If there’s a light at the end, I don’t see it.
It’s easy to judge. Freeing almost, right? It allows us to be superior, settle into preconceived stereotypes, and use humor to set boundaries — there’s “us” and then there’s “them.” Deep down, we know it’s wrong, but we do it anyway…
I spend a lot of time in a very rural area. A place where seeing a confederate flag waving in the breeze is common. A place where passing bumpers adorned with stickers that read “Trump 2020,” isn’t entirely unexpected. A place where pickup trucks spit gray clouds from their mufflers, and men toting guns in the grocery store is commonplace.
It’s hard not to judge. Not to group some into all. Hard but important. Even there — I only listed the things I deem as “bad” about the place that I love. I just painted a judgmental picture for you, to make a point.
I’m feeling increasingly disheartened. Every day it seems we take one step farther away from each other, with no will or want to ever step back. I can spend today fighting for the earth, tomorrow for racial equality, the next day for DACA to stay in place, and so on. Until the end of time, there will be something to fight for. But who are we fighting? Do we even know? Or are we just assuming? Judging?
I should have stopped in the Trump 2020 tent at the event I was at this past weekend. I should have taken some time to stop, and engage in a civil discussion about the why — to really learn, really find out how they feel, what they are excited about, why they are on their side and me on mine. To step out of the judgement that everyone inside is racist. Or uneducated. Or unkind. And dig deeper, learn more. But I didn’t. Why?
Partly because I’m tired, and prefer to live in my assumptions because it’s easier, right? Partly because I’m angry. I’m right and “they” are wrong, and I don’t want to hear any different or have my beliefs challenged. Partly because I am worried I’ll find my judgments affirmed, and then how can I not condemn the nod to a movement that I believe to be morally wrong? Because then what?
Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Is there a place where we can all step closer together, and recognize ourselves in each other’s eyes? Where it’s not about the party affiliation, and more about what each of us what to see for our country, for the people? Is there a future where we all work together to secure safety, security, and hope for each other, and each other’s children?
I don’t know. I can’t see it right now. The world feels crumbly. But I know that resting on judgement and assumption today isn’t helping. On either side. I want to do better. I want that for all of us.