I am made of love.
truly believe that our world is in need of unity. And by our world, I mean ‘on a global scale.’ Us vs. Them ideology just doesn’t work. It never has. It never will.
I am aware that there are very bad things in this world. Trust me, I’ve imagined the exact moment a nuclear bomb goes off and everyone and everything I ever knew, loved, cherished has been destroyed and I am no longer a living, breathing, aware being.
I cried in the moments following that thought. I shook. I couldn’t breathe. I was cold and clammy. I felt like crawling out of my own skin and just shaking everything, every little tiny thing, just …off. I needed out. I needed away. That moment was so vivid, and realistic and terrifying.
It was earth shattering.
Now, the symptoms I just described are an astute description of a panic attack. I suffered from the effects of a panic attack, by thinking about the current state of our government. I suffered a panic attack, of massive proportions the day Senator Bernie Sanders officially ended his campaign for the presidency and endorsed Hillary Clinton.
Was I just upset that my favorite older gentleman, who hails from Vermont and lived his entire life fighting for the equality of every American Citizen would not be our next president?
The answer just may shock you.
Of course I was upset! Bernie Sanders is a gift from whatever higher power you believe in. My love for him rivals that of Leslie Knope and Joe Biden. Except the weird sexual attraction Leslie often exhibited toward our current Vice President.
In order for complete transparency, I will allow that Joe Biden is also a National Treasure and my love for him is also nearly endless. He’s just a cool dude. Cool Joe. You feel like you could just sit down and really talk to him about anything and even if you disagreed, he’d still be a really amazing guy.
I like to think of them as my illegitimate government father figures. Keep it real, boys.
However, Bernie Sanders wasn’t the reason for my awful panic attack.
It was me taking a moment away from being a mother and wife and daughter, sitting down in silence after my family was safely tucked away in their beds. I was feeling so disappointed. I remember recalling that I felt the same bitterness in the 2000 election.
I graduated from high school in 2002, but the 2000 election was the first that truly captured my attention. I had a Civics class that year and our teacher, a really laid back guy, handed out this quiz.
We all took said quiz, of course, and then debated our findings.
It was a quiz that measured how Liberal or Conservative you were.
I’m sure you can imagine the bloodbath. A room full of hormonal teenagers viciously arguing their beliefs against everyone else’s.
And I didn’t realize it at the time, but it truly taught me something profound. The person shouting the loudest in that small classroom, was thought to be the winner of the debate.
I was not the loudest voice in that classroom.
I was too afraid to be that loud.
What if someone disagreed with what I said and then decided they no longer liked ME, as a whole? Not just my opinions.
What if they thought I was a “dirty communist?”
What if they thought I was a “cowardly pacifist or socialist?”
Oh God, they’d definitely think I was a “loopy liberal.”
I didn’t realize then, that what ‘they’ thought wasn’t up to me. I couldn’t change their mind. Because just like I’m allowed to think and believe whatever I want, so are ‘they.’
And so are you.
I have so many thoughts and opinions. Maybe all my social anxiety really does just come down to over-thinking. I don’t know. What I do know is that no one person is exactly like any other person.
We are all, sad as I am to use this phrase because it’s used ridiculously all the time, unique little snowflakes.
Yes, there are demographics. Yes, we can qualify that I am a person. You are a person. My cat is a feline. My house is a mess.
We all live relatively the same life. We wake up. We do what we have to do. We laugh. Cry. Love. Hurt. Bleed and die.
We also poop. We pick our noses, some people even eat the stuff that comes out of noses. We all have legitimately, at one point or another, doubted our own sanity.
And it all comes back to Us vs. Them. Good vs. Bad. How you want to be perceived by other human beings.
I’d wager a pretty safe bet that the majority of us want to be seen as good. And, I’ll even double up on that by saying: Even those of us who have done bad things in the past are still fighting to be good.
Morality is one thing. Morality is beautiful. It means you care. It means you’re alive and you recognize that life is a gift! You want to make it the best possible life for you, and for those you care most about.
I love you for that moral value. I do. I treasure you, like Bernie or Biden. Bless you for always trying to be good or do good. You’re doing an amazing job. Ignore those thoughts that tell you otherwise. Those thoughts are pointless.
But morality isn’t equality.
You can have the highest moral values ever, over level 9000 even, and still believe in things that are not for the betterment of everyone else. It does not make you a bad person. It makes you human.
Human equality is not an option. It’s the only rule. The Golden Rule.
I’m going to quote the bible here, this is a step that’s kind of scary. And I’ll tell you why and I know I’m going to get a lot of hate for it, but I’m willing to risk it. And I’m willing to risk it because I know that what I’m writing here is important. Even if I’m the only person who ever reads these words.
They are my words. They are my thoughts. This is how I see the world and I want to remember it. I want to remember a life lived feeling good about who I am, not what is being thought about me. Even my own negative thoughts.
So here we go, how I feel about God.
Oh boy, this is a can of worms. I’m not sure what my religion is. I don’t know if there is a religion that teaches what I know to be true. A religion that encompasses my beliefs without scorn against anyone else who isn’t of that religion.
Maybe there is, but I haven’t found it yet. My motto is to question everything, so it could be out there and maybe someday I’ll find it and I’ll know. I’ll know with the clarity that only the divine has.
Until then, I love learning about it. I love learning what’s the same and what’s different. How the script changed over the course of existence, changing however much or little from one era to the next, one continent to the next, one person to another. That’s a beautiful gift of it’s own.
Now, the bible verses I’m quoting are from Matthew. If this offends you, I’m truly sorry. That is not my intent. And I do not condemn you for your offense. We’re too similar for me to think any more or less of you because of how you believe.
Matthew 7 English Standard Version (ESV)
7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
Ask, and It Will Be Given
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
The Golden Rule
12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a]that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
That’s inspiring right? I read that and I think, “Wow, why don’t we all live like that?”
And then I realize it’s because of exactly what this scripture is warning us about.
Only, when I read ‘dogs’ and ‘pigs’ I believe ‘dogs and pigs.’
Not my brother. Or my sister.
If Adam and Eve really were the first two humans on this planet, then every human being since then, is my brother and sister. And the bible taught me that prophets are real. That words are breathed to life.
So, let’s say we go back to God and just Adam and Eve. One omnipotent celestial being, two regular humans of different gender. There was no other force, just goodness. Everything was heavenly. Because that’s how God created it.
But then the snake and the apple. And Eve. Poor Eve.
She made a choice, albeit one that wasn’t best, and chaos came into the world in the form of evil. And it was decreed that for her sin, of eating an apple, the rest of us would be condemned to an existence that is going to end tragically.
The Rapture. And all you have to do to be saved from that is accept Jesus as your Lord and savior and he’ll forgive ALL your sins and you will join him and his Father in Heaven for eternity.
You’re supposed to walk the walk and talk the talk. You’re supposed to be good and when you’re not good, you say sorry and ask for forgiveness. You’re supposed to be truthful. You’re supposed to honor your family, but put God above everything else. Because He’s the reason you have everything else. You are to give. Not take. You are to protect. Not Harm. You are to show kindness in times of adversity, You’re supposed to be good.
And, by God, you are.
Forgive the West Virginian ‘by God’ usage. I couldn’t resist.
We’re all striving to meet the same goal, whether we agree on the minor details or not. To be good. To do good.
You can be any race. You are good. You are my brother or sister.
You can be any gender. You are good. You are my brother or sister, or both. Or none at all. You’re my family though.
You can love whoever you choose. You are good. You are my family.
I know there will be times when you feel like you didn’t make the right choice. That you let everyone down. That you’re wrong. That something is wrong with you. That it is your fault. And that you are bad.
It’s not true.
We are good. We are so good.
There is evil in the world, yes. But it doesn’t come in the form of you.
It comes from death, disease, famine, plagues, societal opinion that is ever more so pushing us to fight one another rather than embrace one another. Differences and all.
Who should live in the White House? Who knows?
My own opinion is that nothing will ever truly change if we keep heading in our current direction.
Maybe instead of one GOP candidate and their running mate, and one Democrat candidate and their running mate battling to the death (of our World) for the highest title we have in our governing system; we should hold our primaries fairly, without any divisive tactics or scandalous email behavior. Without all the pomp and circumstance, and more substance.
Then when those primaries conclude fairly and we have our candidates whittled down to two: Those two people run their campaign about why they’d be the better president. Focusing on themselves and what they will do to make the world a better place.
Not corporations. Not donors. Not celebrities. Not the Reality TV version we’re seeing play out in 2016.
At the end of the race, whoever won the most votes fairly, decently and honestly will be the President. And the runner-up will be the Vice President.
That’s unity. That’s bipartisanship. That’s showing the world how to behave like civilized human beings, capable of such amazing grace and intellect. That’s how you work together instead of trying to tear each other apart.
You sit down with each other and you listen to what everyone has to say and you learn from their truth. Then you take that knowledge and put all of your energy into changing the world for the best. You have to understand that your opinion will differ from everyone else’s and that it’s okay. It’s good.
They will also learn from your truth. And your knowledge. And they will go out and put all of their energy into changing the world for the best.
I’m crying right now. Total transparency, right? That’s what I’m going for and what I’m asking for.
I’m crying because that’s my dream. I finally figured it out. It only took thirty-two years. Isn’t that amazing? Some people go through their whole life and never find that elusive dream. That one thing that will make their life make sense.
I’m crying because I’m so terrified it won’t come true.
I’m crying because I feel like reality is a nightmare.
I’m crying because I don’t know if my dream will ever be more than just a dream. But it should be. Because it’s the dream that has inspired millions to unite together, and fight back injustice.
It’s the civil rights movement.
I wasn’t the first to have this dream.
I won’t be the last.
And more dreamers are being born every second. And one day, my fellow dreamers, it will come true.
All the best dreams always do.