I am Human, and I Choose Kind
Let me start off with the fact that I have never written anything of value, except maybe a grocery list. I stay out of politics publicly. I believe that being remembered for how you treat people is more important than what you have. Choose Kind
That being said, I feel compelled to write my thoughts on the current political situation, specifically intolerance based on race, religion, sexual preference, and political parties. Wow, that is daunting for someone who admittedly can’t spout percentages, isn’t politically active other than voting, and has no writing experience.
I am choosing to share my personal facts (fact: a thing that is indisputably the case). I was born into a middle class, white American family. I had choices and privileges that others did not, simply because of this fact. I was also a single mother in my early 20s. I was on welfare for 9 months in order to put food in my daughter’s mouth while working a minimum wage job. I am now a mother of 2 daughters and I’m a wife to a man who, every day, puts on a uniform that makes him a target. My husband was not born in the United States. I am a business owner who has the potential for above average income based on MY own merit, work ethic and the way I treat people.
I have friends from every walk of life: highly educated and basic skilled laborers, very religious families who believe in male/female marriages as well as friends who are very comfortable in their own skin being LGBTQ. I have friends from every religious background and I am proud to have each of them in my life. Why? Because each of my friends has taught me something about myself. In the end, it is about being kind. To me, being kind means being tolerant of other’s beliefs. Each of us was born into or now live in a country that affords us the right of having our own beliefs. That is because of the sacrifice by many, and I am grateful.
This right of ours has been brought to light more and more recently. There is unrest and intolerance for people who don’t feel the way a specific group thinks everyone should. This right that so many groups are using to espouse THEIR beliefs and that THEIR beliefs are the only ones that are right. Many people have an opinion on Black Lives Matter, the recent Women’s March, or the President, just to name a few current issues. No matter what side you stand, you feel you are right. I ask you to think about this, “Is it more important to be right or is it more important to be kind and respectful?” You don’t have to agree with anyone but in my mind you do have to respect that other’s views may differ, after all that is our right.
What if, instead of focusing on being right in our beliefs, we focused on being tolerant or on being respectful? Could we focus on being kind? Could we learn something, not only about the specific cause, but also about ourselves?
What if we teach our children that it is ok to have different opinions but is not ok to belittle, depreciate or violently react? We need to teach them instead to listen, process and form their own opinions all while being kind. We are a society of many different beliefs and values, but in the end, we are all human. We all need a feeling of security. We all want to be emotionally connected to others and a have sense of community. These things are being threatened. That is what concerns me the most for my daughters and their future children.
If there is anything in this world I can teach my daughters, it is to be kind and tolerant. This is something I sometimes have to remind myself, we are human and can get caught up in nonsense. Smile at that person holding the door for you and say thank you. Hand a person on the street corner a dollar bill while looking them in the eyes. Give them the knowledge that they are not viewed as a pariah on society but a human being in need. Don’t turn your nose up at someone based on the clothes they wear, the car they drive or work they do because you do not walk in their shoes. You don’t know their “facts.” Instead, look at them as a fellow human. Befriend a child on the playground who is all alone. Respect yourself enough to be secure in your beliefs while being open to others because that is what makes the world go round.
In the end we are remembered for how we treat others. I certainly hope my headstone says, “I was not always successful BUT I always tried to be kind.”
Guest Mama Lacey hails from southern California where she’s a mama, wife, sister, daughter, and a small business owner. She’s a human who feels kindness and tolerance are free and being remembered for who we are and how we made someone feel is so much more important than what we have or what social status we hold.