Posts Tagged With: civil rights

the choices we make

The other day LA wrote a post in which she said “I want you to think about how you really feel about the situation.” The ‘situation’ being the world in which we currently live.

You know, I didn’t realize how much I actually felt about this situation because I’ve become somewhat immune to it. But upon further thought, this is what I think and how I feel about where we are right now.

I miss going to school. I miss students and faculty. I miss everything about it!
Schools here are beginning to discuss what August will look like. There is talk in our county of further distance learning.
I honestly don’t know how I feel about it. On the one hand, ‘getting back to normal’ sounds wonderful. Being in the classrooms, teaching and learning together. On the other, how safe are we going to be with a thousand kids from age 4 to 12 in tight space?

I truly believe I’m helping by remaining at home.
That doesn’t mean I like it.
Here in America, there’s a great uproar about civil liberties. It’s mostly people who want to go about and do the things. They don’t care that they could get or make others sick. They want to do what they want to do when they want to do it and don’t feel like they should be told any differently.
I have real issue with this. This is toddler behavior. And I’m speaking from a brain development point of view. Also as someone who’s spent most of her adult life around toddlers.

And let me assure you, I understand the financial impact. Two of our four kids work in the service industry. Thing 2 is a server in a restaurant. She was fortunate to qualify for unemployment for a while, but now that the state in which she lives is opening back up, she had to go back to work regardless of her safety or the safety of others.
Thing G is a cashier at the Dollar Tree. And though his hours have dropped dramatically, he’s still going to work. He’s at risk, he’s putting others at risk.
I understand the economy is struggling, but people are dying. I cannot fathom how to put a dollar amount on human life.

If we don’t choose to accept that our actions impact others we’re doomed.
I mean, I’d love to go get a pedicure, or have browse Home Goods, or go out to dinner. But I’m hopeful that by staying in, I’m helping keep us all safe.
And if it turns out I’m wrong, so be it. It wasn’t that hard, and it’s not worth the shoulda coulda woulda drama.

I am aware that my choices impact everything and everyone around me. That’s enough for me to pay attention. To do what I believe is the right thing. I can see the bigger picture. I am part of one human family.
Some people don’t look at life that way. And that too is OK. We each have the right to our own choices.
It comes down to individuals making choices that impact others without thought. Without empathy.
We’re all in this together, but there are individuals who value their own desires over the greater good.
That’s your right.
But your right shouldn’t impede mine.

This pandemic has negatively impacted my country more by furthering the divide than by the death rate number.
It makes me sad.
It makes me angry.
I’m tired of the conservatives and liberals alike behaving like monkeys, throwing poo and screeching just to hear themselves.

There must be a better way.
The way it is is so deeply entrenched that to change it would take a straight up revolution.
Is that what’s best for any of us?

There must be a way to exercise our freedoms without negatively impacting the freedoms of others. Perhaps speaking and acting with kindness and empathy instead of finger pointing and name calling…?
The goal is for everyone to have the right to make their choice without fear or judgement. Without risk to self or others. The trick is each of us having the willingness to try.

I’m going to borrow LA’s words to ask what y’all think.

“Not what your friend thinks.
Not what the media tells you to think.
Not what you’re ‘supposed’ to think.
What do YOU think?”

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

love not hate, and certain unalienable rights

Yesterday was a huge deal for women in my country. Women, no, not just women. People all over the country marched in protest. Marched in love. Marched because they could.
And I was greatly moved.
we-will-not-go-back

I debated heading downtown yesterday, but truly hadn’t made enough of a plan to get it together. I missed a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate, but I was able to spectate. And honestly, that’s perfectly acceptable to me. I experienced it and it continues to impact me.
I was saying to YBW today that I don’t regret not going. That I am truly humbled by being able to watch it happen. That I’m humbled and proud to know so many amazing human beings. That our first amendment is a living breathing thing. That hundreds of thousands of people were able to exercise that beautiful right to take to the streets to say and show what they’re passionate about.

Gloria Steinem’s speech reminded me of being a little girl in the 70s. I did not like that she called out Trump…but I liked other things she said.

I think Madonna needed to shut her mouth before she even opened it.
To me it’s not about how horrible Donald Trump is. It’s about showing the world how strongly (these particular) Americans feel about human rights.

A friend of mine posted about her mother and uncles participating in the March on Washington with Dr. King. That she was marching for the same reasons as they did. Marching to honor them. Marching for her young daughters.
I was amazed at photos and posts on social media! Girls I held when they were babies marching. Mothers of children I’ve taught.
It was truly awe-inspiring to watch.

I read comments written by women who question the motives. And I began to wonder what that must feel like…to not be at all impressed by something that began as a facebook post became hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children standing up for freedom.
not-all-women
This was posted by a woman I’ve known since we were nine and ten years old.
What troubles me about my country being so polarized is that this march was perceived as a “We hate Trump” rally.
Now sure, some of those people do hate him. Some of them are simply exercising their first amendment right. Some are truly all about the preservation of basic human rights.
It feels to me that this woman I’ve known since I was a little girl is focusing on hate and ‘party lines’ rather than perhaps considering that it’s not about hate. That it may be about something more.
That perhaps it might be better to strive for some unity rather than remaining so deeply divided.

This dad and his little daughter in Annapolis know what’s up.
equal-greater-than-divided

I don’t worship Hillary Clinton. I truly felt as though the election in November was a decision between the lesser of two evils. Yet, I couldn’t in good conscience abstain from voting. I could not dishonor the women who came before me in that way.
I don’t idolize her. I don’t demonize him.
I just want to believe that all the hard work that was put into building my country will be honored by everyone with political power.
Though I understand that concept of “not my president” I think it’s awful. He is our president. We have no choice now. Like it or not, if you’re an American citizen, he is your president. Acceptance is where it’s at. You can accept without liking it.
We must stop perpetuating this whole ‘us against them’ mentality. Divided we fail! We are all Americans. We are all human beings.

I’m so proud to be a woman.
A woman in a country in which women have had the right to vote for less than one hundred years! This is a bigger deal than most people ever stop to consider!
What those Suffragettes went through so women could vote…
What the Greatest Generation when through during the Second World War…
What those men and women went through in the time of the Civil Rights Movement…
What same sex couples went through for marriage equality…
What the LGBTQ people are going through to be respected as human beings…
I believe so strongly that we cannot ignore our past. We must honor it. And if we can, we must learn from it.

I read one remark (written by a woman, mind you) that the march seemed to be all about being able to have an abortion. And I thought, ‘Wow are you truly missing the point! It’s about the unalienable rights of all human beings.’ At least for me that’s what it is.
Being able to have an abortion is no longer an issue of concern for me. But it is for my daughters. It is for girls I’ve taught. I don’t believe abortion should be used as birth control. But I do believe every person should have the basic human right to choose what to do with and for their own body.

What the men and women who came before us went through to get us where we are is worth honoring. What those men and women did yesterday is worth honoring.
There will always be haters. On either side of any topic.
But for me, yesterday was about love.
Love for human beings.
what-could-go-right
What can go right if we let go of hate and embrace each other?

Categories: education, love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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