Tuesday, April 26, 2016

This is me. I will not apologize for it.

I haven't written in this blog for 3 years. I have been busy with graduate school, my family, and personal obstacles which have gotten in the way. I've always had a passion for writing however, and I am thrilled to be back in this venue.

Writing is therapeutic for me.  I use it to share my voice because I haven't always been able to do so.  I also use it to share topics that concern or interest me, and perhaps educate others in the process (or persuade others to educate themselves on issues they may not fully understand).

I do not expect others to agree with everything I have to say.  I do not expect others to compromise their own belief system just because we gave different viewpoints.  The beauty of being an adult, is that we all have the opportunity to express our beliefs and values in a respectful, productive, and non-threatening manner.  We don't always show such respect, but we should.

This is not what I've been seeing lately, however.  All throughout social media and in our conversations with one another, I've been seeing how people are treating one another with hate and discrimination...putting one another down for our beliefs and casting one another out because a person (or group of persons) don't fit in our little mold of how people should be.

We are living in a world of xenophobia = the fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange.

We should strive for individualism where each person acts upon their own belief system and merit, rather than collectivism, where a group is the primary entity, and the individual is lost within that entity.

Rather than asking questions and listening to others, we we talking at each other and ignoring how others may feel.  We are ignoring people's core beliefs and values just because we don't agree.  We are listening to others spew hate based on fear and we aren't stopping to find out what that fear is based on.

If adults cannot get along with one another and conduct themselves with class and dignity, then what makes us think our children will behave any differently?  Why so we get mad at them when they are defiant and destructive?  Children learn from their environment...and quite frankly, we are not being very positive role models.

We should be careful in how we approach things. Due to the 1st amendment, we have the right to express our thoughts and feelings, but don't we also have a responsibility in how we express those thoughts?  I don't believe we should be expressing opinions which are discriminatory and hateful toward others.  I think there are times when we can express ourselves, and times when we should learn when to be more tactful.

We are all human and we all have feelings which can be broken the minute someone rejects us. Rejection for who we are and what we stand for is indubitably the most deplorable act there is...and we are doing it every single day.

As I've said in my advocacy against bullying, we need to be proactive rather than reactive.  Reacting ex post facto (after it has happened) does not work. All we are doing is adding fuel to the burning embers while we sit back and watch everything crumble around us, and then we incredulously wonder what the hell just happened.

It's time to put an end to all of this negativity and passive/aggressive behaviors.  It's time to communicate more effectively and learn how to be more accepting and tolerant of one another.  Until we can do that, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes and live in a world of exclusion.

I, for one, am extremely disheartened by it all.


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