First and foremost, I’d like to say thank you to all the men and women who are serving our country and those that came before them who helped shape our country into the best country in the world. Stepping up to serve in the military is a hard choice. Not everyone understands that choice and our veterans have often not been treated very well.
I’ve had some thoughts percolating in my head for over a year now. Thoughts of being American and what that means. I decided to use today, the official birthday of our nation, to get these thoughts out.
I was raised to believe in the freedoms that Americans are supposed to have. Freedom to be who they are as long as they are not hurting others. Freedom to have opinions without being attacked. Freedom to disagree with our government if those in power are doing something they don’t agree with…or not doing something when they should. Am I naive? Maybe. But these things I truly believe in with all my heart.
We all have a tendency to judge others by outward signs we see when we meet them. Even as we get to know some people, we’re still judging. This is really what this post is about. I want to make it clear that everything I list here is NOT necessarily about me (as you will realize since some of the things will contradict each other) but are things I know to be true about close friends and family as well as myself. Please really think about these things before judging someone and voicing your opinions.
- Just because a person strongly supports our military does not mean they support war nor does it mean they want us to go to war.
- Just because a person is pro-choice does not mean they would agree with someone getting an abortion…it means they support a person’s freedom to choose what to do with their own body.
- Just because a person is uneducated about our military and what they do doesn’t mean they don’t support our men and women in uniform. Add to that, just because a person is anti-war doesn’t make them anti-military.
- Just because a person supports a movement and/or participates in a rally or demonstration does not mean they are against the law enforcement that are keeping those at said protest safe…even if it’s a Black Lives Matter protest. Rooting for Black Lives or Women or Peace does not make one anti-law enforcement or anti-men or anti-military.
- Just because someone owns guns and enjoys hunting or target shooting does not necessarily make them pro-gun to the point they think everyone is entitled to own a gun. Owning a gun does not equal being in the NRA.
- Just because a person is in the NRA doesn’t mean they necessarily want to open carry their gun(s) everywhere they go.
- Just because someone lists themselves as a democrat does not mean they are anti-military or anti-gun.
- Just because someone lists themselves as a republican doesn’t mean they are anti-public education or anti-public assistance.
- Just because someone has a close family member who is extremely focal politically and maybe not so nice about their views on the “other side” doesn’t mean that person agrees with their relative.
- Just because a person is Arabic doesn’t mean they’re Muslim.
- Just because a person is Muslim doesn’t mean they have an ulterior evil motive.
- Just because someone is White and from the suburbs doesn’t mean they don’t have (or shouldn’t have) a record.
- Just because someone is not White and is from the inner-city does not mean they have a record.
I think by now you realize that I can go on and on and on with this line of thought. I will stop here for now. Again, these are things that ricochet around in my brain quite often and I felt the need to get them out.
Next time someone does or says something you don’t agree with, stop and think before speaking. Maybe what they do or say warrants an argument, but maybe it doesn’t. Are you arguing because you think you can help that other person to see another point of view or because you want to get the last word?
Next time you decide it’s okay to talk politics with someone you don’t really know really well, think about those above bullet points. I’ve had acquaintances slam a policy that I actually support because they assume things about me by what little they know. I don’t want to fight with people, but I also don’t want to sit and listen to someone talking smack.
Enough serious talk! I hope you all have a wonderful day and stay safe. First and foremost STAY SAFE.