Oh! It’s an election year? I hadn’t noticed. But since it’s been brought to my attention, let’s evaluate a few things:
1.) Republican v Democrat: Voting Based Solely On Party Lines - I don’t know if you know this, but there has never been nor will there ever be a perfect Republican or Democratic political candidate. This form of voting is pointless and ridiculous. Try researching each individual candidate - and this doesn’t mean listening to campaign commercials. It is YOUR responsibility as a citizen of the United States of America to research and vote for the person whom you feel best embodies the title “President”. At their core, political parties were created to help people “categorize” their politicians; - these guys like blue and federal funding, these guys like red and private property - it was never intended to be absolute. It’s OKAY to be a Christian who’s pro-life and a Democrat!! Good grief, people. When did we become so asinine? Remember, the world of American politics is not limited to Democrat and Republican, there are a plethora of smaller political parties. Do your homework and vote for someone worth your vote. Maybe by doing so you’ll force those in the race for presidency to step up their game - people held to higher standards tend to try and meet those standards.
2.) Insulting Another’s Choice: The Idiot Guide To Political Debate - Really? Since when did calling anyone stupid further the betterment of society? Stop that, will you? It doesn’t give you clout, it just makes you seem foolish and rude. This includes those “intellectuals” who claim to be “open-minded”, but when confronted with a debate of any sort reduce themselves to a toddler’s maturity. Do me a favor, grab a dictionary and take a look at the definition of “open-minded”. It might shock you into reality.
3.) We Created Our Choices: A Series Of Unfortunate Events - Throughout history, we have ignored unacceptable behavior and even encouraged it in our political leaders. You know the phrase “You get what you pay for.”, well… here you go. Until we come together as a nation and DEMAND more - and I mean “more” in the sense of non-handout forms of service - from our political leaders, we will NEVER get it. Why is Social Security failing? Government leaders retire MULTI-MILLIONAIRES with their cushy government health insurance plans AND they still draw out Social Security*. Force them to retire on Social Security alone and it will be fixed so quickly your head will spin. At what point did a representative of the people become better than the people they represent? Change that and you’ll change America as we know it, for the better.
4.) Dividing And Conquering: A Worldview of American Instability - I got news for you. Non-Americans feel about us the way you feel about that second cousin who always seems to get exactly what he wants, when he wants it, which is usually whatever you have or want. Starting to get the idea? They want us to fight each other; it saves them the trouble of bringing us down. The worldview of America is pretty low, and we deserve it. I’ve cringed listening to stories of Americans’ travels abroad; what a horrible representation of our country! What does this have to do with elections, you ask? Everything. As big and bad as we are, we aren’t big and bad enough to fix the world by our lonesome. We NEED to build relationships with other countries. Without those bonds, we become a small fish in a big pond. Yes, I realize America is still the most powerful nation in the world, but so was the Roman Empire. If we screw up enough to cause countries to unite against us, we’re in BIG trouble. It’s important that we elect someone who’s aware of that. We are never going to agree on any one person or every little social nuance; have you seen the population of the United States? Lots of people all with opinions of their own. Agree to disagree or we will be divided just enough to be conquered.
5.) Sore Losers: For Those Who Never Left Preschool - It is VITAL that we support our president - whether you like him/her or not, they are the elected leader of our country and should be given the support of their nation. This election process has been in practice since the VERY BEGINNING of America and it’s worked pretty well over the years. I’ll admit, I struggled with this point, but soon came to the realization that IT’S ONLY FOUR YEARS, at worst, eight. So instead of moaning and groaning about whomever won the election, just grin and bear it for a while. The world will not end! You still live in a country full of freedoms denied by the majority of the world. Be grateful.
I hope these points shed some light on how to approach this election year and how to act towards one another. I see more and more the division of America into categories: Republican/Democrat, Yankee/Southerner, White/Black/Italian/Asian/Native American/Indian/Etc., Conservative/Liberal. Have you so easily forgotten? We’re ALL Americans.
Is this what you think of when you think of “beauty”? If it is, you’re among many people. In the past few weeks I’ve been attempting to define its full meaning. And yes, this is a beautiful picture of a beautiful girl and she very much represents the word, but if all beauty is just this, what does a person have left when the wrinkles appear? Their skin begins to sag and fat collects around their middle? I’m not going to talk in-depth about “inner beauty”, although it is a facet of what I’m saying, it’s not the whole of it. The beauty I’m speaking of is the beauty God gave you.
I came across a song by MercyMe* that speaks of the many voices that tell people throughout their lives that they’re soiled, ugly, and not worth anything. I’ve listened to those voices more often than I’d like to admit. Think of the times when you’ve felt the lowest about yourself. Were you listening to what you believed were people’s perception of you? Or were you going as far as saying them to yourself? One thing is for certain, it wasn’t God’s voice. A perfect God made you in His image, with more love than you’ll ever understand. If you need more convincing, look at John 3:16. I know you know it. Say it with me. “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.” You think a God who loves you that much would make you ugly? I don’t think so.
The dictionary defines beauty in three ways:
1: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit : loveliness
2: a beautiful person or thing; especially : a beautiful woman
3: a particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality
via Merriam-Webster Dictionary
These are the world’s definitions, not God’s. God isn’t wrinkling His nose at your acne or judging your weight. He really doesn’t care. (Not to say He doesn’t care how these things affect your happiness, but as physical attributes alone, not at all.) He wants you to understand that no matter what the world is telling you is beautiful, it’s a lie and nothing compared to the beauty He already gave you.
It took me a long time to grasp this concept, and if I’m being totally honest, I still don’t understand it completely. All I can tell you is once you start to realize you’re already beautiful to the One that matters, you don’t sweat the small stuff nearly as much. So what if your hair looks like an F5 tornado hit it? Your face has a zit the size of a soccer ball right in the middle of your forehead? The world tells you to dwell on those trivialities. God sees everything; the time you opened the door for someone else, the kind words you said to your mother, the perfection of His creation. And He can’t wait for you to see, fully, what He sees everyday.
So what is “beauty”? It’s a perfection found in the soul of an individual, placed there by God Himself. It’s altogether amazing and undefinable. It’s been there since the beginning of your existence, but it won’t manifest itself without your belief in the One who made it. And nothing you can say or do will ever take it away. You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His. You are beautiful.