Friday, July 3, 2020

Celebrating Independence

Independence Day this year has a very thick cloud of uncertainty around it.  Plans are different.  Fears in some groups are at an all time high.  A lot of life just doesn't feel right.  Even celebrating our country feels suspect because of all the ugliness that has been brought to the forefront of our minds.  There's public shaming of every opinion out there and complete chaos in some areas.  There's such a pull for life to go back to 'normal' but then also the awareness that normal isn't always great to begin with, depending on what you are talking about.  

I want to encourage you, as an American, to celebrate the parts of America that you can be grateful for.  I'm not grateful for all of the ugliness on display right now nor have I ever been grateful for the shameful way people have been treated in the building of our nation.  Isn't it possible to love and cherish a family member while despising the abuse they or their forefathers endured?   I believe it is because I have done it. 

There is a lot of shaming going on right now that begins with assumptions and ends with believing lies.  Just because someone isn't vocal *like you* doesn't mean they aren't actively working to produce good.  Just because someone doesn't make choices *like you* doesn't mean they are ignorant or mean spirited.  Just because someone doesn't agree *with you* doesn't mean hatefulness will somehow change their mind.  You do realize that silence might mean they snoozed you for stressing them out?  Or that they haven't been online for several weeks because they are trying to make real changes in their own home? 

You are not bad because you disagree with me or anyone else.  I have always advocated for honoring God with your life and intentional moral living, but I also advocate for the freedom - that I enjoy myself - to make those choices.  You have not lived my life, seen the things I've seen, researched what I've researched, been exposed to what I have, and a zillion other things.  There's no way you could have so to assume something about me and then use that assumption to start shaming those like me publicly is foolish, but more so it is ineffective.  As we have seen in the past month, there are things some people are experiencing that I would NEVER have thought was a common occurrence and yet it is real and it is wrongfully a norm for some areas and people.   

And to be clear, no one has screamed at me or directly criticized me so I'm not fighting some war with a particular person.  The byline of my blog says a Highly Sensitive Homeschooler.  I can absorb all of the tension and judgement that flies around online (to my dismay) and feel attacked, even when I don't fully identify with the group being attacked! I just know how much we are causing each other pain right now.

Mental Health.

We all have opinions on all of these (and more) subjects.  If you want to talk about it, send me a message and we'll do it.  Peer pressure (even for good things) is dangerous and too often backfires. 

When you assume and dump 'every person' who believes this way or that into a group, I guarantee you, you are believing a lie.  If there is one thing America demonstrates regularly is that there are all kinds of people with all kinds of needs and all kinds of experiences.  From health to race to The Office to ice cream - There are differences EVERYWHERE and no amount of public shaming on Facebook or anywhere else is going to change that.  I personally believe that eating a lot of different fruits and vegetables is extremely important in maintaining a healthy body and immune system.  I've seen in myself, my family and loads of other people how big of a difference it makes.  Do you feel it would be effective for me to start publicly shaming those who don't eat vegetables? What about those with certain several allergies or autoimmune situations where certain vegetables cannot be consumed?  My point is that I believe in a healthy diet, but I also understand that health for me may not look the same for you in every way.  

I don't know how our country is going to look next summer.  I don't know what American History is going to look like in 5 years when my baby starts to really learn about it.  That's a little scary but its okay.  I don't even know what next month is going to look like between fear mongering and cancellations! This year I'm celebrating Independence Day because I value independence.  Independence from cruel leaders, independence from one size fits all approaches, independence from willful ignorance.  "Where there is life, there is hope." We have a lot to do as a country and I'm grateful that we are alive and able to do better.

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