Norma Sherry: I Believe
By Norma Sherry
It's a new year: 2004. A time to reflect on all that's past and a time to be filled with the hope of all that's new. Try as I might, though, I find it very difficult to imagine that this new year, this the fourth year in the new millennium holds any more promise than the years that came before.
My positive side, and the one I dwell in most often, wants to believe that we will put an end to hungry children, suffering children, abused children, medically uncared for children. I want to believe that we will learn to live with one another peacefully, neighborly. I want to believe that as the richest country in the world, we will put an end to starvation and homeless-ness; that we will learn to be more tolerant and understanding of one another; that we will be less judgmental.
I want to believe that our elected representatives are really looking out for our best interests. I want to believe with all my heart that our young men and women are fighting in faraway lands for honorable reasons. I want to believe in truth and honesty and personal responsibility, and that we are all held to the same high level of accountability.
I want to believe in the good of humankind. I want to believe in the inalienable rights bestowed upon us -- each and every one of us -- by our forefathers. I want to believe that we live in the finest country in the world. I want to believe that we are not heading towards the slippery slope of fascism. I want to believe that our elections are not rigged; that the voting machines are not suspect.
Oh, I so want to believe that our government didn't lie to us, but I heard the lies with my own ears. I want to believe that there was a reason - a good and honorable reason - that we sent our children to battle and to find one of the world's despotic leaders. I want to believe there is a legitimate reason that we have lost seven of our twelve amendments in our Bill of Rights, and are systematically losing our civil liberties. I want to believe that there is a true and important reason why we have been lied to, deceived, and misled.
I want to believe in the true equality of men and women in the workplace. I want to believe in equal pay for equal work. I want to believe that the more than three million workers whose jobs and livelihoods were out-sourced to lands far from our shores will find work commensurate with their skills and knowledge. I want to believe in the principal of 'a chicken in every pot and a car in every driveway'.
I want to believe that illiteracy will cease and that the term will become obsolete. I want to believe that every child - no matter their financial status - will receive an excellent education. I want to believe that every child will have the same opportunity to go to college. I want to believe that educators, teachers, and scholars will earn a salary that reinforces the importance of their positions. I want to believe that the brightest and the best will educate our youth.
I want to believe that no elderly human being, no disabled individual, no child, or any person will go without proper medical care or medication. I want to believe that no physician or hospital will withhold medical attention for the lack of money or medical insurance.
I want to believe in the dignity of life, and that in this fourth year of our millennium every life will be a life worth living. I want to believe that we will offer shelter and food to those without, and that we will have the humanity to care for one another. I want to believe that we will become a compassionate society and that we will realize that we are responsible for the well-being of each other. I want to believe that there is a common understanding that we need to help those who cannot help themselves.
I want to believe that our policemen and women will be chosen carefully. I want to believe that no individual will be wantonly abused, beaten, or killed by those chosen to protect us. I want to believe that the standard by which officers of the law are selected will be stringent and exceptionally astute.
I want to believe in honorable and just judicial decisions. I want to believe in equal protection under the law -- with or without a 'dream team'. I want to believe in impartial, even-handed, and unprejudiced jurors. I want to believe in truth and honor, and that the punishment will be equal to the crime. I want to believe that our Justices on the Supreme Court are steadfast and diligent in following and interpreting the letter of the law.
I want to believe that we can rid our communities of slums and sanctioned ghettos. I want to believe that children can live without fear of a stray bullet - or an intended one. I want to believe that we can create living conditions for every human life that is clean and safe.
I want to believe that our drinking water is pure, that our beef is without disease, that our forests aren't being depleted. I want to believe that we don't shamelessly turn a jaundiced-eye to the fields strewn with enslaved illegal laborers. I want to believe that our clothing manufacturers and our corporations aren't taking advantage of poor impoverished workers in countries abroad. I want to believe that our air is clean, that our food is free from carcinogenics and other toxic chemicals that can cause a myriad of maladies.
I want to believe that we are more good, more kind, more loving than not. I want to believe that these beliefs are not so different from what you may believe. I want to believe that if we all combined our beliefs with our might, with our minds, our hearts, and the sweat of our brows, we could make 2004 a truly new year.
© Norma Sherry 2004
Bio: Norma Sherry is co-founder of TogetherForeverChanging.org, an organization devoted to educating, stimulating, and igniting personal responsibility particularly with regards to our diminishing civil liberties. She is also an award-winning writer/producer and host of upcoming television program, The Norma Sherry Show. Her Email: firstname.lastname@example.org