February 27, 2011
To my Brothers and Sisters of Libya,
I greet you in peace and open arms. I have never traveled to your country and quite honestly until the events of the past few weeks I knew not much about you other than the tales of your leader. Even the stories I’d previously been told about the man who heads your nation have been somewhat colored I’m sure. Nevertheless, I have seen the news. I have been reading. I have watched videos online. I am drawn to you and know that because we are all children of the earth and citizens of the world we are connected.
Years ago I was taught that freedom is not free and that in order to obtain it and keep it that people must work day and night. It appears as though you have been toiling for a long night, more than 40 years, and that perhaps your day may soon break. I pray your safe passage to dawn.
Tonight the evening news reported that those trying to hold on to power are hunkering down in Tripoli, the capital of Libya and those that are who wish to bring about change and freedom are consolidating their resources to march into the capital and claim it for what is just and of and for the people. As I sat here watching the news in my home here in the capital of the United States of America, I thought about so many things.
First was my great respect for the men and women of Libya who are so thirsty for freedom and justice for themselves and their loved ones that they would be willing to sacrifice their lives today for a better Libya tomorrow. It made me sad for a moment to think of those who live in Washington, DC, who complain under their breath about ‘no taxation without representation’ who don’t so much as sacrifice a few moments of their time to pick up the phone and tell their family members in other parts of the country to pick up their phones and call their elected officials and ask for their help in granting more freedom to us.
Next, I thought about the current partisan rhetoric in our country right now. It saddens me. I am deeply disturbed that rather than work together the two dominant political parties appear to be more concerned with winning elections, favorability polls and pushing ideological agendas rather than focusing on issues upon which they can agree and most effectively move our country forward. Our elected officials should not only be grateful that we chose them to serve us in public office, but also that our nation provides such a beautifully written living document and infrastructure to help citizens and our country stand tall. We have a constitution. We have an infrastructure that includes separation of powers. And until recently, I thought we had grown ups in the House and Senate. We have the tools necessary to govern our great nation but the ones we are counting on to be models and do the governing in a responsible mature manner aren’t doing that. Many of them should be ashamed. The ills that are permeating our country, while far from perfect right now, still pale in comparison to what is happening in nations around the world.
Tonight, I also looked at the images of the men and women in the streets of your country and wondered where the children and elderly were. I wondered how a mother explains what is going in the streets to her children. I wondered what insight an elderly person who has lived in Libya his or her entire life would have to offer on where the country was, where it is and where it might be going – those essential voices of the nations past and future. I hold them up in light and love.
Because I am human, because I want what is best for my friends, family and loved ones, because I cherish freedom, security and the right to dream and make my dreams a reality, because I know so deeply what it is like to simply want to be heard – I stand with you my brothers and sisters.
Know that I am not there in body, but I am with you in spirit. I am with you and everyone in every capital city of every country on this earth. I am hopeful. I am prayerful.
One day every citizen of the world will know peace in this world.
May God bless and protect you.
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