Friday, August 18, 2017

In Times Like These...

I love words. 

I love the way they fall together to create sentences, forming stories or poems or songs. I love to hear the jingle of the letters’ sounds together – sometimes making onomatopoeia. I loved teaching my children how to read and process the sounds together to make words. I loved sharing my favorite words with them: saunter, facetious, whimsical.

But words don’t define me. I am not a collection of static letters or sounds. That’s when words lose their meaning.

I am a living, breathing, ever-changing human. I am not what people call me, either in race or religion or creed. My beliefs are my own, not formed by a stereotype or what I am told they are or should be. They are mine. And the basic core of my soul stays the same, but my thoughts are fluid as I observe and grow and process all that is around me.

When we allow our televisions and newspapers and online sources to tell us what to believe about who we are and what we are, it’s time to UNPLUG. When we listen and believe only what we are told, we have given up the power of words. We have allowed fear to own us.

So many people are complaining about the violence we hear and read about…constantly…the “ugliness” that is our world. I didn’t see it personally. I only read about it. What if it wasn’t as bad as described? What if “catastrophic” was an exaggeration of the events…made to cause fear and panic and anxiety in me? Catastrophic has always existed…and recent events are nothing new. And, yet, losing one person is always tragic to me. Losing three…even more so. Those people have their own people, who knew and loved and cherished them. And now they are without them. That makes me incredibly sad.

But fearful?

Instead of concentrating on what’s happening and being afraid, what if we looked around us at the world we can actually see? Look at the multitudes of flowers all around us, full of color and blooming in the final weeks of summertime. Listen to the giggles we hear from children running on a playground, enjoying their freedom and the innocence of just being. Watch a family or group of friends laugh, enjoying a dinner together.

Why can’t we grab hold of these truths? 


They are real and happening right now. 

Why can’t we let go of what the media wants us to hear, to believe, to own. Realize that we may not have “gotten our way” in the election, but then neither did half the country in the last two elections…and we all made it through just fine. What if we accept what is and have faith that goodness exists and that we’ll all be okay…goodness is in children, in furry animals, in chocolate, in a drive through farmland, in a walk through a city, in the rising and setting of the sun. What if we believed in the good of mankind again – in those we know and see and love around us? What if we “agree to disagree” and go back to making cookies for each other or sharing ice cream cones or game nights or movies together? What if we ONLY try to make the small sphere we live in a better place for our children to live and grow up in, refuse to do anything else or read anything else or fear anymore?

What else can we do? Really?

For better or worse, this is the world we live in. We only see and feel and hear a small sphere of it, a mere sliver of all that is out there. Why not concentrate on that for a change, count our blessings and realize that, yes, we are sinful, but through God’s mercy, we are good? We are safe. We are alive. And we are free.

Then our words will be meaningful again. Because their power will be ours – not the media’s or government’s. Just ours.

It starts with a simple phrase: I love you, my friend. Not because we are the same, but because we are different.

I am NOT "white" or "conservative" or "hateful" or "mean." I am just Susie.

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