• The Hopefulist

People just want to be heard.

Phew. What a couple of days, right? The protest at the Capitol Building that quickly turned into a riot really upset me. I know I'm not alone. I also know there are other people that don't really pay attention to these things or let it affect them. Oh, how I wish I were one of those people. But what is happening in this country is important to me. We must always remember that we live in the greatest country in the world and not ever take that for granted because as we saw, it can change and quickly. Luckily those that broke in and tried to disrupt democracy were not successful. And I was so happy that Congress reconvened to get the work at hand done. Proof that our democracy is still working and the will of the voters will not be overturned.

Something I realized through the last few days is calm is what always wins the day. During the chaos I was putting up posts on my personal Facebook page announcing my thoughts and beliefs. Some people agreed and others did not. Then I wrote a post for this page yesterday that just conveyed my dismay and confusion. Guess which one went over better? The one that wasn't judgmental. The one that wasn't accusatory. The one that was vulnerable and displayed a need to understand.

People just want to be heard. We all want that. We want to know that what we are saying isn't being dismissed. We hope for understanding but mostly we all just want our chance to say how we feel, what we think, what we believe in. Maybe we can go about things in a different way. Instead of throwing out accusations we can listen. We don't have to agree. In fact, we haven't agreed on many things through the years but it's never gotten to this point before. Is social media a part of this divide? Yes, absolutely. We use our pages as our own personal soapbox and just spout out what we think about every given topic. Myself, included. Instead of making declarations maybe we can ask questions. Maybe we can start saying "I think" before saying putting things down as if they're fact. Maybe that will open a more calm dialogue.

It's also a way to expand your experience. There are many situations I have never experienced and it is wrong of me to tell people how they should act or feel about circumstances I have never faced. I have had the opportunity to work with people from across the world. People from very different backgrounds and upbringings. And it really is true that we have more in common than differences.

I also read a whole lot. One of the reasons I love reading so is much because it expands my horizons without ever leaving my house. It gives me a sense of understanding of situations I have never and will never face. I take these nuggets of information and try to put myself in those shoes. I try to understand from their point of view. It has really shaped my current views. It's made me aware that there is so much I have not experienced and therefore am not really entitled to speak on it. I can have an opinion about it but it is only that. I have often said this about being a parent. In my life many people discount my opinion on raising children because I have never done it. I hear, yeah...that's what I said until I had my own kids. They are right. I'm sure my views would change when it involves someone I love more than anything. It doesn't mean I can't have an opinion but it does mean I really don't know what I'm talking about.

If we could all be a little more open minded and less stubborn, again...myself included, we all would be better off. Instead of screaming what we want to say maybe we can spend a little more time listening. Hopefully we can realize that we don't know everything about everything. That what we say is our opinion, that others won't agree with us and that is okay! I have found the best way to expand your mind is to listen and consider other points of view. But mostly, let's be kind to one another. We are all in this life together. Let's make it as easy as possible to allow everyone their happiness. Unless they are an ass, of course!

It's Friday. Thank goodness. It has been a long first week of the new year. Here's to doing some self soothing over the weekend and making the most of living in this amazing country. When I get really down when it comes to current events and politics I remind myself that people risk their lives everyday to get here. And here I am. I try not to take that for granted. Have a great weekend and be safe in whatever you. Keep on keeping on with kindness. I know you will because you are badass. I'm here, cheering you on.

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