What I’ve Been Saying All Along

Occasionally, I post something on Facebook born from the marriage of frustration and hope. Most of these are inspired by socio-political events or the general political atmosphere. I have collected several of them below.

I am not a perfect example of practicing what I preach. I make mistakes. I can be prideful and judgmental, and I’m not the purist environmentalist out there. But I continually strive for improvement. I want to understand the reasons I choose to live the way I do — how my priorities accord with my values. I have friends who have called me out along the way, and I’m grateful for that, even if it means working a little harder sometimes. Still, these excerpts do a good job of  exemplifying my values and my approach to societal and political issues.

January 4, 2015
Progress does not always mean more. Progress means better. Growth is evolution, transformation. Let us improve towards efficiency. Let us adjust to the inevitable evolution of society and the ecosystem. Let us strive for balance amidst an ever-changing world, and let us become stronger with every step.

August 24, 2015
I think it is amazing and magical that a human being, for no particular or logical reason, can develop such an incredible love for another creature simply by becoming aware of its existence and realizing the value its life brings to the world. That is how I feel about the creatures who live where I work, a few of them in particular. If a human can feel that about another species, can we feel the same thing for other humans? And more importantly, how can we express this feeling in acts of compassion for the lives around us?

August 26, 2015
We all have so much rage inside of us. So much jealousy, resentment, anger, and pride. We desire, we judge, we consume, we criticize, whether based on truth or assumptions. I do it too. That’s why I play music. Turn it to creation, make it something beautiful. Practice acceptance and embrace emotions, all of them, while choosing to act with compassion for others. Because we need to stop fighting. Turn it to love, and realize that it’s all love to begin with, in some strange form or another. In my childhood, and in life, I learned forgiveness, I learned reflection, I practiced creativity, analysis, compromise. In society, in culture, in your own home. We are all connected. Let’s find the center, be the circle, strive for balance, and live in harmony.

October 5, 2015
Everyone has their own beliefs, values, opinions, preferences, and priorities. Each individual, let alone community, has a distinct idea about how the world *should* be, if they have even thought about it at all. And most likely they are all going to be a little bit, if not very, different. Hence the varying candidates within a party and the various people who support one of the other for whatever reason. The key is to cultivate, among the entire nation, a society that can function as effectively as possible while taking all of those values into consideration. Not everyone can get everything that they want while living amongst people with different values and priorities, but if we can be open-minded, understanding, and supportive, we don’t have to lose everything either.

I will add that, as people on Earth, we are all in this together.

June 12, 2016
What do terrorist do? They spread terror. They give people reasons to be afraid. Afraid to go to work, afraid to go to school, afraid to go to the movies, afraid to go out dancing. Afraid to be themselves and to do the things in life that they feel good about because they never know when someone might take that life away in a matter of seconds.

Why do terrorists terrorize? Perhaps because they are afraid. Afraid of not being loved. Afraid of not being accepted by their family or by God. Afraid that the world they believe in will never come to be. Afraid that those who are different from them, or who do not share this belief will keep the world from being as they imagine. That is what terror is.

So can we all just… not be afraid for a minute? Can we all just realize that there are people out their who are hurting right now, because they lost their brother or their daughter or their father or their friend, or because they feel misunderstood and angry. And let us not pretend we can figure them out or know how they feel, and let us not be angry at them. That is how terror wins. Please. Can we just love for a minute. Please.

November 11, 2016
(In response to an article entitled “Dear White People, Stop Saying Everything Will Be OK”)
This was the most disturbing thing for me: that so many people in this country supported a campaign driven by hatred, discrimination, and fear. And I know that Clinton got more popular votes, and I know that a lot of non-whites voted for Trump, but there are significant numbers of people all across the country who voted in accordance with this agenda, whether they personally supported these ideals or just chose to ignore how it may affect people — how it already has. And that is appalling to me, that we are not only divided as a people but that there are so many fundamental issues being ignored.

November 11, 2016
Calling someone a racist for making a racist comment is not name-calling. It’s letting this person know that their comment implicates negativity toward a group of people that have historically been discriminated against. Racial minorities that have dealt with prejudice for decades, centuries, are not trying to collectively overthrow or seek revenge on those in power who have consistently viewed, spoken to, or acted upon them as lesser. They are trying to be heard, to speak out against prejudice and for equality. They are trying to let people know that racism is real, it affects people daily in subtle and extreme ways, and that it has to stop.

January 30, 2017
In a society driven by capitalism, something every one of you can pay attention to on a daily basis is how you are spending your money. Forget taxes for a moment… what are YOU CHOOSING to buy?
What companies do you support by buying their products?
What industries do you promote?
Do you shop from corporations or small businesses?
Are you buying pasture-raised meat?
Is your makeup tested on animals?
How much of what you buy contains petroleum?
Where were your clothes manufactured?
Is that item really going to make your life better? Easier? At what cost?
Do you EVER donate to organizations working for what you believe in?

Ask yourself these questions. This is one way that we can enact positive change. Not the only way, but in this world it’s something.

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