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Liberty and Justice For All: A Moment With Bill Reflection

Updated on April 26, 2013

THESE ARE DIVIDED TIMES

Truly, I have never seen anything like it. In sixty-four years I have never seen this kind of division in the United States. Possibly during Vietnam for there was certainly no shortage of vitriol then, but most definitely not since then.

There is no compromise. There is no apparent desire to compromise. It’s my way or the highway in America today, and amazingly the disagreement isn’t focused on just one issue. From gun control to immigration, from health care to tax cuts, the disagreements cross the entire political and economic spectrum.

It is one thing to disagree, but what has really shaken me is the degree of viciousness in the statements used to attack the other side of any debate. When did we lose our ability to disagree respectfully? When did we start to consider any disagreement as an attack on our liberties?

I do not agree with the NRA but I do not hate its members nor do I think they are ignorant. I do not hate Republicans nor do I think they are all misguided rich kids with too many toys. I believe they are Americans and Patriots who have another way of looking at things, and I would like nothing more than to sit down and have a civil discussion about finding a compromise that will benefit most citizens in this country.

So my goal, I guess, is to find something that we can agree on. If we can just find a starting point then maybe we can move forward and actually solve problems rather than creating more through disagreement. Compromise has been at the root of our political system since the 1700’s. It is, in fact, the backbone of our democracy, and I think it is high time we learn from our forefathers and revive that lost art.

The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence | Source

LET’S START WITH THIS TOPIC

The Declaration of Independence lists three rights that all citizens of this country are guaranteed, namely Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. There is our starting point for this discussion, that every single man, woman and child, as citizens of the United States, is entitled to those rights. Are we in agreement so far? In truth, it could be argued that every citizen of the world is entitled to those same rights, but obviously there are some countries who would not agree with that, so let’s confine our discussion to just the United States.

Life….you have a right to live in this country. Liberty….you have a right to be free in this country. Pursuit of Happiness….you have a right to seek happiness in this country.

The litmus test for all freedoms in the United States seems to be that as long as you do not cause harm to another person, your rights are inalienable, meaning they cannot be taken away from you.

Are we still in agreement? I think we are, and that is good, but as we go a little further we start seeing disagreement.

A chat about acceptance

WHERE THE WATERS MUDDY

Being a citizen of the United States is not an easy gig. It requires a rather large amount of fortitude, because the rights that I claim as basic for me are the same rights claimed by over 300 million people, meaning what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If I believe that I have Freedom of Speech then I must believe it to be true for all others. I am not required to enjoy what I hear from others, but I am required to allow them to speak, and that’s where the fortitude enters the picture.

I have to stand by and allow hate groups to spew forth their dark message. I have to stand by and allow activist groups to spread their message even though their message turns my stomach, because the minute I decide that my right of free speech is more important than anyone else’s right, then this country begins to lose all of its freedoms.

So we see, daily, examples of these muddied waters. Gun advocates go toe to toe with gun control advocates. Pro-lifers go head to head with Free Choicers, and feelings run so high that compromise simply will not happen. Instead of a small chunk of the pie for everyone, we have groups fighting over the whole pie and consequently nothing is accomplished.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How do those rights apply to the millions of homeless in this country. In many cases, there are those who are homeless through no direct fault of their own. As the government makes trade decisions, and as companies make business decisions, some jobs have been lost and the result is more and more hard-working citizens on the streets scrounging for a meal and a place to sleep. Do they still enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Do young girls, sold into the sex trafficking business, still enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? How about Veterans who cannot get medical attention and benefits? Do they enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Can we all, at the very least, find agreement that a fourteen year old child, kidnapped and working in a brothel in downtown New York, should be helped? Can we all agree that Veterans promised services should not have to live under freeway overpasses? Can we all meet at the table of agreement and say that a citizen who has worked for forty years and never caused a moment of trouble should not die on the streets because of a lack of medical coverage?

Are you willing to compromise?

See results

FINDING COMMON GROUND

Are we in agreement yet? Is there anyone who can argue that sex trafficking is a good thing? Of course not, unless you are one of the depraved who preys on the young and weak.

So we find common ground and we move forward. I doubt we will ever see agreement over gun control. I doubt we will ever see abortion agreement or complete defense spending agreement, but for the love of God, we can certainly find agreement that every citizen of this nation should be free and safe, can’t we?

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
George Washington Carver

Humanity One World
Humanity One World | Source
Sit with me and find common ground
Sit with me and find common ground | Source

MY PERSONAL GOAL

A few months ago I had one of those personal epiphanies that come to each of us from time to time. I realized the change must start with me. If I’m going to spout off about all that is wrong in this country, then I must be willing to walk the talk and do my part to see that change occurs.

Thus began H.O.W., or Humanity One World. I am determined during my remaining years to keep speaking out about how we can make this world a better place for all citizens. I am convinced that every single act of kindness will cause a ripple of kindness that spreads outward and grows in size.

We are so much alike, you and I. Why can’t we use that basic fact and find common ground? I do not care how you feel about the political issues of our times. I do not care if you are black or white, yellow or brown. I do not care about your religious beliefs and I do not care how much money you make. All I care about is if you believe in those seven simple words….life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…because if you do then we can find common ground.

Will you work with me? Will you spread ripples of kindness and will you help me break down barriers that should never have been erected?

I believe in Humanity One World and by extension I believe in you. Help me….we can make a difference. Never underestimate the power of a small group of determined people.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Skye, the world could use a bit more prayer right about now. I think you are on the only sensible path for someone of faith to take.

      Bless you my friend. If this is your Mother's Day then Happy Mother's Day and blessings always.

      bill

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Bill God Bless you dear bro. You sure do put it out there. I admire your honesty and perseverance to push toward peace and liberty and justice. We can pray that it will come to pass.

      The farther we fall from God and decide we can do this on our own the more the blessings will fall from us as a nation. God is the writer and author and finisher of LIFE. He is the creator. He wrote it, He said it. He gave us a love letter to live by. Man has shinned HIM on and spit on His Name. One day they will know the truth brother.

      The answer is prayer. We come back to God. Of course that is not politically correct but it is written Biblical truth. There is no other way. Because Jesus is the way, truth and life. John 14:6 Deny Him and He too will deny you. No wonder our world is in a mess and continues to decline. Many are bedazzled deceived and do not know good from evil or evil from good. Tolerance is Tolerant of what? Tolerant of No God or a God of your own understanding. Yes we have free will to choose who we will follow. The world or God. May we come back to God before it is too late.

      Another great read dear brother. As for me and my household we will serve the Lord. He is in control no matter who does not want Him in charge. His way wins. He has already defeated the devil and Jesus is going to return to rule and reign.. Sin will be no more. Alleluia. Well, I love ya billybuc. Keep em coming. Your friend and sister in Christ. Skye.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, first of all, thank you! This is a sick society, but just about the time I am ready to hand in my membership card and drop out, someone does something that reminds me of all the hope and goodness there is in the world. If the silent majority ever rises up and speaks loudly, change will happen. Until then....yes, this will remain a sick society.

      Secondly, I would love it if you would send me your blog link so I can follow along.

      Thank you Suzette!

      bill

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Bravo!! Well done and well said. You are preaching to the choir here! I, too, am very distressed over the uncompromising positions everyone is taking in this country. Negotiation and diplomacy seem to be negative words today in America. The state this country is in right now is unconscienceable, and we are only destroying ourselves from within. Between "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness," and the Bill of Rights in our constitution there should be no question of tolerance and understand of those with different opinions than ours. I agree, with you, I don't hate those that don't agree with me or my viewpoint - I'm not out to destroy them just because they don't agree with me, but some here in America are simply out to destroy those that don't agree with their particular view of America. We are suppose to help those less fortunate and weaker than ourselves, but today, the attitude is they are just 'throw-away people.' I don't know how we got to this point either, Bill. You make an excellent point about the sex slave trade that is allowed to persist in this country - I find it abhorrent that this is happening in the 21st century in the United States of America. And, yet, our government and country close their eyes to this everyday. We seem to be moving backwards rather than forwards in this country. I, personally am glad to see some of the families of the Sandy Hook tragedy in Washington facing these senators and representatives and asking 'Why?' The shallow answers and glibness which they put these family members off is chilling. Owning a gun is a more important right than a murdered six year old? What about the child's right to live and have his/her inalienable rights? I am just stunned by this. We are a sick society at the moment and I don't know what the cure is, because it seems to be getting worse, rather than better. The events that have happened in the last year here in America should be a wake-up call to all citizens and government representatives, and yet we are still mired in this guagmire of distrust. The selfishness of the NRA is staggering. This article has really hit a chord with me and I can't agree with you more. Thanks for writing this. I have a personal blog that I express my opinions of the plight of America right now. You are brave to put this on Hubpages. Kudos!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, I'm always looking for something different to write about. I don't want to become a copycat of myself. :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Life should be enjoyed and most happy you are such an adventurous writer always something new

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Kathi! Idiotic?? Yes, I guess so. The old adage it is my way or the highway isn't working. It's high time we learn to listen to other viewpoints and then find common ground.

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      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Useful, awesome, beautiful, interesting, Billy!!!! Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness . . . This is the bottom line, isn't it, essential, and the framework from which our county was built on. You speak the truth Billy and balanced, no one can debate it, and if they do, good luck to them for it would be idiotic. We need more of the compromising, it's called relationship! Way to go, Kathi :O)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Have a wonderful week, Cat!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Billy,

      Don't mention it... I think it's great how you inspire people. I'm glad I found you :-)

      Cat

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Cat. That means a lot to me and I appreciate it. :)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Billy,

      You have such a following and you are quite a leader, your words resonate with people and when you speak out, you keep the issues alive and you make people want to see a change and make a difference. I commend you for your passion. It's easy to keep these issues alive when you breath life into them!

      Cat

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, I don't get it.....well, I do get it, but I'll never be able to agree with it. I don't agree at all with the NRA....I don't hate them; I just don't agree with them. I would never call them idiots or crazies...I just don't agree with them. Why has it been necessary for them to attack people on HP who write hubs about gun control. Are they so insecure in their beliefs that they have to turn to name-calling? How childish is that?

      Sigh!

      Have a great Sunday, Beckie!

      love,

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, I'll gladly let you lead the pack and I'll carry the signs. I just think it's important that these issues stay alive. Once we let them die then we all suffer. :) Thanks for much for your intelligent addition to this discussion.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Reba, I was in debate too, and it was a whole different world back then. Then the emphasis was on logic and forming intelligent arguments. Now it is who can shout the loudest. I don't get it my friend.

      So you like the agitator in me, eh? Well, it's alive and well but occasionally has a muzzle on. LOL

      Thank you my friend, and blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kas, I have similar concerns. Homeland Security is a multi-headed beast that gives the government ridiculous freedoms to essentially break laws.....the CIA has been doing it for decades....we have lost control of our freedoms and right slowly but surely, and most Americans are unaware or so apathetic they just don't care.

      Pray for God's mercy....not a bad idea at all my friend.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy, I have been hoping and waiting for you to write about his subject and you have not disappointed me. I agree 100%. So often, individuals who do not share others opinions resort to low-handed tactics to force their point. Bullying, name calling and down-right nastiness when someone expresses opinions other than theirs. They are the first to claim freedom of speech after they assault this freedom with hate words.

      And it is individuals with a backbone, such as yourself who allow me the pleasure of speaking my mind without the fear of bullying tactics.

      Blessings to you

      XO

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Billy,

      You're right, it is sad. It is sad that anyone should live in fear and may have to alter the way they live, think or feel. Fear is also going to be and has been the cause of irrational thinking. It's a sad vicious circle but we have to believe we will find a way to get where we've gotta go! You'll be leading the pack and I'll carry the signs!

      Cat

    • Dancing Water profile image

      Dancing Water 4 years ago

      When I was in high school and college, I participated in organized debate. We had always been taught to be objective__and civil. When I returned to the U.S. after having lived overseas for 20 years and began teaching in the public school system, I was asked to judge debate meets. I recall being quite taken aback by the fact that young debaters had been trained to go for the jugular, civility be hanged. For me that tiny example is emblematic as to one of the many ills of today's America: winning is everything, sportsmanship, ie., character, be hanged.

      As you, Mark, and so many others here have expressed, we must be the change we want to see. Your passionate hub is one excellent way to make that happen.

      As we used to say in the '60's, "Keep on agitating!" I like the Bill Holland kind of agitating. It inspires us to do better.

      Blessings, dear friend,

      Reba

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      We have been fundamentally transformed as a country. Look up Fabian socialism and you'll see it's alive here in the States. What really kills me Bill is that PRAVDA, the Soviet News communist network, has actually recently stated that we are going communistic and don't even realize it. This is coming from Russia who is more than experienced in what looks like communism.

      I mean for goodness sake, when did we have to start debating whether or not to use drones to kill citizens without a trial. And yes, the rhetoric is that it would be a suspected terrorist........."suspected"!! So reasonable suspicion is what we need now to do this. That's terrifying.

      Most people have no clue what this means as a nation. It breaks my heart and I pray for God's mercy....for I'd rather be at his mercy than a tyrannical government's.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kas, what a great comment and I agree with it all.

      When I was teaching I insisted that my students learn critical thinking, and to ask questions and analyze the answers. Do not accept things as true simply because someone in authority has told you they are true...investigate, keep questioning and then form an intelligent decision.

      My God, when did we stop thinking in this country? When did we stop questioning? When did we stop standing up for what is right? Seriously, buddy, I don't recognize this country any longer.

      Thank you for leaving a part of yourself in this comment. Well said!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tiger, I hope we see that day...what was war like? what was poverty like? what was homelessness like?...I can't remember....beautiful thoughts and worthy of our efforts.

      Dry your eyes dear lady and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, I hope I live long enough to see compromise return to this society. I'm not holding my breath, but I can be the instrument of change I hope to see.

      Thank you and have a great weekend.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      I believe you nailed it, Bill, with your comment about compromise. It HAS been the backbone of our country and a characteristic of our representatives, but the 'art' seems to have been lost with this administration. Until we and our leaders regain that 'lost art,' agreement on most anything will be hard won.

    • Insightful Tiger profile image

      Insightful Tiger 4 years ago

      This one made me cry mentor. How long must we endure the horrible things going on? People dying of starvation while greedy corporations argue for privatization of seeds and water? Wars and violence... I'm afraid it will get worse before it gets better.

      I am with you that any change begins with us. We need to become love activists!

      I know many people don't want to hear it, because they feel like if God exists, he has abandoned us. But I know that one of these attacks on our life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will be the last. Things will be different and God's initial purpose for mankind will come to fruition. Then the children of that generation will ask us "what was war like?" and we will say "I can't remember". May Jehovah Bless you all.

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Bill, how right you are on so many things.

      The problem with America isn't even truly the political spectrum, it's us as a people. We have forgotten what America is all about. We've been inundated with so much info and problems in the world that I think we've grown numb to it.

      I forget the name of the commanding officer that wrote George Washington this statement but the quote is, "Your men fought like men determined to be free." At the time, the commanding officer had a bullet in his head and he insisted on writing his commanding officer Washington to let him know how the battle was going in the Revolutionary War. I'm not saying every single person is feeling or acting negligent to their God-given rights to stand up for freedom, but there are wayyyyyy too many of us who have either fallen asleep or fallen by the wayside.

      Another problem I have with the political system in this country, we have started voting just specifically on party lines instead of voting on the "content of a person's character". I don't give a crap who it is.....nor am I expecting perfection, but if the person is supporting things I don't, or is just plain out acting like an evil buffoon, then I don't vote for him. I want to know also that the person stands on the convictions they hold if those convictions are moral and just. That's another thing, we've lost the moral ground in this nation. We've turned from a Constitutional republic in so many ways.....and a nation of laws to, "oh it's no big deal, it's just the law....I don't have to uphold it."

      Now I'm not talking about unjust or unrighteous laws, I'm talking about laws that make sense. You bring up the declaration of independence, a document that I hold with the utmost respect and regard. That thing is so full of common sense....it seems we've also lost that in so many ways in this nation. I think a big part of it is, we've been taught now for quite some time to "LEARN" and not to 'THINK CRITICALLY FOR OURSELVES" (not yelling, just accentuating the points).

      I agree with you on so many things in this and I think that you need to keep on being as vocal as possible....as we all do. We all need to sit at the table with mutual respect for one another and just listen to the other side.

      One of my own personal sayings is, I can agree with you on most anything, but I'm going to eat the chicken and spit the bones out. Meaning, I'm going to disagree about something and I have the right to, but let's find the common ground to agree on.

      You are a scholar and a good man Bill, there need to be more like you! God bless my friend, voting up and sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You made it this time, Jo! I wonder what that was all about?

      As for your comment, I agree with it all. Politicians should be ashamed of themselves, but that would require a conscience and sense of right and wrong, which they obviously do not have. :) All I know is that if anything is going to change it will have to change with us. I have no faith in my politicians. :)

      Thank you my friend.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Hi Bill, let's try this again, this time I hope HP will leave out the cryptic scripts.

      Great article by the way!... I think we've loss the ability to debate and reason, if you can't get your point across, just punch the other guy's lights out. When we see ministers who are suppose to be representing us in government, brawling like street thugs, I wonder where it all went wrong. If you have a minute to spare take a look at this www.cracked.com/ when politicians attack. These people holds the highest office in the land but they are unable to hold their tempers and act with a modicum of dignity, so what hope is there for us.

      Freedom of speech gives us all a say, I may not like what you have to say, but I'll defend your right to say it. However; when this rights are used to insight violence and hate a line has to be drawn. Our politicians no longer seem to know the meaning of the word integrity, only what's in it for me?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mperrottet, you took the words right out of my mouth. Meaningful change will not happen in this country on a political level until campaign finance reform is undertaken and passed. Until then we cannot count on politicians to accomplish much in the way of social change. That is going to have to come from us.

      I love your children and the freedom they have to express their opinions. Nice job of raising them my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, I love your comment.....when did this happen? How did we become so divided? I'm tired of it. I suspect it is fear-based. There are a lot of frightened people out there who feel they have no control of their lives, and that alone is sad. The day I feel I have no control is the day I'll check out permanently.

      Thank you my friend. You are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, that's a little weird. How the heck did that happen? LOL Thanks for trying my friend and enjoy your weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I am focused on humanity. I don't know what kind of difference we can all make, but it's better than doing nothing but sit around and complain. :) You are right....we are perfect examples of common ground. Completely different backgrounds but united....feels good, brother.

      Have a great weekend and thank you buddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, I don't know when you are returning but I'd take my time if I were you. I don't see things changing for the better anytime soon in the U.S. :) Thank you Rasma and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Martin! I missed you last night....my bad....I'll make up for it tonight.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, your comment is a classic....Satan as her bitch??? I can see it so clearly. LOL As for people and opinions....I have no clue...well, I suspect fear is at the root of it all. People feel they have no control and I think shouting their opinions gives them some semblance of control.

      Thank you my friend. We will save you a seat in Hades. ;)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, any group that has you in it must be worth joining. Thank you for being who you are my friend. You restore my faith in people.

      hugs and blessings,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, your comment is perfectly written. How very clever and how very true. Thank you for this and obviously I agree.....how do we mobilize people to care enough about this country to stand up and be heard? If we come up with that answer we will be on the road to change.

      Thank you, Mary, and have a great weekend.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      I raised my children to think for themselves, and guess what - none of them grew up to think exactly as I do. In fact, one of my children disagrees with me on almost every political issue. However, my children and I can discuss politics in a civil manner, and in fact enjoy doing so. When they disagree with me, I like to listen to what they base their opinions on. They are all highly intelligent thoughtful people, and I respect their opinions. It's good to hear the other side of things, and to re-think your own opinions. After all, none of us has all of the answers. My feelings about this whole matter extend beyond my family. I also respect the opinions of my fellow Americans who have views that oppose my own. I think that most Americans feel that this is the time for compromise, and yet our politicians aren't listening.

      One thing that almost everyone agrees on is that our politicians are too influenced by lobbyists and big corporations, and yet the cry for campaign finance reform has all but disappeared. My personal feeling is that until we get these two factors out of our government, we can't move forward. There needs to be a public outcry to accomplish this, but that doesn't seem to be happening.

      Keep up the fight, Bill. Voted up, useful and interesting - and sharing.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Billy,

      So true, so true, so sad, so sad! What is the matter with us today? Why does it have to be "my way or the highway"? I just don't undersand. There is no coming together; everything has to be a fight. You would think we all want some basic version of peace, yet we don't work for it. Drama and ignorance... and the right to be right, that's what we have! Where is the pursuit of happiness? I guess that only suggests that we have the right to pursue happiness but we're not entitled to actually be happy. Loved the message Billy!

      Cat

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      http://hubpages.com/linkunit/?term=Personal+Libert...

      For-All-A-Moment-With-Bill-Reflection

      Billy ...What the Dickens...is this. :)) my comment seem to have flown off the page, only to be replaced by the above. Go figure... I'll try again later.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 4 years ago from New York City

      Yes you and I are a perfect example of this common ground establishment, and only if millions more folks could see the light that your words are shining in this multicolored tunnel of the Internet.

      I'll get praying on it Bill, and sharing as we all do to help your campaign for humanity and for its betterment to come to life. "Keep on keeping on" is my latest motto for 2013. We can do it bro!

      Thumbs up and out, oh and awesome hub as you maintain such a powerful stance of consistency throughout with each and every article you produce. Nice!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up. With you all the way Bill. Hope that things can turn around with everyone pulling together. Even though I'm on this side of the world I want a homeland I can return to. Passing this on. God bless you and America.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. A subject close to my heart. America is so different.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I don't know if Hell will let you in if Leslie's with you Bill. They'd be afraid she would take over. Oh I can see it now, Leslie on the fiery throne with Satan as her bitch and you the faithful scribe writing it all down for posterity. You must save me a seat at the BBQ pit. I wouldn't miss that for all the world.

      Seriously, though it is getting more difficult to have a civil discussions these days. You either get shouted down or talked over and I don't the patience for either. Why are people so afraid of the other guy's opinion? Have they so little faith in their own views that they fear being swayed by a well thought-out argument? I don't understand people anymore.

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      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      I will work with you. I will spread ripples of kindness and I will help you break down barriers that should never have been erected; because the Nation was based on "in God we trust" and I believe in: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America and need to get off our duffs, hold our politicians responsible and work together to form a more perfect union for the people, all the people with no exceptions...a union where all may live their lives without fear, hunger or persecution regardless of their beliefs or station in life.

      Voted up, useful, and very interesting.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, I saw no sense in mentioning religion. That is one area where there seems to be no compromise at all from either extremes. It's heaven or hell and no in-between. Guess I know where I'm going and you'll be right alongside of me at the barbecue pit. LOL

      Have a great weekend, Sis, and thanks for the visit and the intelligent response.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Annie, I'm waiting with you....and squawking now and then in hopes that someone will listen. :)

      Have a wonderful weekend and thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith! If we don't use our voice then what good is it? As long as we have rights we need to use them or lose them. :)

      Blessings to you my friend,

      bill

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      Annie Miller 4 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

      I keep waiting for a collective realization that compromise is the order of the day, but you are right, Bill ... the change must start with me.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Deb, for stating it so clearly. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, i am thoroughly disgusted by our political leaders. Instead of leading us towards compromise, they are the ones who lead towards division.

      It's time for the people to stand up.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vix, I think you mention an important point. Our perception of reality greatly affects how we view the rights in the Constitution. It was meant to be a living document, changing with the times, and I believe that change was meant to be painful. Every major change in our history has been met with resistance and heated dislike.

      Hopefully we will find our way as a country....united in principle if not beliefs.

      Thank you Vix!

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      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      'a civil conversation' - i would joyfully sign up for that, Bill-bro - i think you know this..

      life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - FOR ALL..

      Even the gay, the women, the poor, the helpless, and the minorities??

      Sigh..what a wonderful world it would be..

      I don't care if someone's opinion is different from mine - or yours - or 'his' -but, it's when they close options that i get upset!

      If they don't want an abortion - don't get one - if you're not gay - goody for you, BUT - who is anyone to limit someone else's options??

      Now, we're even limited to where we can go for fear of being killed, cause - it's not a rarity no mo'!

      one thing you didn't touch on my friend - is religion - and it's often toxic effect on L, L, & the PoH!

      You stayed on the political side today and that's a HUGE mountain all by itself , but - when you add in religion - it makes it even more difficult..

      seems to me the folks who preach the most tolerance - offer the least...

      finally - MY tolerance and ability to compromise ends where violence begins!

      great hub, Bill..

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      I really do believe in those seven simply words, as they are very powerful and profound words when we take them to heart. I am glad I still have a voice in this land of the free, and hope I will always, but we must make our voices known now before it is too late!

      Peace and blessings, Faith Reaper

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You are so right, Billy. Each person that agrees to be kind to someone that is different, only strengthens the bond of what friendship really means.

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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. It is unbelievable the state of things in this country. I always tell my family and friends that we will never agree on everything but we can certainly agree to disagree on things and yet still treat people with respect and dignity. Unfortunately those running this country don't abide by this. I'm sharing this Bill because this message needs to be spread.

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      poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      You have taken us to the very beginning, where we must return if we are to move forward without destroying ourselves, life, liberty and the pursuit. I hope we can agree on that at least, though I doubt everyone will. Much more importantly, I'm really getting into your idea of the ripple of kindness effect for lack of better phrasing. Forgive me please, too much coffee. Simple numbers prove it would work exponentially. Bill, I think your guiding hand will be seen on this world long after we both have traveled on. God bless and thanks for a most thought provoking read. I depart with thoughts spinning. I'm wondering if perhaps on some subconscious level it is the subtle differences contained within the perception of those three terms and how our ideas about them have changed over time that was the branch were our collective division began on the tree of unity.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Perfect quotes, Lurana. Thank you for adding them....I have always loved the one by Gandhi! :)

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      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      I agree! The following quotes came to mind reading this, so I thought I'd share. Thank you for this message---it is excellent. :-)

      "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." ~attributed to Voltaire; summation of his philosophy by biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall in "The Friends of Voltaire", 1906.

      "We must be the change we wish to see in the world" ~ Mahatma Gandhi

      But also:

      "Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be." ~Thomas a Kempis

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, vkwok, I guess you and I have our work cut out for us, don't we? :) Thank you my young friend.

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      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I agree with you. There just never seem to be compromise when compromising may be the best option.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, God help us all indeed! We need some help from somewhere for sure because we aren't doing a good job of helping ourselves.

      Thanks, buddy, and have a great weekend.

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      Michael Tully 4 years ago

      Well said, as usual, Bill. I think Liz and Mark have together hit the nail on the head. We have, as a society, exalted conflict-as-entertainment and Me, Myself, and I. Taken together, the result becomes I'm Right, You're Wrong, and I'm Gonna Cram It Down Your Throat For Your Own Good. That's where the American nation is right now. God help us!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, the answer is in your words....this starts with us. How can I have demands of the government when the average citizen cannot find common ground? I see it on the streets daily, and it serves nobody. It's high time we took this country back from those who would have us wallowing in the muck looking for scraps.

      Thanks buddy! I hope you are well and happy.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      whonu, I would love to hear the logic behind current actions in America. If the bottom 80% cannot feed themselves and pay for essentials, then who wins??? Nobody as far as I am concerned, and that's where we find ourselves right now. This has to change or we will all feel the negative effects.

      Thank you Sir! Have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I believe in your words; I just wish more understood the wisdom in them. This country is slowly breaking about, and until we find common ground we will continue to spiral downward. It saddens me, but all I know to do is keep speaking the truth as I see it.

      Thank you my dear. Have a great weekend, and blessings and a hug are winging their way towards you.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, I have no problem with any of your opinions. I am a conspiracy believer as well. I think the government and the corporations have been selling us a line of b.s. for quite some time, and the average American is so fear-based that they will believe anything. I'm reminded of a saying I heard a long time ago: "In the absence of a voice of reason, people will believe anyone who steps up to the podium and tells them what they want to hear. "

      Keep believing and speaking out, Lizzy! We need more people like you.

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      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      These issues are so prevalent not only in politics and government, but in society in general. People (In General) have forgotten or no longer care about relationships, support, compromise or sharing. There seems to be an overriding case of Me. myself, and I. When people can regain these things on a personal level, then possibly we can convince the "Leaders" to follow our lead.

      Mark

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      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      An excellent message Bill and one that all Americans can benefit from reading. We should learn the true meaning of compromise and positive congressional behavior. We should concentrate on helping the common people in this country first, not padding the rich and their extravagance. I'm in full agreement with this message my friend. whonu

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      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      A long ago I was taught that we stand together or we stand alone. Alone is a lonely place to be especially in a country where we have the right to say how we feel....we have the LIBERTY to speak our minds and then we abuse it. We meaning those who do

      It is scary as it is so divisive.

      It is up to us to work together to make it work.....to find a way around the hate and discontent. to come to a meeting of the minds in order to save all this so grand about our land.

      Voted up++++ and shared

      Angels are on the way for our country and for you...ps

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Warning: I'm going to share my ever-so-humble opinion. LOLOLOL

      There are three reasons (probably more, but I think these are the main ones), why people attack each other on a regular basis simply because of a difference of opinion:

      (a) The argument-entertainment culture--popular reality and talk shows that make arguing, name-calling, and vicious attacks a source of entertainment,

      (b) An attachment to opinions--Guilty! Our opinions are only thoughts, but we allow them to become a part of us. The ego sees a difference of opinion as an attack. For example, someone I follow on facebook wrote an article on the dangers of a high-sugar diet. A commenter on her blog started with the sentence, "You are an idiot".

      (c) Remember, I'm a conspiracy freak: the mainstream media maintains polarized opinions that they feed to their viewers who pass it on in their daily lives. This keeps us from paying attention to what really matters. Why else did they rush to get bills passed while our heads were turned toward the Boston tragedy?

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, if they are keeping their promises then I missed that completely. Yes, we need to be more selective in our vote, but we also must shake things up at the local level. This begins with us and works up the food chain...I firmly believe that.

      Thank you dear lady!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, I have the suspicion that you and I have several points that we don't agree on about societal issues, but I consider you a wise man and I know we can find compromise. If that is possible with two people who have never met each other, then it is possible on a larger scale. That's my hope, anyway. :)

      Thank you my friend. Have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, thank you so much for sharing your personal trials....that really brings home the idea of acceptance in a concrete and very real manner. I can't change people....in fact, I don't want that job at all and besides, who made me God? LOL All I want to do is find some middle ground. Is that asking so much?

      Thank you my friend. Have a great weekend in Lancashire.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Joe, and how are you this fine spring morning?

      Timely indeed, Joe, but at times I wonder if most citizens even remember that they have rights that are guaranteed in this country? I want this nation strong and proud again, but I'm not seeing proud and strong in my daily travels. I'm seeing fear and distrust and the weakest of the weak on every street corner.....and it bothers me greatly. :)

      Enough pontificating...have a great weekend, buddy!

      Aloha,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No, Erik, there are no limitations, and yet as a society we act like we are chained to the past. :) Thank you my friend and have a great weekend in CA.

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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      We, the American people, have got to be more careful of who we vote into office. How do we do that??? We believe these people when they make all these promises, but once they are in office, they listen to the ones who contributed to them or the lobbyists. They no longer keep their promises.

      Voted UP and will share.

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      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      We need to get the message out to our elected representative that if they can't learn the art of compromise, we don't need them anymore. Congress has become a game of pay-back and get-even with no concern on what is best for this country. Never will we all agree on everything, but there is a middleground that will serve us all well.

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      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. You are so right about society at present. We are the same in the in the UK. One side against the other without compromise. I took your vote and one hundred per cent say compromise is the way forward. In your video you concentrate on acceptance, again you are correct in your views. I have not mentioned it before but unfortunately I spend most of my time in a wheelchair. Acceptance is indeed the state of mind you have to 'accept' once you reach this mental state then life does become easier, you do see the other point of view much easier. As you say we all seem to want to change the other point of view, all to often we are seeking the same ends after all.

      Graham.

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      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Bill, and good morning to you, my friend!

      I love the quote from George Washington Carver above because it lends credence to the truth that we're all more alike than we are different and that our individual experience is also a universal one.

      The Declaration of Independence in the photo is absolutely precious. It's not framed or fancy...it's vintage, real, honest, touched by a lot of hands, well-read, and taken to heart.

      This article, yet another bold and powerful statement in a series of equally memorable, soul-punctuated patriotic rallying calls, is inspirational, affirmative, and oh, so timely!

      Count me in, Bill.

      Aloha!

      Joe

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Our capacity to do as you ask is not limited in any way.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, good morning and Happy Friday. This revolution is going to start with us. Our leaders are not leading so it is up to us to lead without them.....and that's what I am trying to do. I may not have a huge impact on the nation, but I can have an impact on my neighborhood. :) Thanks dear friend.

      love,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I hope it doesn't take a catastrophe to make us come together. :) Maybe we still can learn some new tricks, like compromise. Thank you my friend and have a great weekend as well.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      agapsikap, thank you so much and I hope your weekend is a great one as well.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MsDora, I know there are millions like me, but they have remained silent and disgruntled so far. We need to activate them and get them involved in the process of changing things. :) Thank you kind lady.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jeff and I hope you do the same my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I am way past the blame point. I want solutions based on discussion, negotiation and compromise. I agree with you....Congress is the extra tit on a cow, filling itself up with milk and sharing with nobody. :) I guess it's up to us to make the changes, eh?

      Thank you dear friend. Enjoy your weekend!

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Your message and plea can't be reiterated enough, Bill. A compromise must be met in many areas of life. I'm not sure we can control what the government impinges upon us even when we speak; they ultimately do what they want anyway. But we can be more tolerant and compassionate in our day to day lives. We can govern ourselves to be loving, caring concerned neighbors. We are the people. We need to start acting like civilized human beings with intelligence and heart.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Greg, I agree completely. I will never agree with everyone...how silly would that be? But I can find a way to come to some sort of middle ground. I do not have to win every argument, and nobody else should either.

      Thanks, buddy! Have a great weekend.

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Yet again wonderful Bill and so with you on working for a common goal of making things better and make sure everyone is entitled to this. Thanks as always and hope you have a great weekend!! :)

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      agapsikap 4 years ago from Philippines

      This hub is great and very interesting. AIM HIGH!

      One's will, fulfill!

      Have a nice weekend, Bill!

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      I love the George Washington Carver quote, but that's about caring and human feeling; sometimes the powers that be seem not to care at all. However, your call for individual responsibility through the H.O.W. will awaken ideas concerning how we can help, everyone in his or her corner. Thanks for taking the lead!

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      JThomp42 4 years ago

      Awesome Bill! Voted up and awesome. Have a great weekend my friend.

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      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I think Congress is acting like spoiled rich kids..they have huge benefits and huge lobbying groups. they do not have to deal with healthcare or other issues as they have their own set of rules...This is not a partisan statement at all. They disagree to spite the other side. They make up new rules as threats...To me it is all pretty scary stuff. As the debt goes more and more out of control they cannot agree on ways to cut...I can see where you are coming from and who knows what direction our country is going in..So we can blame...who???

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      Greg Boudonck 4 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      Great article Bill; we must compromise, or else....

      I live by the old quote, "we can agree to disagree". After doing so we must find the "middle ground" and work with it.

      God bless you my friend!