I’ve been wanting to write a post about happy things. I’ve been wanting to be light and cheery and happy and free. Those feelings are not coming to me, those words are not forming in my head. Because – each day brings more shootings, more violent protests, more politicians creating laws that are not reasonable, not just, not humane. Each day brings less kindness.
I’ve been hoping for change. I’ve been hoping we’d become more sensible about things like gun ownership, how we view people who were colored with crayons different than those we were colored with, how we select those who govern our country, and so many things. I have had hope – each time yet another mass shooting occurs, or another unfair killing of an innocent person of color, I have had hope. But nothing changes.
I’ve reached the conclusion that nothing is going to change. Until we get off our high horses, until we start thinking with our brains, until we recognize there is much for each of us to learn and we take advantage of learning opportunities, nothing will change.
I often see posts on Facebook – you know the ones – the ones that say “how many people will dare to share this post” and the post is about supporting the police, or the military, or ownership of guns that you might need sometime in the future when your government goes rogue. Those posts raise the hair on my back because it’s not a matter of “daring” to share, it’s a matter of “wait a minute, think about it”. Just because I do not share your post doesn’t mean I don’t support – whatever – the police, at least those who are there to do their job as it needs to be done, fairly, reasonably, with forethought. The fact that I am against war does not mean that I don’t support those who are willing to join the fight in their belief that this is the right way to win a battle.
What I do not support are the police who are in the jobs for the power it gives them – the elected officials who are there for the power it gives them – the wars that are fought instead of using our facilities of reason and compromise. Just as I don’t support those who believe races other than their own are “bad”, are “dangerous”, are “less than”. What matters is not our color, but our actions and the reasons for those actions.
This is my proposal – instead of arguing about our political differences, let’s discuss the
“whys” of our political differences. Instead of assuming that person whose color is different than ours is bad, let’s talk to them, let’s listen to their stories – let’s give them the same benefit of the doubt we give those whose color is the same as ours. Instead of assuming people who condemn a police action are against the police, let’s investigate that action, let’s think about it with our brains and not our emotions, let’s realize that they are human, some good, some less good, some not good at all.
In fact, why don’t we start reading all sides of a story, using our brains for thinking instead of reacting according to our emotions? Can we do that? Until we can, we will be lost.
And so my hope now is that we can change.