Our current American Forecast Is Cloudy With a Chance of Protestors
Not that there’s anything wrong with protesting and fighting for what you believe in, but it does seem as if this protesting craze has gone slightly amuck.
I’m not sure some of these people protesting even truly understand what, exactly, they are so pissed about. Which is unfortunate because somewhere among the vagina heads and topless, profanity sign carrying bundles of righteousness are strong, smart, sensible people; People who have invested time researching the facts and who arrived at their own, independent conclusion that they disagree with one or all of the results of the election and our new president’s policies.
I know a lot of those people. They are my friends, my co-workers, my family, or maybe my kids’ teachers.
They are hardworking people who love their families as much as I love mine. They volunteer at humane societies and hold the door for others. They are good people who think I am woefully misguided in my own beliefs just like I think they are in theirs. But guess what – we still like each other.
We even manage to disagree civilly! Occasionally I concede they have a point, and often I admit I don’t fully agree with what is happening, either. I just don’t believe all this screaming, jamming streets, and freaking out is going to effect the change anyone wants to see. (Neither, George Clooney and the rest of you overinflated Hollywood egos, is attempting to orchestrate a Hollywood strike. I’d explain why the world would keep turning without any of your movies in it but I can’t stop laughing long enough to do so. I hope none of my favorite Hollywood people come forward with similar smack because I would mourn my loss of appreciation for their work- but I’d survive.)
Cloudy With a Chance of Protestors
I get it. I mean, I am no stranger to standing up and protesting policies – or the lack thereof – that I am convinced pose a threat to our military and their families. I advocate with all I’ve got to help people navigate a system far more powerful than them. And it can make a difference. So I applaud people who are willing to respectfully, maturely, and intelligently challenge our system and work productively to encourage change as they see fit. What I cannot seem to wrap my mind around is the sheer lunacy that has managed to take hold of this country and seems to have no intention of letting go. And unless we all take a step back to survey the scene and come to our senses, our country’s forecast is not going to change.
The more we huff and puff and scream hateful, derogatory, insulting and sometimes just plain stupid rants at each other the tighter we will all shield ourselves with our own rigid beliefs, and the less we will open ourselves up to the notion that maybe, just maybe, there is common ground to be found. If not, if we continue to swallow and regurgitate the doomsday prophecies being sold to us, our climate is only going to darken.
“We’re on the brink of civil war! We’re on the brink of nuclear war! We’re going to have concentration camps! Women can kiss their rights goodbye! You’re racist! No – you’re racist! We’re all doomed!”
Oh. My. God.
If there is any element of reality in the concerns behind these statements, the statements themselves discredit them for their outrageous exaggerations and the manner in which they are delivered. This comes from both sides of the current climate.
While there is little doubt this country is in a state of turmoil, freaking out is not the answer. In any crisis, the key to survival is a clear head. Panic only makes it worse. Rage only makes it worse. And turning on each other is certain to destroy our sense of peace. I know this firsthand as I made the mistake of firing my own retaliatory response to someone’s insulting rants about my lack of intelligence because I dared disagree with them. The first problem with that was my inability to stay strong and not take the bait. The second was that my response was fired at someone who didn’t deserve it. I am grateful she forgave me.
But you know what? This country, with all its flaws, is pretty great because so many extraordinary people live in it.
I have seen grieving parents work to enact new laws. I’ve seen people rise above childhoods filled with violence and poverty to build successful careers and then turn around to help others do the same. I know people who have literally thrown themselves on grenades to save others, and lived to
tell about it. I’ve heard stories of people who sacrificed their lives saving others. I know there is a ten-year-old girl who hand knits bags and fills them with donated items to hand out to homeless people. I know there is a little boy who lost his parents, and now walks the streets of Savannah handing out toys to make others smile. I know a woman who has dedicated her life to saving horses from abuse and neglect. I know of people who come together to house our homeless, help our veterans, rescue children, shelter abused women, and incite hope in thousands of different ways. They are all American stories, and as co-founder of American Snippets, I get to be a part of bringing them to you.
So how about this – let’s remain committed to our beliefs.
Let’s agree we all have a right to do so and let’s agree not to interfere with anyone’s ability to get to work by blocking streets, or anyone’s sleep by instilling fear in their hearts. Let’s remain open to the possibility that maybe the truth lies somewhere in the middle and let’s trust in our ability as Americans, no matter what the threat is, to unite peacefully in order to survive whatever storm strikes. Let’s go ahead and voice our beliefs in peaceful, rational ways. But most of all, let’s take real steps to promote the rekindling of that fire which makes America so awesome.
Know of someone who has overcome enormous challenges? We want to share their story.
Know someone who has made a difference in one person’s life? In a thousand lives? We want to share their story. Know someone who has an adorable pet story? We’ll share that too!
Let’s toss the heaping portions of online anger and feed on the real-life examples of greatness right here in the USA. Let’s move forward with the mindset that we are all in this together, and only by working together can we preserve all that is great about this country.