I had a rough Sunday. Political news alerts were coming left and right on my phone, I was seeing passionatley wirtten social media posts. And the worst of it was- I couldn't stop looking. I just kept reading, even though I knew it was doing some serious damage to my well being. I couldn't keep straight what was true or false, where my friends or family stood, or how I wanted to respond to it all.
Early this morning, on my drive into work, I had a sort of epiphany.
We all want the same thing, in the end.
We want a safe, unified Country where we can raise young children to be happy and healthy.
We're just going about it different ways.
Some think that we will be safer by building a wall, by banning refugees and immigrants.
Some think that will trigger our enemies even further.
Some think that we need stricter gun laws, keeping guns out of the hands of people who want to hurt other people.
Some think that guns are not an issue.
Some want to make abortions illegal.
Some think that is taking away women's rights, and worry about the safety of some women carrying a pregnancy.
I could go on and on.
We may never agree on the right or wrong way to protect ourselves and our families. What we do need is to understand that we DO have common ground.
And beyond that, we are all human. If you've ever said the phrase "All Lives Matter", think about what that means. It does not mean that some lives matter. It does not mean that, yes, all lives matter, just some more than others. It means all lives matter. It means people who are different than you? They matter. It means people who disagree with you? They matter. People who speak a different language, who come from a different place, who are of a different religion? They matter.
Frankly, I'm tired of having to explain that. I'm tired of having to point out that the refugees who are escaping to the United States are running from the very same terror we are so scared of, yet we want to turn our backs on them. I'm tired of explaining that while healthcare in this country is nowhere near perfect, it saved the lives of millions of people. I'm tired of having to explain why it's scary that our President is signing one executive order after the other, ignoring checks and balances. I'm tired of having to explain that Planned Parenthood provides life saving cancer screenings, wellness checks, and counseling. I'm tired of arguing. I'm tired of the name calling, the racism, the stereotypes. I'm tired of having to explain why we should care about other people. It doesn't seem like it should be that complicated, but somehow, here we are.
And I know that I have friends, or strangers, reading this who are shaking their heads. They have an opposite point of view. I know that they have full support of our President, and faith that he will be great. While I can't understand that, it is what it is. To those friends, or strangers, know that when you asked me to give him a chance, when you told me "he really won't have that much power anyways", that I listened. But in just a few short weeks, I'm afraid I've lost some of that hope- not just in him, but in the people surrounding him.
We all want the same thing (Except the few who don't really care about the safety for anyone). We are not all in agreement. We are all passionate. We all want what we think is best.
The next time you are fired up over a post, or a news article, take a step back. Learn the facts. Know your stance. Stand firm, but be open to another person's thoughts. Do not attack. Do not name call. Take a deep breath. Take a walk. Find some light amongst this chaos, and hold onto it.
Be good to yourself, and one another.