Last night, like every night, all 5 sat down for dinner. Daniela started a discussion about nationalism. She explained to us the meaning of it and compared it to patriotism. Nationalism was compared to the meaning of a family. Within the family you could have discussions, make fun of each other, insult your brother or sister, but all within the household. However, the moment that somebody from outside insults or attacks the family, all the members forget about the internal fights and stick together to stop and repeal the outsiders attacks. It is the same concept of nationalism…
Great topic, we all had different points of view, took turns to express our ideas, disagreed, and many times we interrupt each other to make our point. . The conversation covered war, religion, racism, America, the Middle East, WWII and so on…
After an entertaining and a constructive heated discussion we finished our meal with a hot cup of green tea and each went on to finish homework or watch TV before bedtime.
While listening and participating in this debate, I thought to myself, these family gatherings are the best example of democracy. All 5 have different opinions and all have the opportunity to express their point of view, even if at certain times the voices were raised. At the end of the conversation we had our hot tea and no one was convinced of the other’s point of view, but we all exercised our listening skills.
What is the meaning of Democracy?
Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows eligible citizens to participate equally—either, directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination.
“All eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives”. An equal say is the most important concept of democracy.
I am 46 years old and I wish my childhood dinners were similar to our dinners today. In our times we had to look at adults with respect and silence was considered a form of respect.
In our family, today, respect is earned no matter what the age. Our children are learning several skills at dinner that sometimes others take a lifetime to learn; skills like knowing to debate, self-expression, self-confidence and believing in themselves.
Most importantly, they are not afraid to voice their opinion!
All great skills that will help them mold their personality and their future!
"The first duty of a man is to think for himself" - José Martí