I don’t want to talk about guns. I didn’t write this about guns. I’m tired of wasting my breath about guns. The painful truth is this… if nothing was done after a bunch of babies were killed in a classroom, then nothing is going to be done after a club full of gay people lost their lives. This is our reality. So, what do we do? What do we do when that feeling creeps in? The feeling that the problems of the world are too big. How do we make a dent when hate spreads to every electronic device in every hand like wildfire? I am done feeling helpless. I am done feeling angry. I have a plan.
This is my vow to the people of the United States of America.
I will attend the wedding of two brides. I will attend the wedding of 2 grooms. I will bring my son. I will smile at them as they walk by holding hands. Love is wonderful and it is for everyone.
On the bus, while people shift in their seats as a woman wearing a hijab steps aboard, I will offer her the seat next to mine.
When I see a homeless person on a summer day. I will not question the life choices which led him there. I will hand him a bottle of water.
I will invite the child with a disability to the birthday party and make accommodations for that child.
I will not support media which portrays minorities as criminals.
I will not judge a woman’s worth by the length of her skirt, or by how many drinks she had at the party.
When I see abuse, I will not avert my eyes and say that it is none of my business.
When new information is brought forth, I will consider changing my view.
If I disagree with someone, I will not insult them, even if I can hide behind a computer screen. ESPECIALLY if I can hide behind a computer screen.
In short, I will be kind.
There is so much hate, so very much. Hate comes from a place of fear. When did it become patriotic to be so fearful? I thought that this was the home of the brave. Bravery does not need to come in the form of a loud bang. It can come in the form of a quiet, “hello.” There is such a thing as a healthy fear, but that is not what we have anymore. It is out of control. When we talk about building a wall using the argument that there MAY be bad people on the other side, we are making fear-based decisions. When we decide that it is okay to turn away refugee children, even if it means sending them to their death, can we be proud? Will we feel safe then? I won’t. I won’t fear the outside of the wall more than the idea of the wall itself.
My plan may seem simple. Other people may have proposed such a plan. Maybe it worked then, maybe not. The great thing about this plan is that it is free. If it fails, it won’t raise your taxes. It will cost you exactly nothing. I am one American and I can admit that I have fallen prey to the hate and fear machine a time or two, and for that I apologize to all of you. I can change that starting now. I am not supported by any special interest, (other than maybe a few people on an online gardening or needlepoint group,) but I can do something. I can do it everyday.
Perhaps the greatest lie that we have heard as of late is that we need to make America great again. America never stopped being great. America is a chunk of land. We stopped being great to each other. We don’t change that by feeding the hate and fear. We flood the wildfire with respect, kindness, and understanding.
We are Americans. We need to be great again.
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