We all have choices to make on a daily basis. Some are more significant or important than others.
In America, we are fortunate that our freedoms run so deep and wide that freedom of choice ranks among the top of the list.
We can choose who will represent us at grassroots levels, such as on school boards, municipal and county councils, in the Statehouse and in the federal elected offices.
We have lots of choice options, but not all of our choices should supersede what is best for the majority. It is well summed up in what has become a favorite line of ours during the COVID-19 pandemic: The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
It is, admittedly, a tough line to toe and comes in various shades of gray, if not black and white. The CDC guidelines, for example, strike us as a choice we can all be on board with, but that’s obviously not the case when people speak of our nation’s founding on the concept of individual liberties.
It flies in the face of logic, in our view, that what some people contend is that their right not to wear a mask takes precedence over the health and well-being of others.
We put our faith in our democratic process, go to the polls and cast our ballots. We believe our choice is counted, that our choice matters and that the people’s will will be done. That is, until we disagree with the outcome.
We put stock in the adage that the police serve and protect its citizenry while supporting law and order; yet, we can somehow justify the choice to storm the U.S. Capitol, resulting in the killing and injuring of police — all in the name of someone who has beaten the drum that we are a nation of laws and order and simultaneously turning a blind eye to true injustices heaped upon a segment of the population that has struggled to be recognized as our equal.
We are at a turning point in this country. We have choices before us.
We can choose civil discourse and a path toward greater understanding among our diverse people or cave to those who are calling for a revolution and what appears to be an attempt to turn away from any progress we have made in the civil rights and liberties arena.
We can choose love and understanding over hate and willful ignorance.
We can choose to heal or we can choose to let a great nation be torn apart.
Choices matter. Choices have consequences. If nothing else has by now, then Jan. 6 should serve as the wake-up call the nation needs.