I decided to start doing something called Writing Wednesday. I will post on random Wednesday’s (when I am in the mood to do so) and ask you all what you want me to write about that day. Then, I will choose some of your topics write about them and post them that night! Sometimes I may decide to address a question in depth, other times, I may just write a few sentences on it. But it is my hope that these Writing Wednesday’s spark some thoughtful conversations and get you all thinking! Xx
Here are the topics you asked me to write about today:
- What do you want me to write about?
- Climate Change/Environmental Laws
When I was little, I wanted to be the President of the United States when I grew up. When I became Student Body President and CEO of Associated Students at San Diego State University, I dropped that idea like a hot potato. Why? Because I quickly learned that politics=people’s values and even though I actually hold very strong opinions about many areas of the political arena, I don’t openly discuss them often because I value HARMONY more. I love to UNIFY people and the moment you start speaking politics (aka values) with anyone, you’ll typically divide people instantaneously (more on that when I answer question #2).
You’ll divide people because your truth is not and will not be everyone else’s truth and it’s hard to change someone’s TRUTH with a brief conversation. More often times than not, if your truth is not their truth, you’re just going to piss them off. Since politics are values based, a good politician knows how to “motivate the middle.” This means, they don’t focus on the haters (they use them as their motivators, eyyyy) and they don’t spend too much time on their avid supporters either (besides having their assistants invite them to a banquet, give them VIP seating at their speeches or send them a fruit basket). Smart and successful politicians spend more of their time with the people who are ON THE FENCE about their values… “are not too sure” “are still considering” etc. because there is a chance they can sway those people to join their YAY side of the fence.
The thing is… I’m not a fan of fences… I want us all to hold hands and believe in something called the human race… and love… and peace… which are all so much bigger than politics. A job in politics is tiring for people like me who love to execute on change in individual people’s lives, because you spend so much of your time motivating the middle during your campaign simply so you can get in office, then once you’re actually in there, it’s hard to change anything because NOW you have to deal with the SLOW, DIPLOMATIC, FRUSTRATING PROCESS of fighting with your haters and your yayers and there is not a middle anymore, just two groups of people who scheme to destroy each others agendas with loop holes and petty policy changes. GAHHHHHH. THE WORLD WILL NOT CHANGE UNTIL WE FIND TRUE BIPARTISANSHIP. I sort of feel like that’s a world of Utopia to be honest… But hey, God bless all of those who dedicate their life to making this happen. Seriously. It’s so admirable.One of my best friends is doing it and I drop my jaw when I hear about all he does for his community! He’s making moves… It can be done, but it isn’t going to be done by me.
People take a ton of heat when they don’t use their platforms to talk about politics (aka their values) but if they have an audience and fans, this is a tricky thing to do, mostly because not a lot of people (including myself) enjoy recreationally pissing people off…Unless it’s a topic I’m really passionate about addressing and I don’t care… Also, since politics are values, I look at them as deeply personal and even a private thing… No one really HAS to share what is personal and private to them if they don’t want to! But since you ASKED! I will briefly, briefly, state what I think about the above topic. HARRR SHE BLOWS:
I grew up a tree hugger, beach bum in Santa Cruz, CA. I’ve lived in nature my whole life, so being around it for so long has allowed me to FREAKING LOVE THE WORLD and be super sensitive to things that are messing it up. There’s no doubt climate change is real and it’s pivotal that we put a premium on protecting our environment through any means possible. Therefore, as a blanket statement, I can proudly/ assertively say that I support most “pro-environment efforts”…Because the environment is something I deeply value.
I am most passionate about topics surrounding sustainability. This is because I think before we try to change the world, we need to try to change ourselves and I’ve seen countless grassroot sustainability efforts make real, fundamental changes in communities which in turn, have most definitely impacted “the world.” I am by no means perfect, but I try to be sustainable as possible in my everyday life. This means recycling, no plastic straws, no plastic bags, going paperless, living a minimalist lifestyle, researching sustainable companies to buy my clothing and supplies from and most importantly, eating a primarily plant-based diet. I could go on about that topic and it’s importance forever, again- that reaaaaally makes people mad and there’s not enough time for that right now.
All in all, a lot of my beliefs on various environmental laws are situational… If you ever have a more in-depth question on one of them, I am open to expanding.
2) What do you want me to write about?
- Your faith. You mention you are a Christian here and there in your writing, but not a ton.
Yep- you’re right. It think about this a lot actually because there is a ton of pressure from “the church” on believers to be evangelists and that’s a hard role for me to assume for many reasons that I’ll explain below. But if you didn’t know, now you know, I am Christian.
I grew up in a Christian household and went to a Christian school preschool through 8th grade, but I didn’t really dive into my faith seriously until about 3 years ago and it wasn’t ever shoved down my throat… My parents always encouraged me to figure out what I believe on my own and wanted me to explore everything else to make sure I made my own informed decisions.
My dad would tell me to read the Torah, then hand me a book on the Buddha, then inform me on the history of the Mormon church, then educate me on Atheism with objective view, then hold my hand and pray with me before I went to bed at night… He would sit at the table with my brother and I at dinner and challenge our beliefs constantly. He made us critical thinkers and taught us to not believe something unless we could rationalize it with him. He is such a cool dad. Love you dad.
I’ve also taken a bunch of theory of knowledge, philosophy and world religion classes and have done loads of spiritual searching over the years, so I can say confidently say that I’m not a blind believer. I am educated in my faith and always open to discuss it with anyone and everyone, but I’m not one to shove my beliefs or values in someone else’s face because I know I don’t like that being done to me.
When people ask me WHY I believe what I do, I tell them it simply makes the most sense to me, has changed my life and has made me the person I am today. I love my faith. I believe it takes as much faith to believe there is a creator of the universe as it does to believe there isn’t one; some believe an atom created the universe, others like myself believe something must have created that atom. It is what it is… I don’t hate what you believe, so don’t hate on what I believe!
Quick story: If you read my article, My Date with Dan, you know that I took a transient (homeless) man out to dinner- he’s still my friend to this day. Hi Dan! (He could be reading this). At the end of the dinner, he asked me if I had any tattoos. I said no. He then asked what I would get if I ever got one. I said I would get a tiny cross on my arm. He asked if I was a Christian. When I said yes, he was in shock. He said most Christians who took him out to dinner made it really clear before they even started eating that their religion was the reason they were eating with him, not because they were a good-hearted person. Then they used the dinner as a means of trying to convert him and babbled on and on about bible verses and how Jesus will save his life from his sinful ways, bless him and help him off the streets. It made him feel like these people were only taking him to dinner out of obligation and not because they really cared about him. These interactions with “Christians” really turned him off from the faith. It made him think Christians are hypocritical, judgmental, and also weirdos. The poor guy is just trying to eat. I can’t blame him.
I told him this is the exact reason why I don’t feel the need to lead with a Christian label everywhere I go. I’d rather just live by example and be someone people want to be around to shine a good light on the faith. Unfortunately, when you lead with I’M CHRISTIAN right off the bat, you’re going to turn a lot of people away… Dan said the fact that I didn’t mention that until he asked, made my belief seem much more welcoming and appealing to him.
I also said that I’m more of a faith person and less of a religion person. The Jesus I believe in hung out with the homeless, the sick, the weak, the sinners, the losers, the prostitutes, the tax collectors, and honestly everyone… He didn’t care who you were. He didn’t judge people. He simply loved everyone. Jesus didn’t walk around boasting about who he was. He was a righteous man who lead by example. He didn’t need to use any label to prove that what he did was good. His good actions spoke for themselves. He also preached on grassy hills and by the ocean, in homes and in the wilderness. He didn’t wear weird robes and hang in churches and he often challenged man made “laws.” He was kind of a rebel to be honest. I want to be like that guy. I want to follow that guy… He seems waaaaay more cool…
Don’t get me wrong- I read my bible, I do my devotions, I meditate, I pray, I journal, I watch sermons, I go to church and I love to talk about my faith every chance I get because it makes me feel good, I LOVE it and would love to help others WHO WANT IT to find the fulfillment that I have found in my faith. But I am aware that some people just don’t want that and that’s entirely okay… Jesus never screamed at people and told them they’re going to hell if they didn’t believe what he did like the crazy men who stand on street corners with signs now days… I’m going to try to be like Jesus. Not the crazy men…Can I get an amen?
3) What do you want me to write about?
- Cross-cultural dating.
I could go on and on about this topic. BECAUSE I LOVE DIVERSITY! Seriously. I was on the diversity committee in college. I’m really passionate about it.
Look- The majority of people in this world tend to date people who are LIKE them, because MOST people are naturally attracted to what they know and what is comfortable. Further, we can’t ignore the fact that cross-cultural dating can present it’s own set of challenges. Cultures are beautiful because they’re filled with values, religions, traditions, beliefs, etc. causing it’s members to develop world views, experiences and norms that may create natural intimacy barriers between them and their partners who have different roots. I am not going to lie to you and say I haven’t seen very real, complicated issues arise when it comes to cross-cultural dating.
I have read arguments out there that claim different- culture relationships do not last as long as same-culture relationships… but I don’t believe that for a second. Due to globalization, the digital age, more accessible travel and a bunch of other reasons I wrote about in a college essay once that I’m kind of forgetting at the moment but that are very valid, cross-cultural dating is happening more THAN EVER BEFORE and I don’t think it’s been happening at the rate and volume it is now, for long enough, for us to have enough data to accurately support those claims.
Even though cross-cultural dating comes with it’s own set of challenges, EVERY relationship will have its own set of challenges. I think LOVE is bigger and greater than any culture, barrier, boundary, etc. and I think people should do what they want. Besides, even though statistically, people tend to go for what they know… “opposites attract” is also a very true statement for some people!
I’ve dated people of all different backgrounds, cultures, religions and beliefs my entire life. It is true that both of my long-term boyfriends have been white, German/Americans (like myself) but I’m really not sure if I will end up with that… The older I get (and probably the more educated and less ignorant) the more I LOVE learning about people who are different from me.
I know this next comment sounds very dry but I really, really believe in it… I think it’s actually a SMART move to date people of different cultures, especially if you’re planning to reproduce, because in many ways you’re going to put your children at a competitive advantage if they’re raised with parents of different cultures. Universities, companies, etc. (with intelligent recruiters and sound principles) VALUE people who have diverse backgrounds and well-rounded world-views more than ever before. When I was President and selecting my leadership teams, I kept diversity at the top of my mind. I’ve seen first hand that different minds create the best product and that group think is dangerous. Diversity is beautiful. In business, in relationships, in dating… In sooooo many ways.
Obviously, there are people who are still close-minded, hateful and ignorant; racism, prejudice, etc. is alive and well. I’ve read studies and analyzed statistics on modern romance in various cultures. I’ve spoken to hundreds of people about their frustrations with cross-cultural dating in 2018.
I always come back to this: I believe all things are possible when it comes to love. Just because we have cultural differences doesn’t mean our relationships can’t work out. It really all depends on what your values are and how patient you are about learning how to adapt to another person’s way of life.
Positive people look at differences as exciting opportunities.
Negative people look at differences as insurmountable barriers.
Lastly, if you’re someone from one culture who is attracted to people of another culture and you’re not finding much luck in recruiting those people (I hear this one a lot) it’s alllll a numbers game… Meet as many people as you can. Keep putting yourself out there and one day you’ll meet someone who wants someone just like you. The world is changing people!! But love is everlasting… awww