if we abandon one another in our search for our way forward. The Beatles wrote “Come Together”. We must remain free.
Light In Darkness