Friday, July 29, 2016

A few thoughts

I still don't want to share my political views. I'm scared of being yelled at, being called stupid, or having people hate me. But I have a few, slightly generic thoughts in my head - not enough to really form an actual political post, but just enough to frame out what I think might be the most important take-aways from this election season thus far.

- I understand that people don't really like Hillary, or trust her. But I'm still confused on why some refer to her as a criminal.

- I totally understand disagreeing with a party's views, and even voting for the opposing party just because... but the idea of voting for someone you admit is bad for the country doesn't make sense.

- There is very little about government that is fair or logical or reasonable. Much of it is corrupt and biased. I'm confused by the idea that voting for one guy could change hundreds of years of that history.

- If  you want to change the system, maybe not voting for a rich white dude is a good place to start.

- What exactly is the appeal of Donald Trump? People say it's because he "speaks the truth." But whose truth? He's seems like a racist, misogynistic bully to me, and while I am sure he's a very smart business man, I've seen no evidence that he knows how to work with others to get something done. I've met a lot of CEOs and presidents in my lifetime; they were all smart, determined, resilient, and used to getting their own way. None of them possessed an ounce of the diplomacy required to be the leader of the free world.

- The idea that you need to vote for Hillary if you are a feminist seems backwards to me. Feminism isn't (or at least shouldn't be) based on the idea that women should get the job. It's based on the idea that women should have the same chance as men for the same job. You can be happy that a woman finally broke through and still not feel she's the best person for the job.

- That being said... if you are a woman, and you've ever lost a new job or a promotion or a raise because you are a woman, you should be at least a tiny bit happy that another barrier is broken. It's a big deal for a woman to stand where Hillary stood the other night. Take a moment and think on that, even if you still don't like her or her politics.

- If we're friends, I will still be your friend after this election. Unless you're a racist, misogynistic bully and/or support the idea that minorities, women, or immigrants are in any way less important than white, American men.

But if that's the case, I'm not sure how we became friends in the first place - and I'm sure you won't think of it as any big loss anyway.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


I'm so tired of bad news. I'm tired of people being shot, harassed, murdered. I'm tired of terrorists and criminals, and I'm equally tired of corrupt good-guys and actual good-guys being made to look bad. I'm tired of people labeling others based on the color of their skin, the color of their uniform, who they love, where they worship, where they work, or how they vote. I'm tired of finger-pointing and name-calling.

I may not agree with your choices. I may not understand them. You may not agree with or understand mine. I still don't understand why that matters. Why do we need to agree? I'm tired of trying to figure it out.

I am 100% sure there are people out there who believe others should be killed for the color of their skin. I am 100% sure there are people out there who believe others should be punished for who they love or how they live. I am also 100% sure there are people out there who believe all police are corrupt, evil, and should be killed.

I am reasonably sure those of us who just want a safe, happy, peaceful world outnumber all of those people. (I wish I was 100% on this one, but I'm just not.) I just don't think we all agree on how to get started.

Here's a picture of my cat, being all happy and peaceful. Coincidentally, he also looks tired in this photo. I figure we need to find a way to get on the same page. Everyone likes Joe, so maybe this is a good place to start?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Start listening

When horrific, tragic events like the shooting in Orlando occur, I'm always hesitant to post, here or anywhere else. I understand why people do. Many want to express their sorrow or anger, or just their support for the affected community. Some feel the effects personally. Some want to help in any way they can, no matter how small.

The problem I have seen, and the reason I avoid posting, is the comments that follow. The bickering over gun control or religious freedom or whether or not our President is a mole (Seriously!?) or whether or not people in the LGBT community are sinners or whether or not God was at work... It goes on and on and on. The arguments feed the hate and the anger, until both have a life of their own. Instead of using the tragedy as a way to come together, we allow it to tear us apart.

People who share opinions are instantly labeled: Conservative or liberal, republican or democrat, LGBT-friendly, religious, Christian, Muslim, pro-gun, anti-gun. Labels lead to assumptions; we automatically assume that because we know a person's political affiliation or religious practice, we must also know where he stands on gun-control or LGBT rights.

Assumptions are natural, and labels are easy. I'm as guilty as anyone. I read comments and I automatically assume I know where someone stands on any issue. I have leapt to the conclusion that disagreement is personal, and means we can not be friends.

But I have learned that why a person feels the way he does is just as important as what he feels - and how he chooses to express or act upon those feelings is more important than either.

I have also learned that although people may disagree on a defined political or social issue, that very well may agree that a problem exists - and they may even be able to find common ground on a solution.

My boyfriend and I disagree on a lot of political and social issues. It would be easy for us to label each other as insensitive or foolish or unyielding or hurtful. Instead, we take the time to share and listen. We talk about the issues - not about each other. We don't point fingers - we wonder out loud about what is happening and what should happen, and then share with each other why that may or may not work for everyone.

I have learned more about compassion and love and freedom and understanding and support from this one person than I have from all of the posts and articles I've read combined. He's wise and kind - and that's coming from someone who often disagrees with his point of view. I may not agree with him, but I absolutely respect him.

If I have learned one thing from spending time with someone who disagrees with me on so much, it is this: Nothing will ever change until we are all willing to stop fighting and start listening.