To be more forthright, it was a damn hard day.
I should have stayed off of facebook, but I didn’t. I got sucked into reading post after post and comment after comment.
I resisted commenting for the most part. I did not contribute to the inflammatory and reactionary rhetoric. I “liked” a couple of things that people said and I typed “peace” a few times.
Honestly, I didn’t recognize a couple of my friends from the comments they were typing. If I didn’t know them, I would consider it unlikely that we could be friends based on some of their comments today.. But, I do know them. I’ve shared meals, cares, concerns and prayers with them. I’ve had lively conversations and faced change with them. I care for them and have history and memories with them. They are my friends. I understand their fear and apprehension. I did not expect the blanket condemnation of anyone who disagreed with their vote.
But, we humans are complex creatures. We all carry our history, our family, our experience and our secrets.
To try and categorize anyone with a word or label is unrealistic. It is unfair. It is short-sighted. We, as human beings, defy classification on such a simple level.
I am not the person I was yesterday and am not yet the person I will be tomorrow. I make mistakes. I try to learn from them. My actions may not always live up to the hope I have for myself. I talk a good game. I try to love others, but honestly, I’m still trying to figure out how to love myself. I fall short. I fall down. I get up although sometimes it takes a while. I try to listen to others and be respectful of their opinions even if I don’t agree. I change my mind. I grow.
There are, however, some things I hold to be true. The most important thing being that we are nothing more and nothing less than children of God.
We are born to be unique, creative and loving people. We are different from one another in many ways, and rightly so. We are human. We will not always agree. We have different vocations and battles to fight. We are also alike in many ways. We are complicated. This all weaves together to create this world.
The differences are easy. Living together in harmony, not so much.
Change is hard. Change is more than hard. It is frightening. It also happens whether we like it or not.
Change is happening. It happened four years ago. It happened yesterday. It will happen tomorrow.
Here’s the hard part for me…
for I have a deep-seated need to be liked – to have the positive affirmation of others…
Nevertheless, this is what I believe:
- That I am damn lucky to have been born in these United States of America. I am privileged to live here and to enjoy the freedoms that I have.
- I believe in peace. I also firmly believe that peace does not just happen. Sometimes it must be fought for. I deplore violence and war. I support the armed forces of this country and the sacrifices that they have made and continue to make. We are free and enjoy the rights that we have because of their service.
- I will always recognize and honor the American flag, the pledge of allegiance and the National Anthem regardless of who holds office in this country. These symbols represent the citizens of this land and the history behind it.There is no country on earth that I wish to move to. This is my home.
- Peaceful protest is an important part of our country’s history and legacy. The destruction of property, looting, burning and violence are in no way peaceful.
- Generalities are an ignorant way to group people. We should be careful of the way we label and categorize others that do not agree with us or that we do not understand. Furthermore, unless you can see into the heart and mind of another, do not presume to know who they are or to understand their actions.
I voted yesterday.
I did not vote for Clinton.
How I voted is not the sum total of who I am. It does not define me. It was a difficult decision. My vote was not cast without a great deal of research, thought, and prayer. In a perfect world, I would have had different choices. I don’t get to live in perfect. I am aware that my vote has the potential to impact some people that I care about in a negative manner. I made a choice. There was no option that would please or serve everyone. I believe that both of the major parties failed the American people. I hope for a better future where everyone is heard and where everyone matters.
I am not a racist. I try to walk with love in my heart for all. I try to get to know people before I make a decision about who they are. There are people in this world that I don’t particularly like. It’s not because of what they look like. It’s because of who they are. I was not really raised to be open-minded. It is a choice I make. Sometimes I mess up. Most times, I don’t. I am hopeful.
I am a women. I have been sexually assaulted. I believe that life is sacred. I also believe that sometimes women have to make hard choices. Those choices should not be taken lightly. I am not qualified to tell someone else what they should do. I have made the hard choice to carry on with a pregnancy that could very well have killed me and left my family without me. I made that decision. It was mine to make. I would not judge any woman who chose a different path. Their journey is not mine.
I believe in love. I believe that finding someone in this world that loves you, makes you feel safe and cares for you, is the greatest gift ever. I found that person. I would hope it to happen for everyone that seeks such a relationship. I believe in being true to who you are. It is not my right or my desire to tell anyone who to love or who to be. I would simply hope that you find love and happiness and are free to be true to yourself. I support you.
I believe that we have an obligation to help and support each other. To feed the hungry, shelter those in need and support those in crisis. I don’t always live into this belief as much as I should, but I am trying. My table is an open table. All are welcome. We’ve had some good times around our table. The gatherings have been comprised of many diverse individuals. I hope that tradition continues.
After the facebook postings I have read today, I am afraid that I will lose friends with this admission. I have been the recipient of hurtful words today even though they were unintentional. That’s the problem with social media. It is so easy to send out words without a clear understanding of where they might end up.
I am fearful for the future. I have been fearful in the past. Nothing has changed with recent events. My husband and I have worked hard. We have an uncertain financial future. We have done our best to raise our children to be good people. I am proud of them all. I am fearful for the future that they travel into.
I believe that change is necessary.
Politics as usual has got to stop.
The government can’t keep spending money it doesn’t have. That’s not the way it works. It doesn’t work in my house and it shouldn’t be tolerated in The White House.
We are living in a dangerous world. We must be realistic about the threats to our safety. Rational steps must be taken to keep our country safe.
We lived without health insurance for years. For most of my children’s childhood. We have insurance now through my husband’s employer. It is not cheap. It requires a significant portion of our income. And, we have significant medical debt that was not covered by that insurance. Health insurance is not the only issue. Out of control medical expenses, a lack of access to medical care for many, and an awareness of the importance of mental health care are just as important.
I believe all lives matter. All lives. That doesn’t mean that I value any one group over another. It means that… all lives matter. All. Lives.
There are so many issues facing this country and the world. That’s not new. There are problems to be solved. It’s obvious that we don’t even all agree on what issues are the most important, much less, how to solve any of them.
We need to quit relying on the government for everything. We need to care for each other. Listen to each other. Really listen. Try to be understanding. Exercise patience. Comfort one another. Respect diversity. Practice tolerance. Neighbor to neighbor. One on one. You and me. Different and yet the same.
Tomorrow morning, I will get up and go about my business. I will live into the needs of my day, the needs of my family, and those that I care about. I will attempt to reach out, in my own small way, to make a difference in the lives of those that I can.
I will live my little life in the best way possible, think hopeful thoughts, pray for guidance, and hopefully continue to share this journey with my friends.