This article, finally helped me find my voice and the words that I’ve been searching for this past week. As John Oliver says:
This is not “normal”… The problem with just smiling and going along with formality is that it accepts these positions as the new normal.
And I feel like I am definitely living an abnormal life right now…i.e., it’s not “normal” for me to speak up about controversial things. It’s not “normal” for me to care so much about learning all I can about politics and what the Government is doing way over there on the East Coast. It’s not “normal” for me to grieve this much for our nation and minorities. But even if things have been going this way for a while, it’s now becoming all-the-more obvious to me how much I want to not be of this world. But here I am, so to do nothing condones everything. It’s not all about being democrat or republican or third party. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s not about just one issue. It’s about the treatment of mankind now, and what we do (or don’t do) that defines who we are.
Yes, I’m being a little subtle, but I hope you catch my drift. There are enough people out there speaking up about this for me to know that I’m not misguided. There are things happening out there to people (hate crimes, prejudices) that are causing my feelings of urgency for these words. Yet it’s never enough; until there’s change, it will take a “village”, or, rather, a country, to come together with no one on the sidelines. Lines have been crossed, and sides have been taken. Choose love and tolerance of all, even if that means speaking up unfavorably about what those soon-to-be in power are doing (or not stopping). Let this country remain a “melting pot” and a land of freedom.
Freedom doesn’t mean one group (or person) gets all of the freedom and others get none. Someone’s freedom to bear arms shouldn’t take away someone else’s freedom to live. Someone’s freedom of speech or actions doesn’t mean someone else has no freedom to walk the streets in peace. Freedom to talk and write as we please doesn’t mean putting each other down and promoting violence (taking away others’ freedom of peace and joy). While the freedom to speak may give people freedom to lie, that does not take away freedom to stand up for truth. We can agree to disagree except when we disagree about decency. Where tax dollars go is one thing to disagree about. But how we treat other human beings should never be something that needs to be up for discussion. Nationality, race, gender, sexuality, and location does not define or change one’s humanity and should not change their human rights.
So, let’s start a new hippie liberal revolution where we are fighting for peace and love, against hate. (And if you don’t enjoy the labels hippie or liberal, then ignore those words…I am not meaning to be limitive.) Keep your eyes open. If you see someone not being treated right, or an issue that will affect freedom in a negative way, speak up and find people to stand with you. Time will tell on how the economy is affected, but I am more concerned right now with avoiding a downward spiral of a loss of ethics and rights.
P.S. Also, this blog post helped me today, and I hope she is right that things will be OK.