Beliefs sure do affect all of us in every aspect of our lives.

Judgements made or insinuated are insidious. America is supposed to be a melting pot. After all, our forefathers came to America with the intention of practicing religious freedom. I am always amazed that so many Americans are still prejudiced.

Why are they?

I think because of fear. Fear of change. Fear of losing control. When we have a vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, speaking to a crowd, and allowing them to shout out about Senator Obama, “kill him” “, “off with his head”, and then NOT speak up. WE each must stand up and stop this. She is not necessarily responsible for what they might say, but she is responsible to stop cries of hate. In my opinion, she is stoking anger and division. Each of us has a responsibility to create more acceptance of differences. HOW? Voting will be one way to speak our minds. Are you registered? Vote for what you stand for, without tearing down the other candidates.

It is a practice to choose what we want, not focus on hate.

David Gergen of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, CNN commentator, and in my opinion a deep-thinking fair man, who has been a presidential advisor to Republicans and Democrats, from Richard Nixon to the present, has expressed his concern. He recently said “there is this free-floating sort of whipping around anger that could lead to some violence.”

In this global financial crisis, our focus must be on what we want, not on what we fear. Our beliefs blind us and sometimes make us do crazy things. When Barack Obama spoke in Ohio yesterday, he encouraged the crowd to reject panic and division, and instead focus on resolve and steady leadership. Of course, I know all the candidates are criticizing each other, but there is a line that Palin has crossed, in allowing hate threats. I want to acknowledge John McCain for defending Obama, one time, when a woman said Barack was an Arab and she did not trust him. McCain said “No, he’s a decent family man and citizen.” But that raises the question, does McCain believe all Arabs are not decent?

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