A few years ago, I really did believe our world was shifting. I honestly thought that there was a time where we were gaining more middle ground. When people who had different opinions or values were coming together to listen to the other side. I think I was being a bit naive to think that now. So where does someone like me belong? A people pleasing, recovering co-dependent that wants everyone to get along and like each other. To be honest I feel lost. Every morning I pray for peace and I pray for those who hold darkness in their hearts to open up to the light. And that means ALL of US! There is not one person on the face of this planet that does not have darkness. I believe in my heart that we want peace as a people, but your peace and my peace are not the same. So where do we start? Where do I start?
First of all, I am a human being! I lived with labels for too long and I no longer wish to be categorized. Labels imposed mostly by others that I wore like a heavy armor covering my true self. Which brings me to my point. Where do I belong if I'm not a label? It seems like it has gotten to a place where opposites no longer attract let alone act civil towards each other. I know that we all have values, as we should. The challenge is when those values don't look at the possibility of differences. As I wade through what is happening in our world, I see many sides. Unfortunately, for some, there is only one side. White or Black. Democrat or Republican. Stand or Kneel. Guns or No Guns. Blue Lives or Black Lives. Wall or No Wall. Life or Choice. Pot or No Pot. Even Iphone vs. Android divides us these days. To have a belief in something, do I really need to pick one side? I've always been one to learn and think. I do not like to be told what to do or how to believe. And I always want to have as much information as I can before making a decision or forming an opinion. Unfortunately, I see so much disrespect for the other side. No one is considering or even asking why do you believe or feel this way. So it becomes a matter of who can shout (or post) louder. Who can push their agenda until the other gives in.
I woke up this morning to the news of the NFL and the gesture of taking a knee. I've watched both sides go on and on and on about this. It's been happening for over a year. And for those of you that don't know, Colin Kaepernick wasn't signed to a team this year likely because of his actions. Peaceful protest. Yet now, it seems that the entire NFL organization is also taking a stand in a similar manner. Believe what you want, but this has gotten exposure for over a year and we are still talking about it. The question is, has it made a difference in civil equality or divided us even more? Do people just want to watch football or do players have a right to be political and use their platform to take a stand (or a knee)? We will all have different opinions when it comes to what is right in this situation. We can look at it as a person's right not to stand during the anthem as a form of protest. I don't know about you but I've been to plenty of events where someone stood and talked during the entire anthem. To me that's more disrespectful. And what about the protests back in the 60s against the war where flags were burned. It was their right to do so, correct? No matter where you stand on the issue, there is always more than one side. This is just one example, and I use it because it is current, but I'm sure we could go back and find many.
Where do I belong? As two sides play out on many issues, some will say that the middle is wishy washy or not strong in their values. I would argue that being open minded to other beliefs, values and opinions is not wishy washy, but what will likely bridge the gap when it's needed the most. At least I'd like to believe that to be true. So I'll continue to pray daily for unity and peace. I will stand by my values while considering why someone believes differently than I do. I will peacefully protest what I believe to be injustice the best way I know how, as a consumer and by the energy I put back into the world. And for those of you who are questioning me right now for being wishy washy, I stand. I stand for those who cannot. I stand for peace. I stand for the Flag because I believe it can be a symbol of peace, equality and the land of the free and I honor those who fight for our rights to stand or not. And finally, I stand up for myself for the first time in my life. I am a human made of flesh, created by God to be unique. It is my purpose to live as God created me to be.