Thursday, December 4, 2014

Drop Your Weapons

I winced as I pressed enter on this blog post. I admittedly don't have a thick skin, but that shouldn't stop me from sharing what I'm passionate about. I'm done being passionate about political opinions and social causes. I want to be passionate about loving people, so I ask you to drop your weapons as you read. And consider taking the same step toward a better and more tolerant future.

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I've sat staring at this blank box for 25 minutes now.
I know, "where does she find the time to just sit down in front of a blank screen for 25 minutes?"
My time will be up here, soon. I assure you -- the circus starts again as soon as Felix opens his eyes.

I'm feeling sad lately.
It's December 4th, so I really shouldn't have anything to feel sad about.
Seth has a new job, Felix's birthday is coming up, Christmas is almost here..
But current events have me feeling lower than usual and I can't seem to shake the darkness.

The topics of race, religion, social justice and politics seem to be more on fire than ever before. We have become a completely divided nation -- almost down the middle. Black and white. Liberal and Conservative. Religious or non religious. Justice versus injustice. Each side seems to be more and more polarized.

This is a country that takes pride in being a melting pot, a beautiful mix of differing opinions, beliefs, colors, languages -- but it doesn't feel so beautiful anymore. We're all fighting to be right and will stop at nothing to tell people with differing beliefs that they are wrong. We will verbally abuse, name-call, and beat our point to death just to make sure we come out on top. And it is making me sick.  There is no more agreeing to disagree. There is no respecting each others differences. There is no meeting in the middle. Today I felt physically ill over all of it.

And don't tell me that deleting my Facebook/Twitter/Instagram is going to help. It might limit my exposure but it doesn't change the reality.

I'm sad that people crying out over injustice means looting peoples homes and businesses. There is no justice found in that. I'm sad that rioting is the only way people think their voice is heard.
I'm sad that innocent lives are lost and pre-judged because of skin color -- as if were skin color were a determining factor in the actions of an individual.
I'm sad that people in roles of power, whether in law enforcement or politics, think they can ignore the law and bend the rules.
I'm sad that friendships and family relationships are tainted or torn apart because of opposing views.

Respect and love seem to no longer triumph these days.
I wonder what the founding fathers would say if they looked at our nation today. I wonder if they would be proud, or if they would be disappointed -- or if they want to run away to Canada like I want to sometimes.

I'm totally guilty of the negativity -- I don't want to skip over that reality.
I've slung the mud, posted the articles, thought the thoughts.
But I don't want to be guilty anymore.
I want to wipe my hands clean of the hatred and walk away.

Today I'm going to resign from the arena of sharing or even having an opinion.
It's not worth losing friends over. It's not worth the stress of defending everything I believe.
The only thing I'm sure of is that Jesus is Lord. That is the only thing I'm willing to die for believing. That is the only thing I'm willing to let people try to shred my dignity over.
Nothing else has ever really mattered that much anyways.
And that is an entirely different post for an entirely different nap time.

Today I'm a both a republican and a conservative. Because both sides have their errors and shortcomings -- and both sides have GOOD things.
I cry for justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Because guilty or not, EVERYONES life matters. Black, Brown, Red, White...All of them.
And I SEE white privilege. I wish there was more I could do about it then wish it didn't exist.
I'm pro-life and pro-choice. Because I love babies, and I think rape is deplorable.
I'm pro-gun and anti-gun. Because guns are good for some things but can do so much harm in the wrong hands.
I'm feminist and..not a feminist. Because I want equality for men and women but I don't think being equal means being the same.
I'm a formula and breastfeeding Mom, because my goal is to feed my child and watch him grow up and thrive.
I'm a homeschooling and public school Mom, because in so many ways I want to be Felix's teacher, but in so many other ways I want the professionals to do their thing so I can clean up my house and go get a pedicure at 11am -- no shame in my game.

As Christmas nears I'm remembering the Christmas truce of 1914 during World War 1. The dropping of weapons for a mere few hours so soldiers could enjoy Christmas, for many of them it was their last. Tolerance isn't found in waving signs and slogans on the sidewalk at a protest . It isn't found in hurling accusatory, negative, and downright hurtful comments at each other. Tolerance isn't SAYING you want tolerance but then slamming someone as "intolerant" when their opinions are different than yours. Tolerance can be found when we drop our weapons and agree to start working and thinking together. Not working together by shaking hands in front of the camera on the white house front lawn. Not pretending to work together while we have a secret agenda hiding under the table.

Because here's the crazy part. We ALL want the SAME thing.
We want health. We want freedom. We want equality. We want opportunity. We want respect. We want love. We want success.

Maybe, if we one by one, person by person, family by family, dismantle our polarized, opinionated views we might have more peace, more decision making in Congress, and less fear of having conversations about REAL things with people because we are afraid that they might not agree. I'm convinced that the Kardashians get so much media attention because no one wants to talk about things that matter.

My hope for the future is that tolerance can become a reality, not a slogan that we have to fight for. I want my future grandchildren to WONDER what it even means because it is so a part of their reality that it doesn't need a definition.
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Phew. Thanks for hanging on for all of that. Do me a favor, if you want to sling mud, send me a message. I can't take any more public bashing today.

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