Words are hard to find today, aren’t they?
Maybe not … if you’re looking for continued divisiveness. Seems prevalent on the media – social or otherwise.
I haven’t said much during this election process.
Well, I don’t like to get caught up in the discourse. I was raised in a time and community where speaking about politics, money and religion weren’t common. Traditional? Maybe. But I have seen discussions on many of these things ruin good relationships. I like diversity of all kinds. I also like my people and would rather not sever them unnecessarily over opposing views. It’s a little tricky sometimes because I am quite opinionated (those of you that know me well …well, you know!).
Also, generally, Kenny and I are more laid back – more of a “do the right thing” and “be good people” philosophy rather than an organized politics and religion kind of thing. I’m more comfortable observing and learning when it comes to both things. Although I will say I did ponder going to Mass this morning. And very well may at some point this week. Not sure why. I think I just need to feel something…focus on something bigger than me.
While I ponder about bigger things, it occurred to me that I wanted to thank my parents. They raised me in such a way that left me proud of my choices yesterday. So, Mom and Dad, thank you for strong foundations… and more.
Thank you for always supporting me in my open mindedness. I went through a number of phases through the years. Vegetarian, grunge and a hippie / grunge (Jerry meets Kurt) combo (it was as hot as it sounds – lol!) come to mind. Thanks for allowing me to explore – I can’t say it was fully free from your judgment (hahaha), but thank you for not shutting it down. Your tolerance of me being me taught me to afford the same for others. Your tolerance was the wind in my sails and gave me a voice. My own open-minded voice. It allowed me to stand up for myself and what I wanted.
Thank you for generally teaching me to see people as people. Not a color. Not a race. Not a religion. Not a sexual preference. Not a gender. Just a human – each one with the same potential for good and (hopefully not) evil as the next.
Thank you for teaching me everyone is different and that that’s OK. Preferable even.
Thank you for teaching me that everyone has been down / is going down a different path that shapes who they are. And that path isn’t always the same as my own. You taught me how to be considerate and thoughtful. And how to approach people with kindness and grace. And I try. Sometimes I have to try hard, but I always try.
Thank you for teaching me that things won’t always go my way. Resiliency is important.
Thanks for teaching me to seek to understand things I don’t. This started (and still continues) with math (haha!), and gave birth to my inner journalist. I always seek to understand as much as I can before making a move. Sometimes this is paralyzing, but I have few regrets. Very few.
Thanks for telling me it’s ok to cry and feel while I look for silver linings… for ways I can help…for ways I can change a situation…and to decide how I want to react. I don’t always find the silver linings, but I do always figure out a way to drive change.
Thank you for teaching me to think things through. And to work through my typical hot-headed first reaction to quickly approach things rationally and logically. Even when they aren’t. (And they aren’t.)
All of this leads me to the present.
Yesterday, I made a choice.
A choice I am proud of. It was the best one.
And, today, I don’t see myself reflected in the outcome.
Because of you, I know that this is OK. Or will be OK…at some point. I know I can’t win ’em all. Even when I lose the ones I shouldn’t. I have some shoulders to cry on. I have a village to prop me up and ensure my values live on. Flourish even. I know don’t have to agree with everyone, but I do have to be respectful. Most importantly, however, I know I have to figure out how I can affect change and make a difference.
So, I’m setting my sights on 2020. I’m leaving ‘how?’ behind, and focusing on ‘what’s next?’. I’m going to continue to love my country. And I am going to use every one of my strengths to ensure its bright future.
Friends, join me.
Let’s be the change.
Let’s be the good.
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