Taking it to the streets

Have you paid close attention to what’s really going on in the world today? Yeah, I know you’re probably like me, you read the headlines of your e-newspaper, scan an article and move on to the next one exercising the same manner of review. However, perusal of your paper will show that people are upset. And it seems as if they’re upset everywhere, around the world, about a plethora of things. They are protesting vehemently in the streets. Of course, all of us know about the demonstrations that have been taking place about the police killing of George Floyd.  That tragic incident is still sparking protests globally. The reality of a global pandemic that’s taking lives indiscriminately hasn’t placed a damper on the motivation for people to prepare their best placards, and to put their frustration on display for the world to see. Inequality and injustice seem to be at the heart of most of these protests.

According to the Telangana Today (https://telanganatoday.com) August 4, 2020 edition, 2019 was a record year for protests worldwide.  Protests are having noticeable effects on government operations in many capital cities around the world: Amsterdam, Dublin, Berlin, Toronto, Paris to name a few. Although the issues that people are protesting about may appear to be varied: police brutality, climate change, human rights, corruption of government officials, justice and equality are the threads stitching together the motivation to protest. One might ask, with over seven billion people on the planet, how can there be a common denominator to all this open frustration? I would suspect the speed with which news of occurrences are transported around the world is a large part of the answer. People can see a video of what appears to be wrongful police shooting on Main Street, U.S. just minutes after it happens in Berlin or Paris or London. People see this and it breeds emotions of familiarity. This is happening in my neck of the woods, too. Another world citizen has been mistreated by their government. I’m upset and I want to do something about it. It’s tantamount to it happening in the global-village square.

As I’ve watched people in the streets of Portland, Oregon protesting against police brutality and in support of Black Lives Matter, I often wonder about the words to the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag. “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.” Obviously, the protestors on U.S. streets don’t feel that liberty and justice are being served warm to all of our citizens. Today, August 5, 2020, marks sixty-nine days people have been taking their frustration to the streets of Portland.  Whether you agree with the reason they’re protesting or not, you have to give them credit for sticking to it.

The longer I live, the more I see the commonality in what motivates all of us, regardless of the space we occupy on the planet. The human model today, as ions ago, is driven by intangibles such as love, hate, greed, compassion, and a desire to ensure that all are treated with dignity and respect. I realize the latter may not be what drives all of us; however, I think the majority can lay claim to these laudable qualities. And it’s because we do, we oftentimes get sick and tired of being sick and tired and we take to the streets, hoping our voices aren’t like vapor evaporating in the wilderness.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

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