I’m using up valuable planting time to write this, but it’s something that has to be said. I heard from an old friend a few days ago. (Always no names or gender used.) We caught up on friends, family, travels and projects the way people who’ve known each other for years do. But in between everything being said was a constant that I found disturbing. “ I h@te Republicans. I h@te Trump. I just spent the year isolated and afraid. “ I didn’t respond. I never do. I firmly believe that, as Americans, we have the right to our politics and religion without feeling a need to share them or to even be compelled to share them. And I usually don’t. It’s nobody’s business who I vote for or what I believe spiritually. But this year is different simply because people seem to feel the need to push their agenda on to me.
I am an Independent voter and belong to no particular religious group. HOWEVER I am most definitely Judeo/Christian in my orientation and I am conservative in the majority of my views. I am exhausted with the “breakdown the family unit” rhetoric coming from an extreme left, politically. I’m worn out with the h@tefull propaganda being pressed on the public by a media that is no longer anything except a vehicle for the extremists. And it is getting harder to listen to h@te speech coming from people I’ve known for many years. (That four letter word, h@te, is powerful and full of venom. It is the worst word in the English language, or any other for that matter. It has power. I will not use it so I misspell it using another symbol.) I am tired of the fear mongering and the impact it has had on vulnerable people.
So here is what I have to say to all of you reading this BLOG entry. STOP IT. Be who you are and own it. Be proud of who you are, but don’t try to impress on me or anyone else how important it is to be just like you or be canceled. I’m not interested in that kind of exclusivity. I’m not interested in your politics or religion as long as you are not hurting children, animals or other people intentionally. If that is the case, find another to share your need to whine or impress on someone else how right you are and how wrong others are. I am interested in your story. I am happy to debate. I’m not going to join your group or belief system. I am exactly who I have always been. Like any of you I evolve through life experience but I am still just Nancy.
Shall I tell you what I miss after a year of people being manipulated in to thinking they are going to die, businesses being lost, jobs being lost, people loosing it because they are suffering from loneliness and despair, churches being closed, schools becoming prisons, and this rancid cancel culture attitude? I miss seeing a friend at the grocery store and talking about fresh produce. I miss being able to, very occasionally, go to my favorite little restaurant and having a meal, watching the human drama going on around me. I miss being able to save my money and flying to see my grandchildren. I miss seeing families out with their children enjoying the parks instead of being afraid to go there because of the wigged out drug addicts and muggers, the human feces and bloody syringes. I miss weddings and funerals, birthday parties and potluck dinners. And I miss a challenging debate instead of threats and h@te mongering. And I miss the guaranteed Constitutional rights that I have to make my own decisions about how to take care of myself, to be myself with all of my good parts and faults without people threatening me because I do not follow a set of implied rules.
If I have any advice for anyone, it’s to let yourself out of your self imposed prison. Try being kind. If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say it. If you see someone in trouble and you can help, hold space for them. Open the door, help pick up that bag of dropped groceries, mow their lawn or share a dozen eggs. Make cookies and take them to their door, smile WITHOUT a mask on and offer the plate to them. Tell them you miss talking over the fence. Ask how they are. LEAVE POLITICS out of the conversation. And keep your opinions to yourself. Just listen and enjoy the weather together. Offer a hand shake or a hug.
We are a social species. We need to be together. We need our families, our neighbors, and we need fresh air and the sun on our faces .
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.
Shall I explain what those statements mean to me in the context of this post? When you are talking with a friend, remember they are as an individual. Be kind. My old friend sat there and told me they h@ted people because of their political choices. That is supporting a deeply divided nation, an ideal that it’s “my way or the highway”. How dull. How self centered, making that assumption. Takes you right to #3 doesn’t it? And ask yourself, during the process of denigrating people for their politics or religion, if that is your best. I don’t think it is. Your best is keeping your eyes open, asking questions, listening to what others have to say. Hold space for others. Be kind in your thoughts and intentions.Be an activist of kindness. I’ve been doing some things to honor my Grandparents for their incredible kindnesses during the Great Depression during the 1930’s. They helped to keep three neighboring farms intact, gave away dozens and dozens of eggs and truckloads of produce, helped people with chores and kept them smiling with their ability to tell funny stories. They were generous and kind without seeing the faults in their neighbors. They resisted the opportunity to judge people and chose to help instead.
The past two months I have : given away 14 dozen eggs, made cookies for three families, helped support an idea that became a wish fulfilled, opened doors and told funny stories to people who needed to laugh. And I did all of it with no fear, no mask, no expectations of a thank you or a returned kindness. Instead I tell people to just pass it on, pay it forward.
Be that unexpected spot of color in the garden, the dandelion that makes people smile and stop to look at how wonderful sunshine yellow is in the Spring.
I am, ever yours, Nancy, smiling