MAKE IT STOOOOPPPPP

Wishful thinking on my part, I know. The memes and articles just go on and on and on and on and on and on and on AAAHHHHH. Seriously, noone’s mind was changed BEFORE the election, I highly doubt anyone’s mind will be changed AFTER the election, and the more sensationalized and entrenched BOTH sides get the more we just miss the point again and again and again.

I saw an article that-once you dug through the hype of what a horrible person Trump is (which I am not denying, but then again I honestly don’t think I’m a better person than he or Hillary, so I’m keeping my finger pointing to myself)-broke down how you should talk to your children about the government, and turn his presidential time as a period of learning and evaluation and discussion.

DUH!!! Guys, we get our moral fiber from our upbringing, not our presidents. We get our mindset from our parents, not our congressmen and women. We get our sense of fairness adjusted from play dates and mommies refereeing how to share and cooperate not our Supreme Court Justices. And who we become as adults is heavily, HEAVILY impacted by our childhood. What does that mean? It means if you want America great again and you’re a parent, you get up for the umpteenth time in the middle of the night, you bite back those words you want to shoot at your spouse because you are BOTH physically and emotionally exhausted, you wipe up vomit and snot, you answer the “why” questions while trying to pee, you do your best to explain everything from emotions to philosophy to biology broken down at the most basic levels while trying not to throw one of your offspring through a window in frustration. And as they get older, you think yourself stupid about how to handle emotionally charged discussions better/clearer. Are you being too strict? Not strict enough? You wait up all night to know they are  safe, you field their heartaches, you step back from their struggles to let them try on their own, you bite your darn tongue again and again and again and it never gets easier. You’re desperate and helpless and keep on trying anyway.

And adults who don’t have kids? You model adulthood and responsibility every second of your day. Clean up after yourself, don’t throw hissyfits when you don’t get your way, be polite, encourage your fellow neighbor, share, give sacrificially of your time and don’t moan about it. Shove your cynicism up your tucus and get a hold of yourself. Stop being selfish, pay it forward, don’t mock others, watch your language for your OWN sake as well as little ears, be aware of what you laugh at, what you tacitly approve as ok.

You are an example. Always. Sound exhausting? IT IS. But it is also the truth.

You want a better president? RAISE THEM. You want a better world for your children? RAISE THEM. You want a better future, a safer tomorrow, a change? PUT ON YOUR BIG BOOTS AND JUMP IN THE TRENCHES WITH THOSE OF US WHO ARE TRYING.

By trying, I do NOT mean endlessly posting articles about how such and such a group feels, or why so and so sucks, or howcome this happened, or let’s rehash all the scandal. It’s ok to feel, friends, whatever those emotions that got stirred up by this election. I am NOT comfortable with our future as a nation, friends. I’m not. But I am most uncomfortable because I see so many people trying to shift blame and responsibility on to everyone else (including our government) EXCEPT FOR themselves in a huge wave of sensationalism. It is not ok to keep wallowing in feelings. And continuing to post about reactions from BOTH sides is just dragging out the misery. Deep breath, process on your own time, take a step forward.

I am reaching to understand perspectives that aren’t my own, getting better at agreeing to disagree without causing offense, encouraging people to disagree with me so that I can GROW and show my children that discussion is vital, but animosity is poison. I don’t understand all the race issues in this country-but I’m trying. I don’t understand all the LGBT issues in this country-but I’m trying. I understand the sexual assault/harassment issues more than I’d like, it is just something I struggle with doing anything constructive about-but I keep trying. I may not come to the same conclusion as you or someone else-but I’m trying. I am initially limited by my upbringing and experiences, but I refuse to let that limit my personal growth because the future for my children depends on it. I will never agree with everyone, but that doesn’t mean I can’t or shouldn’t do my utmost best to sympathize and value them as people and search for the common grounds while holding my own values. It isn’t about everyone agreeing, it’s about getting along with those you don’t agree with so that respect has a chance of helping EVERYONE grow a bit more. And newsflash-if it’s easy, you aren’t doing it right. This should involve considerable swallowing of your temper, ego, and sarcasm. I know you have them, we all do, and we often think we’re “trying to get along” when really we’re just looking to do enough to pat ourselves on the head and then scurry back across to our flock of supporters with a “well, I tried” smugly stamped across our features-as if that excuses us.

How have you improved YOU, today? Hmm? How have you made the world a better place? And let me reiterate-working on being a better person should be uncomfortable, unpleasant, and frequently scary. I have never liked working on my faults, because that means I have to acknowledge them-and the more I acknowledge them the less I can skate around some weird idea that “they aren’t that bad”. I have never enjoyed apologizing because that means I’ve done something wrong, and by doing something wrong I have HURT people. I have laid scars on their lives. I have harmed them in ways that an apology can’t ever completely fix. I can enjoy the RESULTS of working on my self, but the process generally sucks. So if you are floating in a comfortable self analyzed lala land-you are part of the problem.

I am really uneasy about our future as a nation, few seem to realize that the division among the people getting deeper and deeper gives MORE power to the government and the person in office. It’s “WE the people” as a NATION that has power. And right now, that power is frighteningly divided among “us” which gives a lot more to whoever wins. If we could present a united front to our government, then we’d truly have the power to go “Ok, let’s see how you’re doing….yeah, nope. NEXT.” Instead we feud bitterly amongst ourselves and then the President/Congress really only has to worry about making HALF of the country happy. For once, just once, I really wish I could vote for a presidential candidate that I believed in without reservation. It has not happened for me yet, and may never will, but I’m gonna keep working at making myself, my family, my community better everyday.  Because THAT UNITY is what has the potential to make America great.

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