I have shouted it from the rooftop, "Unity! Unity! Unity! We must stand together or else we will descend into anarchy and chaos!!!"
And you, my dear readers, have given me refreshing hope in this dark, volcanic world - you stand as a beacon of unity and hope to compromise. You also have offered very interesting points, but you may ask, "What are some issues that I should never compromise on?" It will vary for each person, but this is my personal list and I hope many of these would be yours also - the issues I will always defend, come what may.
The issues I stand for upon the barricade with my cape flowing in the wind as I raise my voice for something: the truth.
A president once said that in order for compromises to be effective, he kept on a sheet of paper his "core convictions" on which he can never compromise. Compromise and convictions both have their places, and they work together to make this world better.
We all have a worldview, a foundation that makes us who we are. What are principles you stand for? Without further adieu, this is my foundation:
1. All humanity is equal.
Forever I shall stand for this! Nothing makes my heart sink lower than hearing racism, nothing makes the indignation within me raise more than hearing racist comments. I have heard far too many in my days of doing political campaigns, such as "Those people aren't fully human" - and I resound with a strong "No! We are all created equal. Every country and every culture has something valuable to offer the world. There is no inferior culture; they are all part of the global community there for us to learn about." Here I stand, and I have no apologies - for those who are oppressed and discriminated against, I want to hear them, and I want them to be heard. I will forever stand by the oppressed, the forgotten, and those without a voice.
2. We all have a right to live.
We all do. Going along the lines of "we are all created equal," I believe we all have a right to live and exist. We are all contributing to the human story, and each one of us is valuable and unique. All of us should cultivate our talents and discover our place in the world and use it to make a positive impact.
Alas, I know this is vague... the dream of all my heart is this. I believe in freedom of religion and the freedom of speech - the right to say and believe what you want as long as you aren't harming others. The right to be yourself as an individual, and to live in a society where you can read what you want, to follow the faith you want. Liberty, my right to vote for the candidate I want and to believe what I want about politics. But this includes self-governance for a stable liberty and not the liberty which results in anarchy. Liberty and equality balance each other out in the perfect equation.
4. The world is connected.
Another truth I hold dearly: that history, politics, and culture are all strongly intermingled. It is impossible to understand one without understanding the others. It would be like eating just the raw beans of coffee without knowing one may brew coffee out of it. You cannot isolate one part of the world or separate history from the current stage, for it is all connected. It would be like reading a book but only the last chapter and called the rest "useless." We must learn all the knowledge we can and all of the information we can about the world, so that we see the full story from the best seat in the balcony where we can see the entire set. Knowledge is the key to the republic.
Knowledge lies all around us, in books, in maps, and in everyday people we talk to - the more we communicate with those who are different from us and have different opinions than us, the more we discuss the ideas of our core beliefs, and the more we will see the full human story and come to appreciate the world. If you can't do this, I strongly encourage you to read - read all you can! I may not be able to firsthand experience the Enlightenment (my favorite era of history), but Simon Bolivar's engaging writing, coupled with the works of French revolutionaries and American founding fathers have helped serve as my guides while exploring this period of history.
The world is currently a volcano with increasing tensions and hatreds under the surface, but talking and learning will diminish the hate.
5. Govern justly.
Many years ago, I partook in a mock government simulation where we students acted as members of the U.S. Senate, House, and Presidential candidates. I loved that camp and learned many valuable lessons. I remember standing upon the Capitol steps during our day trip to the actual U.S. Capitol and promising to myself that no matter where life takes me, I will never stop, I will never yield the inner conviction I had to speak up for the rights of the oppressed.
Years passed, and I still found myself fascinated by the process: I participated in a class project at the university level where we all represented (fictional) countries with unique scenarios. I happened to get the hardest country to play in the entire simulation - I was a newly liberated country, which had terrible inflation, a food shortage, and constant upheavals/coups. (Disclaimer: this was fictional and within a classroom simulation for educational purposes.)
"Wow, this is going to be an experience," I remember thinking. It was a fictional country; the "coups" and hurdles we got were merely the professor emailing us each day with a brief on how things were going in our fictional country. I took to YouTube every day to address the "citizens" (my professor and classmates from my team and the "international stage" of the students playing other countries), and I remember pleading for unity and liberty. At the end of the assignment, I noticed my grade: "Well done, liberator!" I was enthralled. It was just a scenario for a comparative politics class, but it reminded me of a deeper truth - people want a leader who isn't afraid to tell the truth, but who also governs justly with a fair hand and acknowledges their natural liberties and treats them all equally. It isn't always easy to do the right thing as politicians throughout history - we are all flawed humans who make mistakes, and none of us are perfect. But governing justly, whether we are politicians or someone governing a classroom of students, is something I shall always believe in.
This concludes my list, my dear readers. These principles form the foundation of who I am. Now I must proclaim them before the world, and now I must ask of one thing from you: what are the principles you stand for? What are the principles that make you who you are?
I am always open to hearing ideas and different approaches to policy issues and broadening my horizons by hearing the approaches other cultures and people take. These are the five stances that make me who I am. This is what I have to offer to the world. My friends, I must close with this phrase: Long live liberty!