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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Big Ben! Parliament!


Saturday evening, Andrea and I stopped at what we affectionately refer to as the “bodega” around the corner from our home. Which is to say it really isn’t a bodega at all. It is, however, where you can purchase essential supplies before showing up to someone’s home for a bonfire, which we were about to do. Posted above the checkout on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper was a, albeit small, poster instructing people on what to do should they find themselves about to cough or sneeze. Another copy of this same poster was posted much lower, but also at the front register. The store clerk had taken the time to add additional instructions and I’d wished I’d had my phone to snap a picture of this. I also wished, quite honestly, that the society I live in did not require such specific protocol on what I consider to be basic manners. Decorum. Protocol. Hell – even common sense.

I watched Trump walk in front of Queen Elizabeth the other day. This is not a political statement so before anyone gets whipped up into a frenzy, let me simply say this is about following protocol.

Now, I bet some people reading this are surprised that a “liberal” like myself believes in protocol or manners. Liberal. They say that like it’s a bad thing. The meaning is not being limited to what they think it means.

Often, people refer to "political correctness" with a sneer. I understand that anything can be taken to an extreme. But lately, I feel as though the company has gone too far in the other direction, with people telling people exactly what they think of the color of their skin or ethnicity. When did it become okay to use racial slurs or call the police on minorities for mowing their lawns?

Sometimes, I wonder if the world just spirals in a loop slower like in European Vacation where Clark Griswold is driving around Lambeth Bridge Roundabout in London and is unable to turn left, “Hey look kids, there’s Big Ben, and there’s the Parliament…. Again.”

Same shit, different decade. I hope that isn’t the case and recognize that in many areas and in many ways, progress has, in fact, been painstakingly made. People used to think it impolite to discuss a whole host of topics that I find incredibly important to discuss - - mental health, alcoholism, LGBTQ, etc.

lib·er·al - ˈlib(ə)rəl/adjective ...willing to discard traditional values.

If that "traditional value" is hurting others or oneself, it believe it should be discarded.

lib·er·al - ˈlib(ə)rəl/adjective ....favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms.

"liberal citizenship laws"

I guess that does make me a liberal.

lib·er·al - ˈlib(ə)rəlnoun

noun: liberal; plural noun: liberals

  1. 1.

a person of liberal views.


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