What Do You Love About Your Country?

Chances are, you love where you live. Or at least, you love some parts about it. What do you love about your country?

There are many general areas that someone could find appealing about the nation where they reside. For example, natural beauty, which might include a spectacular waterfall, a majestic forest, or stunning lakes (among others).

Security is yet another thing that might set one country apart from another. Do you feel safe, from both your fellow citizens as well as from other countries?

One thing that can vary drastically from place to place is political climate. Do you like yours? Why or why not? Do you feel represented in government? Do you feel free?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘Freedom or security?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Is technology neutral?’


Or perhaps you like the people all around you. What are some of the traits of people that are among the best? Generosity, an accepting nature, thoughtfulness, honesty?

Another option is opportunity, which includes literacy, education, jobs, housing, health care, and others. Are opportunities available to you where you live?

There are many other possibilities as well. What is it that you like best about your country?

Related questions: If you could live anywhere, where would it be? What is patriotic behavior? Why do you live where you live? Are you free?

How Do You Stand Up To A Bully?

Whether it is on a playground, in a board room, or in international politics, you are likely to find yourself, at some point, faced with a bully. How should you handle it?

There is one school of thought that the only language a bully understands is violence. The best way to deal with one on the schoolyard, as this theory goes, is to bloody their nose.

Of course, this is not universally applicable. If you punch a bullying co-worker in the nose, you are likely to be fired.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘Where does authority come from?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What does your favorite music say about you?’


Another possible way of dealing with a bully is to ignore them. Don’t let them goad you into an action you may regret. However, if an aggressive action goes unanswered, it might embolden more abusive behavior.

So what is the best way to handle this situation? How should you stand up to a bully?

Related questions: Why do we put up with unhappiness? How can we build confidence? Hold firm or compromise? How much power does an individual have?

 

Regarding COVID, What Are You Comfortable With?

As the number of people in the U.S. who are vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus increases, the restrictions put in to place for our safety are being eased. However, the level of risk to be accepted varies from individual to individual. What are you comfortable with?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have announced updated guidelines that suggest people who are fully vaccinated no longer have to wear masks indoors, nor do they have to maintain the standard physical distance that we have been accustomed to over the last year+.

We are all eager to return to our previous lives, including seeing and hugging our loved ones, or attending large events like music concerts and sporting events.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the question ‘Freedom or security?’ Stay tuned for a bonus question, ‘Is technology neutral?’


However, on the same day that the CDC recommended the new guidelines, prominent comedian Bill Maher tested positive for COVID, causing his production team to postpone the taping of his weekly talk show. Maher is fully vaccinated and he does not have any symptoms. But it is clear that as much as we want a return to normal, the danger has not passed yet.

In addition, it is entirely possible that people who are anti-mask or anti-vaccine will take advantage of these new guidelines to avoid wearing a mask even though they are not fully vaccinated.

Therefore, there remains some level of risk, both to us as individuals (even the fully vaccinated ones), as well as to our community.

So what are you comfortable with? No change? Going maskless while outdoors? Outdoor dining? Maskless, indoor groups of vaccinated individuals? Indoor dining? Large groups of people, say, 500 or more?

Related questions: What will be the new normal? Mask or no mask? How do you evaluate risk? How do you want this to change you?

Are You Free?

In the United States political world, there has been a lot of talk about being free lately. From owning guns to wearing masks to availability of abortions, one person’s freedom is another’s oppression.

A number of freedoms, or rights, are explicitly mentioned in the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. In particular, the first and second amendments, freedom of speech and the right to bear arms, respectively, are the most famous. Are efforts to keep protests safe limiting freedom of speech? Are all efforts at gun control an infringement of the Second Amendment?

In addition, there is also a fierce debate going on regarding voting rights, and both sides of the political divide feel that they are defending democracy. One side wants increased voting access to previously under-served communities; the other thinks that is an invitation to fraud.

At the heart of many of the ongoing arguments is that people, regardless of their political affiliation or socioeconomic standing, feel their freedoms slipping away.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where we discuss the questions ‘Freedom or security?’ and ‘Is technology neutral?’


Not to mention the vanishing of privacy in the age of social media. Similarly, our personal information is becoming more available to corporations. Credit card companies, for example, know more about us than many of us realize. Cell phones allow us to be tracked wherever we go.

On a personal level, how do you feel about freedom? Are you free? Do you feel free? Are your freedoms threatened, and what can be done to strengthen them?

Related questions: Freedom or security? What are you doing to make the world a better place? Personal rights or convenience? How can we encourage debate?

Democracy Or Tyranny?

Democracy or tyranny?

Democracy Or Tyranny?