I keep looking for ways to find good in everyone. I have a fundamental belief that we are good people, we Americans. I have a fundamental belief that we are committed to our passions about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
All of that has been tested these last few months.
Have you felt it? Have you felt the weight of the anger and hatred being passed around social media, person to person, page to page, with insults, rude comments and outright outrageous 'facts' being shared as if the world is one way or another? As if, it's my way, not your way. Or, your way, not my way.
We're all guilty of it in some respect. I won't take a pass. I tried hard not to get rude or share facts I didn't look closely at, but I suppose I angered someone, somewhere, at sometime. I had some polite conversations with people on the 'other' side, and they helped me understand their point of view, a little. But, in the end, what I discovered is that we're really all alike. We really all want the same things. I've said it before and I'll say it again, we're not so different that we should be threatening payback, because things didn't go one way or another.
Ok... let me go on record saying: I'm a responsible person. I work hard. I think the opportunity for you and you and you is out there. However, I also believe that each of us needs a helping hand once in awhile. And, I'm all for that. I don't care if your family has abused the idea of a helping hand... if there are elderly or kids involved, I'm going to try and help. I believe that the majority of folks needing help are good people and will lift themselves up, if shown how. (Yes, I was there once, folks...)
I believe each of us has the right to our own religious beliefs. I don't belief we should thrust them upon others. In this country, you are not allowed to tell me how to live my life, as long as I obey the laws. You are not allowed to tell me how to think. I do not want someone in office who brings his religious beliefs into play and tells me that my beliefs are so wrong, he's going to make them criminal. (whether he would have the ability to or not doesn't matter - the fact that he wants to troubles me - in America we don't do that)
I believe taxes are necessary. I believe that when I get to the level of a "rich" person (and that's different for each of us, but for purposes of this post, let's use Obama's definition, those who earn over $250,000 a year)... I will happily pay more taxes than someone who only earns $30,000. I will manage my money and live nicely and not hoard. Maybe that's just me. And, Warren Buffet.
I believe that education is the cornerstone of our very existence as a country and a people. I believe smaller class size is imperative. I believe teachers are more important than almost anyone else. Good teachers. I believe they should be compensated properly. I believe we, as a people, need to look at how much we award other professions (athletes and rock stars, for instance)... and ask ourselves, "Can we give teachers their due, and let rock stars and atheletes take a little less?" Yes, I believe that THE PEOPLE control how much rock stars and athletes make...and if we stopped supporting them with outrageous salaries - stopped buying what they sell for awhile - they'd stop charging such huge prices, and we'd have more money to support schools and kids.
I believe pets count. I believe all animals count. I believe they are part of our humanity and how we treat them reflects our humanity. Ignore them, neglect them, abuse them...and you are as likely to go the next step and wreak that on a woman or child...and if we, as a society, do not punish animal abusers to the fullest extent of the law, we are putting Mothers and kids in danger, over and over and over... and we are allowing criminals to "get away with it". Whenever I hear the term, "It's just a cat or it's just a dog"... I cringe. It says that person doesn't care about a living, breathing, feeling creature... who was put on this earth as part of the big picture of life - not as a 'thing' to be treated without respect. What else don't they care about? Who else don't they care about?
I believe we need to start taking better care of our environment. I believe it's imperative to be conscious of the world around us, to save the forests and parks, to look to the oceans for more resources instead of using them as a place to dump trash. I believe we need to do this for the health and welfare of coming generations. And if it places an extra burden on us now, so be it. Use less. Save more. Recylce. Take care of the planet.
And, that's why I voted as I did. So, if you're unhappy with the way things turned out, and you profess to believe much of the same (as I see some folks do), how do you reconcile your anger? Only one candidate cares about all these things... openly shares how he cares... and will work to make life better for us.
The other candidate - shared over and over how none of the above was important to him. If you can tell me I am wrong and he cares too, let's see him step up now and help the new President get things done - for everyone, and yes, that means the 47% he called victims.