Sunday, January 29, 2017

I Don't Understand

My apologizes for not posting a #FeelingVeggieGoodFriday blog this past Friday, but I had the desire to start a regular blog because I haven't written one in a while. My mom and I will be back with another #FeelingVeggieGoodFriday blog next week.

I'm taking U.S. History this year and as I've been reading my textbook, I'm starting to realize that the United States is a selfish nation. We always have been. Now, don't get me wrong -- we've come a long way over time and there are people and organizations in our country who are doing good things for people both in and out of the United States. But when I look at us today, and I read about how we were in the past, there are some things that haven't changed.

I look at the annexation of Hawaii and how we basically just took their nation. We really had no justifiable reason for taking their nation, we just did it because we wanted to. And I can't help but think about what we did to those poor Native Americans who were here on this land long before we were. I was curious about the population size of Native Americans in the United States today, so I Googled it. In a census in 2014, "The nation’s population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race. They made up about 2 percent of the total population in 2014."  I'm no math genius but two percent of the total population doesn't sound like a lot. I really don't think enough of us look at how destructive our nation has been in the past. And because it was in the past and we can't do anything about it, there's no reason to dwell on it, right?

I'm proud to be a Christian. I believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light. I have a respect for missionaries who travel to various places like Guatemala, Africa, etc. to spread the good news of the Gospel. So it makes me sad and disappointed to think that some people used Christianity as an excuse to take over other nations like the Philippines, Hawaii, etc. We used the excuse that the people of these nations were uncivilized and needed to convert to Christianity as justification to go into their nations and take over. It's like my mom said, you can't force anyone to go vegan just like you can't force anyone to become a Christian. All you can do is present information and lead by example. That's not exactly what these Christian missionaries were doing. I believe that it is ungodly, and morally wrong that we used Christianity in this way to justify taking over other nations. This is not to say that all of these missionaries were wrong, dishonest, rude, etc. I'm sure a lot of them probably did lead more by joyful example, rather than cramming Christianity down these peoples' throats. But I look at this photo in my history textbook and it's of three Chinese natives and a Christian missionary. The natives look so sad and uncomfortable and the missionary has this harsh, cold look on her face. This isn't how Christianity should have been back then. And while I know many Christians who are loving and joyful, we all still have room to improve.

I'm not going to pick sides and get all political, but I can't help but think about some of the things President Trump has said. "Make America great again." At the expense of what? At the expense of whom? I believe he's also said something along the lines of, "America is going to come first."  In Acts 20:35 the apostle Luke wrote, "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"   I understand that there are some things in America that need to be fixed, reworked, and changed. Our nation does need help, I fully agree with that. But why do we have to be so cocky, so full of ourselves, so selfish? We need to make the world great again. Or more accurately put, great for the first time. 

So why write this blog? Well, really, after reading in my history textbook I felt like I needed to write something because it just makes me sad and depressed sometimes to think about how we've acted in the past. But I also figured I could tie this in with veganism, of course 😉. Over the last few months I've learned a lot. I am fortunate to have been able to take off the blinders that the world and greedy, selfish corporations had put on me. There are so many things that people need to know, and there are so many things that people can know if they only choose to watch that one documentary, read that one article, or ask that one question for help or recommendation. Why won't you allow yourself to be open and willing to gain more information? What are you afraid of? What is holding you back? We need to wake up to so many things, not just a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle. We must give ourselves permission to learn and grow and experience things that perhaps go against tradition, and that greedy and selfish corporations that don't want us discover. "Big Money" doesn't care about what is in our best interest.  "We the people" must dig our heels in and fight for what is right, even if it isn't popular. 

I am not against our nation. On the contrary I consider myself blessed to live in a country where there isn't war, or famine, and I get to practice Christianity openly and freely. But we have done some dark things in the past. We need to realize that and reflect on those things. It's only the first month of 2017, and we have eleven more months to learn, explore, grow, and effect positive change this year. It's time for us to wake up and see that there is more to this world -- to our lives -- than we've been led to believe.  No one is forcing you to change, but if you open yourselves to the possibilities by watching that one documentary, asking that one question, and reading that one book or article, you might just wonder what took you so long to discover a better and more fulfilling way to live. 

"Don't be afraid to be open minded. Your brain isn't going to fall out."
"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it isn't open." -living life unbound

This blog was like a journal entry. It is merely my thoughts that I needed to get out. Apologizes if it offended anyone.

I am in no way perfect, but I'm learning and I'm happy,


 Copyright 2016-2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

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