It’s a year of change for many.
I for one am coming out of a year of anxiety and depression I don’t wish on anyone, but that’s a totally different post for another day. As I emerge from the darkness that was 2019 (the only way I can think to briefly describe that year), I realize I’m up against the possibility of another trying year as the country I love faces yet another election year.
As if the last few years weren’t divisive enough, we have the next few months to look forward to where people we love and respect tend to show sides we didn’t realize existed.
I try to stay as far away from politics as I can, personally. Yes I will vote in November, but who I chose to vote for is nobody’s business unless I choose to tell you myself.
What I absolutely will not do, however, is draw lines between myself and those who think or believe differently than I do. I believe that as long as your actions and beliefs are what you truly feel is right, your intentions are not to hurt anyone else, and your heart is in the right place, then who am I to say otherwise?
And that’s it. Period.
If I’ve chosen to include you in my life, it’s because I care about YOU. Not who you love. Not your political beliefs. Not the color of your skin or where you’re from. Not what you choose to do for a living. And especially not what you choose to do in your spare time.
You found someone you’ve fallen head over heels in love with and can’t imagine spending another moment of your life without them? Congratulations! I could not be happier for you. Oh, they happen to share the same gender as you? Ok, awesome! WHO you love is your business, your choice, and it’s no one else’s place to say if it’s right or wrong. You LOVE someone. The last time I checked, loving was a good thing, wasn’t it? Honestly, I’d be more concerned about the person who doesn’t have love in their heart for someone else- the type of love doesn’t matter. And if someone chooses to hate someone because they love another human being, that says more about the person with hate in their heart than it does the subject of their hatred.
So you and your family are from another country. Your skin is a different color than mine is. You know another language I don’t speak. But you wake up every day, just like I do, and live your life with the intention of bettering yourself and the lives of those around you. I have no idea why history or skin color should play any role in your pursuit for a great life. As long as you’re doing it the right way (yes, I do mean legally- I don’t advocate for breaking the law) and not trying to scam or hurt someone else along the way, keep reaching for the stars! And while you’re at it, I would love to learn what makes you and your culture unique. Teach me your language. Share your recipes with me (hello, I am a FOODIE). Show me photos and tell me stories about where you’re from! I’ll do the same for you when and if you’re ready. I’m proud of my Cajun culture and southern upbringing, just as you should be proud of yours!
What you do to provide for your family or in your spare time is the same thing! Do you like hunting? Awesome! I grew up in a home where eating the meat from my daddy’s hunting trips was a regular occurrence. And oh man, his deer meat chili was to die for!! I bet if you’re a hunter, you own certain tools you need to make it possible to provide that meat for your family the rest of the year. And I bet there’s a certain constitutional amendment that makes it legal for you to own those tools. You know what that amendment also provides? It provides the ability to protect ourselves from people who may not care as much about our country’s laws or those who don’t have the same hearts we have.
When you get home from work and are ready to wind down for the night, whether you reach for a cup of Sleepytime tea, a beer/cocktail/glass of wine, or whatever you choose, that should be your decision. Do I believe in allowing children to partake? Absolutely not. But as an adult, you do you boo!
You and I may not agree on everything… in fact I PROMISE you we won’t. But you will never find me advocating for any group to take any part of YOU away from YOU.
So as we forge through the next several months of even more separation and division, please remember that regardless of who you are, what you feel or believe, it’s possible to set those things aside and enjoy the company of those who may not be the same, act the same, or believe the same things as you do.