This is not a post of photos. This is a post of feelings. I probably won't even have the guts to share this. But I'm overcome with emotion and I have to get it out. I just came home from the gym in tears. The news was on (which is a FIRST at my gym) and I was watching the survivors tell their stories. I watched our great President stand up against political jargon (aka...bullshit, aka...distractions). I watched a story unfold of a man who seemingly had homosexual desires but because of his religion and upbringing, he would rather kill that which tempted him than live out his true life.
And so here we are again. Another mass shooting. Another week or so of gun debates in social media. Another terrorist attack to ruffle our religious feathers. Another hate crime to discuss over dinner. But it will all be forgotten in a number of weeks, or days even. History shows us this is the case. If seeing 20 CHILDREN die at Sandy Hook didn't change things in the long run, I don't think anything will.
And what of the changes that could be made? I tend to see both sides of the argument. I grew up with a father who was a Vietnam vet. He put a gun in my hand at a young age. He taught me the power of a gun and how they are dangerous, but also how they can be fun to shoot in an open Indiana field, and how they can be good for protection. However, as an adult I shot my first semi-automatic weapon and literally burst into tears at the gun range. The power. THE POWER! It was unnecessary. It was too much. My first instinct was that there is NO need for a gun like that in everyday life. For police and military, okay. For me or you? No reason. Oh sure, I can see why people would think they're fun and exciting. But for something that is taking so many lives, is it really that important?? I get the whole 2nd Amendment argument. I do. As normal, law-abiding citizens, we should all have the right to bear arms according to our Constitution. The problem is, we are not all normal, law-abiding citizens. And these guns are easy to get. TOO easy. And these guns can take a number of lives in mere seconds. So where do we find that balance? We cannot just keep arguing the matter and watch more mass shootings occur. Well...I guess we can...and we have. But that doesn't seem right does it?
And speaking of not right, let me switch courses a bit and talk about acceptance. Why is acceptance so difficult for some people? Let me say this without meaning any disrespect to my roots: I could have been a racist. Easily. I grew up in a small town in Indiana. Under 20,000 people. We had maybe 2 to 5 black students in my entire high school. I don't think I even knew what gay was. Muslim? That word did not exist in my vocabulary. I think "sheltered" might have been a good term for what I was when I eventually moved to the "big city" of Indianapolis. So imagine my mind (blown!) when I took my 3rd job in the city. At an HIV/AIDS pharmacy. Working alongside gay people! And transgender customers! People living with HIV. People dying of AIDS. I could have been a racist. I could have balked at these people who were not like me or like anyone that I knew. But guess what?! This is when I learned how much I love diversity. This is when I knew how truly stifled I was in my small home town. We are all different! We can find love anywhere! Blacks with whites, men with men, women with women. I found my passion for life. My gay community opened my eyes and my heart. Maybe that is what makes it even more difficult to understand how someone can feel such hate. This is the very community that made me accept others for who they are, and this man wants to kill them?! Although, as I mentioned, it is sounding more and more like he was one of them. And how sad that he felt that was too awful to admit.
All this in the midst of this Presidential race. My thoughts are all over the place. My emotions raw. I do not hate. I do not hate blacks, whites, gay, straight, Muslim, Christian. I do not hate Donald Trump. But I am frightened of him. I do not think he is necessarily a bad person. I do not think he is racist. But I do think that he likes to incite fear and hate, and that terrifies me. We have so much hate in this country as it is. How can more hate ever be good? How can fear-mongering be good? It cannot. And he frightens me. But, again, I get it. I see both sides. While I do support Hillary (2nd to Bernie), I do see why people do not like her. I understand the controversy. I understand the trepidation. So, we are left choosing the lesser of two evils? Gah! I'm so tired of hearing that phrase. I don't want any evil. And maybe I'll just end it on that.
I do not want any more evil! Stop hating! Stop shooting! Stop fighting! START ACCEPTING ONE ANOTHER! LoVE is LoVE is LoVE is LoVE is LoVE is LoVE.
"The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance." ~ Nathanial Branden
"Acceptance doesn't mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there's got to be a way through it." ~ Michael J Fox
"The saddest part of the human race is we're obsessed with this idea of 'us and them', which is really a no-win situation, whether it's racial, cultural, religious or political." ~ David J Matthews