I am proud of the strength that our community has shown in standing up for each other.
|Good afternoon! Hot enough for you? Yesterday was a record-breaking 107 here in Livermore.
After this weekend's events, I felt a need to share my feelings last night. There is no obligation to agree, disagree, or otherwise. Just sharing. I slept on it and I still feel strongly that I should do this. I usually avoid doing this much because I do not want to offend or add to the polarization of our community. But today I am offering my truth to share, not to preach, not to insist, not to make anyone do or change anything.
I feel like our country, our community, our families, our neighbors, our friends, are being torn apart by the actions of others that may or may not hold the same ideas that we do.
I am proud of being a US citizen. I am proud of my family's heritage. I am proud of the strength that our community has shown in standing up for each other, supporting each other in an inclusive way that rejects violence, rejects hate, rejects isolation, rejects intolerance.
We are humans, we have inherent flaws, and we do stupid and harmful things when we are too involved in self-interest to see what is truly needed or are so afraid that we put our own safety before the rights of others. But we also have shown wonderful strength, caring, insight, integrity, and beauty.
Last night on the news (which I try to watch in limited amounts) I saw a man come to the aid of a younger man with a different viewpoint, and sheltered him from the bullying of others because he said "no one should be treated that way". I felt so uplifted. I didn't care what the politics of either man was. I cared only that one would sacrifice his safety to spare another. That is what I would hope any of us would have the strength to do, though I know that it is a lot to ask for.
Some of the best things that have been done in this country and for the sake of our country have been in the spirit of coming together and protecting and supporting each other.
"A house divided cannot stand"
Our laws when they are just, and when applied equitably, in support of each of us, irrespective of wealth, power, influence, where our ancestors came from, are the pillars of our society. When applied to support one group at the expense of another, we fail.
We need each other. We need the drive, motivation, and energy of people who come here lawfully with the intention of improving their lives and contributing to this country of their choice because they know what it offers can be better than what they are leaving.
We need to embrace change, we need to embrace the new wonderful things that we learn about each other. We cannot go backward, no matter how much we wish it. If we understand our own history (family, community, country, world) we can attempt to guide the direction of our futures and the direction that we move as change occurs.
The longing for "the good ol' days" is often a longing for simpler times when we were children, when we were cared for, felt safe, and did not have responsibilities. We were sheltered and did not have the burdens of knowing all of the realities and truths of communities outside of our own neighborhoods. We were less mature, less aware, dependent on others to tell us or teach us before we had the ability to develop our own truths.
That doesn't make them better or worse. Just limited. Remember the story of the 3 blindfolded men trying to identify an elephant by each exploring only one part of the animal? None of them understood what was in front of them because their experience was limited, not inclusive.
Maybe we will learn to remove our blindfolds and see the whole "elephant" and be able to come together, help to do what we need to, to resolve our difficulties, and achieve our potential as individuals, communities, which are all parts of one country.
Do we have the courage to share our own truths with each other, without feeling like we must make the other just like us? Are we strong enough to listen, care, and support each other? Are we smart enough to hear and learn from the experiences of others, because that is what shapes their truth and informs ours?
Maybe more people will feel safe enough to share their truth, without the need to convince or force others to believe as they believe or live as they live. Maybe when we all feel safe, empowered, and included, more will be able to contribute and help to resolve our difficulties, and resist the efforts of the few who will be there trying to tear us apart.
Some of the most horrendous crimes and events of history occurred because one group felt impelled to control another group (tell them how to live, how to worship, who to love).
Our country was founded on the ideals of inclusion, a just and equitable rule of law, of allowing our citizens to live, worship, and (slowly and eventually) love as we wish.
There have been mistakes made along the way: slavery, institutional racism, and bigotry, inequitable immigration laws, internment camps, etc., but we have made improvements and have tried to change things for the better. We must remember our mistakes if we are to avoid repeating them and reach higher ground.
OK, I will get down off my soapbox now. That is my truth as of today, and I would hope that others will feel safe enough to share yours. Please remember to share and to listen, and to learn, not require agreement or change in your favor. We each find our own truth through our own lives and experiences, and this is to be respected.
I am grateful as a US citizen, to be able to share this with you because I am aware that this is not available to all people on this planet.
I wish you all well and hope that you will see or experience something wonderful, uplifting, and beautiful today.