I am tired. I wasn’t meant for so much worry, I don’t have a strong enough constitution for it. That’s probably why I was born in the time period I was born in, why I was born to a lower middle class white family in a tiny town in northern Illinois. Don’t get me wrong, I had my fair share of worry as a kid. I was picked on a lot for being overweight, having glasses, being poor, which was evidenced by all the hand me down clothes I wore. It wasn’t cool back then to wear “old” clothes. I just didn’t fit in with most of the other kids. On the other hand, I made some really awesome friends of the other “unpopular” kids. I am still very close with several of them. All of that was a far cry from what other kids went through growing up.Kids in war-torn countries or the kids in Africa that were starving as my mother kept telling me when I didn’t want to eat the salmon cake she slid onto my plate at dinner. I was safe in my little bubble.
POP! I grew up and the rest of the world made its way into my field of vision. Now, I am a grown up with a kid! Now I see the world without the rose-colored glasses and I worry. People are mean, uncaring and often times blinded to the plight of others. Since the presidential election last November I have felt a sense of unreality. I must be in a movie or a television show. The kind where everything is bleak and gloomy, at least until the hero steps out of the rubble and forms a band of other unlikely heroes. Together they defy the enemy and save their country. This isn’t a movie, though. People are being hurt and are frightened. Resistance is a key word that is popping up everywhere and it’s scary to think that this my country and not one that I see from the safety of my television screen. I see horrible links on social media and I am tired. I have a ten-year-old daughter, so I suppose being tired isn’t an excuse for closing my eyes. I am choosing to pick up the mantle of the quiet protestor, a doer of good in my own way. Here are my words and my thoughts on what is going on in my country today.
I keep seeing people post about how we need to stop the division of our country and that this same thing happens every 4 years, so why should we have our collective panties in a bunch. They say this like the people protesting are the ones who divided us. Here is what I say: we, the protesters, of our country’s new president did not divide our country, the new president did. He started the division on the campaign trail and continued it in his inauguration speech. He started it when he said it was ok to put your hands on a woman without her permission. He started it when he blamed every Muslim for terrorist attacks. He started it when he blamed every African-American person for gang violence. He started it when he blamed every Latino person for the drugs coming into our country. Our newly sworn in president started this division, not the people who protest. Yes, there are those out there who are letting their anger get the best of them and that needs to stop. The rest of us are just trying to open the eyes of those who refuse to see. Women’s rights are important not divisive. Civil rights are important not divisive. Human dignity is important not divisive. Environmental protection is important not divisive. If we keep silent then hate and fear grow. If we raise our voices for the protection of our fellow humans and the planet we share it is not divisive! It is a call for love and peace. We want bridges not walls. The next time you want to tell someone to be quiet and stop their divisive talk, because what is done is done, try listening instead. Really hear what they are saying, because out of most people you will hear a cry for love and kindness not hate and ignorance. Love not hate, bridges not walls. These words are my new mantra.