Letter: Choose wisely; our lives may soon depend on it
Op-Ed · October 26, 2012

The freedom to choose is without a doubt something we Americans strongly value.
And yet it seems we sometimes forget that, along with that right, we have the responsibility to make wise choices, especially in regards to our fellow human beings and our home, planet earth.

Our computers and smart phones have given us instant access to more information than most of us will ever need. They also continue to make our world ever yet smaller. Think about it. Around the globe, each incident, the good, the bad and the ugly of each individual and each country, large or small, has the potential to be an immediate news item. Our choices do make a difference.

We can choose to be positive role models, more tolerant and respectful toward others, regardless of our differences of sex, race, nationality, creed or political party, and to utilize our communication skills to talk with one another and listen to those beyond our comfort zone. Through good example, perhaps we might actually begin to bridge the alienation between people and nations.

We can choose to be proud, generous, resourceful and patriotic rather than arrogant, self-righteous, wasteful and greedy. (I personally think that it is the negative aspects of our culture that have turned others against America, especially those with ancient suppressive traditions. Even if attracted by democracy, think of all that is portrayed through our media that is probably not appealing.) Again, differences should be respected, not ridiculed or feared, and dialogue and diplomacy utilized instead of force. With all our knowledge and technology, it seems we should be able to learn from history and find new methods of conflict resolution that donít involve war. Violence still begets violence.

Regarding our planet, it seems that regardless of our human agenda, nature ultimately rules and persists in challenging us with natural disasters. We can ignore scientific data or we can choose to recycle, and preserve as well as conserve our natural resources to provide a cleaner, healthier environment for all living creatures, now and in the future. Perhaps not currently, but someday our lives will depend on it.

May we all make wise choices.

Joanne Hicks, West Branch

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