This was a photo I took of a sign in my daughter's old high school.
It says, "Respect for Self, Others, and the Environment."
That is a great principle, which I was reminded of today in sitting for an IT certification exam--how lucky we are to live in a country that affords us respect to be ourselves...to speak, write, and practice as we believe.
In this case, the certification exam was typically given on Saturday, but as a Sabbath observer, I was able to provide a request for an accommodation, and was able to take the exam this morning, Sunday.
What was absolutely amazing to me though going for the exam at this designated fancy facility, in Washington, D.C.--and with two proctors--was that I was the only one taking the exam today.
This was not just some lip-service tolerance for differences, but rather true respect for diversity, even when it's not convenient and it is costly.
I have got to say, how grateful I am to be part of a society where we are free to be who we are--what can be more amazing than that?
I feel this all the more when we are at a time in history when still so many in the world are battling dictatorships, demagogues, terrorist and corrupt regimes that impose harsh restrictions, censorship, monitoring, and severe punishments on those who don't follow the dictates of the authority holding power.
When we fight those restrictive regimes--from ISIS to Communism--that are looking not just to hold, but to spread their clutches on power and abuses of freedom--we are really fighting to be who we are and that is a serious fight worth having. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)