It has been a real struggle deciding on a blog post this week. I have several in draft forms, but nothing felt right to me this week. I’ve flipped through my little notebook many times. I spent time reflecting on what feels important to me right now. I’ll be honest; I can’t help but feel bogged down this week. Then it occurred to me. It seems like every time I turn on the news, check my feed, or see an alert come through my phone, I sink a little deeper.
I can’t lie and act like I haven’t been struggling with my feeling and thoughts about the leadership of our country right now. I go through cycles of anger to sadness to disbelief and back again. I am really struggling to get a handle on the state of our politics, and the emotional state of our country right now. Maybe it is because I am paying attention more than ever right now. The little piece of silver lining I can muster to find.
Literally, since November, I have been reeling. Obviously it is difficult to talk about this cause of my tension and not bring in politics. But it goes so far beyond policies and what side of the aisle someone may sit on. It goes straight beyond all of that to one simple idea: kindness.
It isn’t about different beliefs or values. That is the beauty of what our country was founded on. The freedom to hold fast to your beliefs. And our differences are what make this country so great. I am so glad everyone doesn’t think like me. When I converse with people who don’t think like me, it challenges me. It expands my my mind. It helps me grow. One of my longest time friends has a lot of different beliefs than me. I know she votes opposite of what I vote on a lot of policies. But I still love her. She is a kind and caring human being.
People are people. And I have to believe that most people are inherently good. I assume the best of intentions. Which yeah, gets me burned sometimes. And I can’t help it that I always find myself back at that basic belief that people are good and capable of doing good. For me it all boils down to kindness. Showing a little kindness can go a long way in someone’s day.
Because here is the thing. We don’t have to all hold the same beliefs in order to be kind to one another. Kindness transcends beliefs. Kindness leads to respect. Kindness leads to progress.
When we have the leaders of our country talking in ways that I would have never allowed in my classroom when I was a teacher, it creates a tension for me. I would never allow someone in my day to day life to express themselves that way without calling them out on their disrespect. It is not productive. It is not helpful. It only increases the divides. If I myself were to treat people and talked to people in the manner our country’s leader does, I most certainly guarantee I would not have a job. There are a lot of things I want for my daughter. But you know what I want for her most of all? To be a kind person.
So yeah, I am feeling bogged down and completely overwhelmed with sadness, anger, and shame for how are country is being represented. Most of the time I am not sure what to do. It is a helpless feeling watching and reading what is happening in our government. What is being said in interviews and tweeted to the public. When all I want to do is bang my head against the wall after watching the news every morning, I have to pull myself together and show as much kindness to those around me as I can. That is the one thing I can control right now. That is the example I can set for my daughter. Maybe if we all keep sprinkling kindness everywhere we go, well, I don’t know what could happen, but I bet we would all feel a little better (And maybe our leadership will figure it out – fingers crossed).