Sober

I woke up to tragedy happening around the world.

Terrorist attack in London.

Turmoil in Midwest, USA.

…to comment or not to comment.

I find myself debating: should I keep my mouth shut or speak my heart.  I mean, who really cares what some midwest momma thinks?  Not sure.

I know that speaking on controversial subjects involves a negative back lash.  Whether from those known intimately or just online trolls spewing their hateful rhetoric.  It would likely be wise to remain silent.

But it wouldn’t be right.

We all deserve to be able to speak frankly about the topics that are tipping our nation over.  How else will we ever find compromise or peace?  Fairness and equality?

Sure, I come across as the infamous ‘Switzerland’ cliche.  Exhibiting empathy and appearing neutral.

Some call it cowardly.

I call it gray.

Events that happen around the globe, and at home, are never black and white.  And yet, our society desperately tries to make it so.

“You are either with us or against us.”

Forget that.

I am not one to intentionally offend others; however, simply speaking out on this topic means I inevitably will.

Why?

Because I am blurring the lines of black and white and I am going to talk about those uncomfortable shades of gray our society ignores.

Here goes.

It was recently brought to my attention that the #stophate campaign I am passionately embarking on, is one that people may not support.

Wow.

When those words left another’s lips and hit my ears I felt a part of my heart sink.  Truly, if you could hear a heart breaking, you would hear shattered glass all around you at the sound of mine.

What?

Who supports hate?  

The answer is as tragic as the violence and sobering as hell…

There are people who benefit from the way things are.  Who don’t want to see anything change because they are afraid of what that would mean for their entitlement, however they receive it.   There are those who refuse to live in the gray.

I get it.  I understand fear.

I am a parent.  I teach my kids in black and white.

Hate is wrong.  Love is right.  Black.  And white.

Violence is wrong.  Peace is right.  Black.  And white.

Prejudice is wrong.  Acceptance is right.  Black.  And white.

But, we are not children.  I would like to think that every human being agrees with the concept of a child-like colorless world.  But, I also know that it is not that simple.

{And here comes the unintentional offending of the masses; if not yet offended, prepare yourself}

I absolutely stand behind peaceful protests.
I absolutely stand behind the fact that Black Lives Matter.

I absolutely stand behind the fact that Blue Lives Matter.

I absolutely stand behind the fact that All Lives Matter.

I understand how counteracting Black Lives Matter with the latter is hurtful.

I absolutely stand behind the shades of gray.

But, I will never stand behind the violence.

I will never stand behind an ideology that promotes hate.

I will go ahead and state the obvious: I am {for all intents and purposes} white.  I cannot sit here and pretend to understand what it is like to be anything else.  Why are we so quick to say:

“That’s not happening?”

The truth is we just don’t know.

There’s an old adage: Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

Why don’t we do that?

I can understand how people feel driven to violence.

Can’t you?

We are lying to ourselves if we pretend that we cannot understand how feeling discredited, discounted, undervalued and unheard for decades, even centuries, can be disheartening.

But, if we turn to violence to change our circumstances then we are not any better than the terrorists of ISIS or the KKK.

I would love to live in a bubble.  Sometimes I think,

” Just shut your mouth and go on with life.”

But, that is my privilege showing.  The fact that I could just shut up, go about my day, and never be affected by the hate in the world because I don’t want to be.  That.is.privilege.  Those of us who can hide from discrimination, racism, prejudices…are privileged.  Those who do not have an invisible target on their back identifying their skin color or their ancestry….are privileged.

How can we comment on how it feels?

I will never stop pushing my “agenda” of #kindnessmatters.  I will never stop fighting to #stophate.    Even if others don’t want to hear it.

I am not saying we should blindly accept ideas, concepts, lifestyles, religions , events or opinions that push us beyond our moral compass.  I am simply saying not to treat others poorly or hatefully because of their opinions, race, gender, faith,  sexuality, and even occupation.

Stand up for what YOU believe in.  Speak up.  But keep the sticks down.

Let’s all take a step back.

Take a breath.

It is not me against you.  It is not us versus them.  It is all of us against the problem.

I do not believe that we have reached a point of not being able to be compassionate and empathetic.  I do not believe that we are so far gone that we cannot turn this world around.

Stop thinking that.  Stop saying that.  Stop hate.

 

 

 

 

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