Wednesday, November 9, 2016

America, The Beautiful.

On Tuesday morning
from a hotel room in Denver,
when the country was still waking
and the energy at the polls was just starting to pulse,
I shared my thoughts about Election Day. 
 How I appreciated the camaraderie of the occasion 
regardless of political affiliation. 
I acknowledged the strains that accompanied the day.
Some people would feel victorious, 
others defeated.
I encouraged friends, no matter the results of the day
 to remember the good stuff. 
To remember the power behind
 our individual passions but also our shared privilege.
But I didn't anticipate the result. 
And I wasn't prepared for just how heartbreaking
'defeated' could actually feel.
And it's not just him over Her. 
I mean, it is but - 
- but it's more the overwhelming 
sadness and shame and guilt I feel that people in our country 
feel so broken and tired and angry and a lot of us 
didn't hear it. Or see it. 
Or worse we did, but... we didn't believe it.
I didn't at least.  
That's a tough pill to swallow today.
The fact that we let each other down.
I understand people feeling divided. 
And I support honoring our feelings 
as we make sense of all of this.
 I hope we can do this with kindness and with empathy.
 I said this Tuesday morning, and I'll say it again: 
The sunflowers will still turn towards the sun. 
The redwoods will still stretch to the sky. 
Rivers will run and birds will circle 
and we'll continue to take deep breaths and fill our lungs with air. 
Everyday the sun will set and it will rise again. 
And the stars will always be up there - even if clouded over.
And the best part is - 
Those things? 
Those beautiful things that make up America?
They belong to all of us. 
And no one can take that away.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

My Feelings Lately.

There are moments, every single day, that most people wished that they had behaved better. Perhaps exercised more patience, more restraint. 

Everyday instances that we are not as proud of our reaction or reflexes as we could've been, if we had just taken a deep breath and not allowed ourselves to get overwhelmed, or defensive, or prideful. We're human. Our natural born instincts are to demonstrate survival tactics and power. To protect ourselves and prove our worth on this planet. 
Moreover, history has taught us to defend our beliefs fiercely and passionately. 
But there's a difference between passionate dedication, and abrasive intimidation. 

I can forgive the instances I mentioned above. I can pardon those moments of weakness, or impatience when reacting to rejection or disappointment that we all experience. But what I cannot wrap my head around, what I cannot understand, and what I cannot rationalize, is the trend - seemingly sweeping the country - of cheering on grown adults whose tactics include strong-arming and name-calling and shutting out and putting down. 

When did this happen to us? When did we become a country that favors prospective leaders who preach exclusivity rather than inclusivity? When did people start equating kindness to weakness? It breaks my heart. 
The political race has become an atmosphere seeped in "gottchas" and one-upping, rather than solution searching and problem solving. 
I'm not trying to romanticize politics prior to this election year. Certainly, there has been no shortage of misgivings or mistakes throughout each presidential term. Unfortunately, corruption is a term long synonymous with politics... but bullying should not be. Stigmatizing should not be. Hate, should not be. 

I know I am a bit of a dreamer with my eyes towards the moon, but I am not naive. I think most people respond better to a smile than a smirk.

I want to raise a family in a country that encourages everyone to acknowledge there are differences in the world, and seek the beauty and the opportunity to learn from these differences. We need to do more listening and less fist clenching. More considering, and less insult-slinging. Teach the values of integrity and grace. 

And I know we can do it. 
I know we can. 

In my life, I choose to lead with love, and with kindness. Maybe I'd make a really lousy politician. But I think I make a decent human.