Knowing Our Responsibilities
“Citizens have many rights, but rights have limits. For example,
you are free to speak your opinion. Yet it is against the law to shout “Fire!” in a public place if there is no fire. Rights come with responsibilities. Every citizen has responsibilities. Laws explain our responsibilities. Obeying laws is an important responsibility. A person who breaks a law may go to jail. However, if a law is unfair, citizens can change it. Adult citizens have many responsibilities. They may serve in the military or on a jury. They also have the responsibility to vote. Citizens vote to choose leaders. Sometimes they vote about changing laws. Citizens need to learn about the issues and then vote. Their opinions will not count if they do not vote.”
Recently, many of you already know, I had the pleasure of helping a nonprofit organization canvas door to door during this very important National and local political cycle.
The outcome of the presidential election is less than ideal for some and a jubilant win for others. Some may consider this outcome to be a repudiation of everything they hold dear. There is no way I or anyone can refute what or how you feel. How can anyone argue with how a person feels about comments made by a father, mother, brother, boss, co-worker, colleague, President-elect? Consider for a moment how many of us could say the same things as Donald Trump has said during or before this campaign and get elected to President of the local Rotary Club, much less the highest elected office in the United States?
On election night many of the volunteers who participated with the Move on.org work gathered at a local restaurant to watch the results.
Close to the end of the evening, when the electoral votes were lining up in favor of President-elect Trump, I walked out of the room to the outside patio tables where I met a young mother, quietly praying at a table,alone. When I asked if she was ok, she said, “I know that Jesus will not allow this to happen to us.” “I’m praying because I know that Jesus is with us and he will not allow this to happen to us” “How will I explain this to my children”?
This mother was not one of the MoveOn volunteers just someone seeking community on election night. I sat down. Jesus was not on television that night but Jesus was most definitely sitting outside with us/ in our hearts during our brief shared moment of grief.
Look for signs of leadership in Leaders during this difficult period of disunion. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but fairly lost the election in the Electoral College. Our country has survived this on 3 other occasions and we survived.
Seek community and avoid solitude. We came together as Americans with shared principals and higher values. The shared values and community will help you heal. We have work to do in our families, community and the city of Durham NC. There are so many great resources within our shared community. Consider volunteering with Duke Hospice care or Seeds Gardens. Help me bring a real diner to Durham NC where everyone is warmly welcomed. Citizens have the right of free assembly but the responsibility of lawful conduct during protest.
When the United States Electoral College casts their electoral votes in December 2016, they will most likely confirm the win in the 2016 election by Donald Trump. As of November 2016 (11/11 at 9:35am EST), Hillary Clinton had received 337,636 more votes in the general election than Trump. Clinton thus far received 47.70% of the popular vote, while Trump acquired 47.43%. Take a look at this easy guide video on the electoral College.
Please watch the video of President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump after their first face to face meeting. President Obama is a citizen of our country, a good father, husband, mentor, community organizer,experienced public servant, world leader, loyal friend. President Obama is an American. Donald Trump is an American. Donald Trump raised a family and has a young son. Donald Trump listened and learned from President Obama just as President Obama listened and learned from George H.W. Bush.
Rights and responsibilities. Parents with teenagers have an excellent opportunity to teach this important lesson on a daily basis. Rights and responsibilities.
Leaders do have freedom of expression as all citizens do yet there is a responsibility, innate to positions of leadership,to model behaviors and speech that unite rather than divide us.
U.S. CITIZEN RESPONSIBILITIES
Stay informed of the issues affecting your community. Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws. Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others. Pay income and other taxes honestly, and on time, to federal, state, and local authorities.