Argo Inspiration

I went to see the movie Argo last night with my husband. It was a high quality film all the way around the acting, directing, cinematography, casting were all great. It had me on the edge of my seat most of the movie.  It was intense and real.

I was 23 when this hostage crisis happened. I lived in a small apartment with my son and had a great job. Overall life was good for me. I remember the gas crunch and having to slow down to 55 miles per hour on the highway and being asked to turn our thermostats down or up depending on the season. I also remember watching on television about the hostages and becoming truly aware for the first time as an adult about foreign political policy.

As I was watching the movie I realized my memories of the news reports and outcomes of the crisis had faded and I found myself anxious. I looked at the cars, clothing, hairstyles and yellow ribbons and my memories began to stir. I realized that as an observer of the crisis watching on a tiny 12” television from my little apartment, the magnitude of the crisis didn’t always translate. Still, I considered myself a concerned citizen and I fully remember having discussions with family and friends about world politics. This crisis led me to vote for the first time in a national election. I have voted ever since.

Yesterday watching the movie and witnessing on the big screen the out of control mobs, the hunting down of US Citizens and those that would help them ,how the  hostages were treated, the courage, bravery, and fear of so many people who were involved, rattled me.  It is so very easy to stir up a mob and create irrational, reactionary, impassioned acts against others.

In a very small way, yet with similar mob mentality, I watch this happen frequently on Social Media sites. People make statements or claims without having facts or make accusations or attack someone online for a different opinion or view. You can feel the venomous angry words as they were typed, shouting down those they disagree with. Others just outright lie and put out erroneous information looking to stir up a mob of angry followers to promote their own agenda.

Here in the US, we live in a society of acceptance and open debate with law-abiding citizens. Are we perfect? No. However by our definition as a nation we are supposed to be indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. When we allow anyone to begin to divide us by religion, economic status, ethnicity, ideology or demand that others think as we do or else, then we have become nothing more than angry mob makers, pawns to those that seek to divide in order to conquer and grab power or at the minimum squelch the opposition.

I believe there was something good about saying the Pledge of Allegiance everyday when we went to school. It was a reminder of whom we are as a nation and how we pledge our allegiance to not just the flag as a symbol of our country but to the principles and ideals on which this country was founded and the people who inhabit our country and make it great. We are citizens who are responsible to ourselves, each other and our country. It is our responsibility to remember that we are one nation and that division only empowers those that seek to diminish others for their own empowerment. Responsibility takes effort, constant effort but the results are very worthwhile. The results are our children’s children will inherit a free land filled with a responsible citizenry.

It is time to stop being lazy in our thinking, in our actions, in our relationships and with our words. The world is a fragile and turbulent place and freedom should not be taken for granted but rather should be cherished, protected and given our allegiance.

Perhaps it is time to get back to basics and the Golden Rule. It is time to begin again to respect and honor our differences, but also remember our shared vision of freedom and love of country. I know that this is a bit like Pollyanna in my thinking but I am willing to try. As Gandhi said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”  I am willing to be mindful and to exercise mindfulness towards our freedoms as I go through my days.

Bravo to all involved in Argo. You inspired me and made me remember my life is very good. I am grateful and lucky to be here.