The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects our rights to the free exercise of religion, as well as our freedom to peacefully assemble, speak our minds and petition the government for redress of grievances.
This has somehow turned many people in this nation into protest-happy bands of citizens and non-citizens who think any situation that doesn’t perfectly suit their personal desires, beliefs, goals or opinions warrants protest.
I don’t know about you (and, perhaps, the very fact that I’m expounding my views on the topic may incite you to stage a protest of your own) but I have grown quite weary of watching adult-age people sitting on dirty streets, standing in front of moving traffic and stamping signs on their own foreheads just to let the world know something happened they don’t like.
I suppose you could say I’m guilty as well, for this article can be taken as a protest against protesting (::snickers::). Lest you think I’m down on speaking up for your beliefs and taking a stand against oppressive forces or rising up in the face of persecution, I’m not. In fact, I fully concur with Burke’s assertion that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” However, I don’t really think this Irish statesmen was encouraging every person in the land to stage a public outcry against every little thing that doesn’t go his/her way in life.
The recent general election for the presidency of the United States was obviously a highly emotionally charged event. Sadly, the entire campaign seemed divisive, rather than bringing diverse groups of people together on common ground in their desire to support our nation’s political process and create a future that allows every man, woman, and child to reach his/her full potential as free persons on earth. Instead, what could have been civil, intelligent conversations became nothing short of extreme drama-based reality tv performances where people were more upset about an outfit a particular candidate was wearing than policies he/she intended to employ as president.
The morning after the election, I (like so many others) rubbed my weary eyes and sipped gobs of steaming hot coffee as I scrolled through headlines to get a sense of what the tone of the day after might be. Image after image appeared of cars burning, vandalism, and angry people, screaming their thoughts (as though yelling lends validity to their points) and “protesting” all the things (and people) that have made them unhappy.
I saw one particular photo showing a group of young adults with signs stamped to their own foreheads that said, “Not my president!” — I had to laugh. I mean, really. This is reason to protest? Isn’t any president-elect “not” somebody’s president? Given the fact there is always more than one candidate, and only one arises victorious in a race, it is logical to assume that the losing candidate was supported by some people, which means the candidate who won is “not” their candidate.
Isn’t it enough to hold your head up high, give thanks for a free republic and acknowledge the fact that not everything goes the way we want it to in life? Must we stamp evidence of that fact across our faces and parade through the public square to let everyone know we’re unhappy? If so, I have a few protests of my own I might consider launching. Let’s see – appropriate forehead stamps might include: “Not my laundry!” “Not my weather!” “Not my hips!”
There’s a little thing called “reality” that exists whether we like it or not. Rather than protesting every unsatisfying moment of our lives as though we are entitled to perfect and perpetual gratification on all fronts, why not revisit the idea that sometimes we need to pick ourselves up, dust off and move on.
Or, as my kids often say, “Suck it up, buttercup!”
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.