“On this day, take time to remember those who have fallen. But on every day after, do more; put the freedoms they died for to greater and nobler uses.”
Richelle E. Goodrich
Last night was an illuminating one for me on different levels. I learned some things about myself that I am not very proud of, and from this day forth will be rectifying. For the past six years, I have not fully put those freedoms that people have died for to greater and nobler causes. Not in the greater sense of those words.
I believe I am a good person; in many ways a contributing citizen of the country I have chosen to be a part of. But I’ve fallen short on one of the more important aspects of being an American Citizen. Politics and the duty to cast an informed vote. For the past six years, I have NOT chosen to become informed on ANYTHING involving politics. I run in the opposite direction of politically charged conversations. I don’t watch the news, or read about what’s going on in government here OR overseas. I’ve shut myself off to it. And I’m here to apologize, and say that I was wrong.
I have hidden behind the excuse that my ex husband belittled me because of my political choices (which he did repeatedly), and made THAT the reason I don’t become involved. But last night taught me a valuable lesson. It was on me, NOT him, to learn and become informed about the issues, so that I COULD be involved in a discussion KNOWING the facts, as opposed to coming at it from just my emotion…..which let’s face it…..I’m Irish and FULL of fecking emotion!!! He was who he was, and it was on me to face that situation differently. And I didn’t.
Last nights conversation,instigated by ME btw, for some unknown bloody reason…..showed me my weaknesses. And I do not like to see those. AT ALL!!! But….the universe sometimes gives you what you need, even if it’s uncomfortable to face. And you can either bolt (like I almost did), or you can stay and face your fear. It helped to have a calm individual on the other side of the conversation, to help peel you off the ceiling. And that was a good lesson to learn. Not every man/person will think “less of you”, if you don’t see eye to eye with them. If you respect their views/opinions, then they will respect yours.
But the biggest lesson I learned from this situation, was that I need to respect MY opinions. I need to know the facts behind which I base my opinion on, and be able to articulate those is a respectful and calm manner. I am an intelligent woman, and I need to use that intelligence to become a more informed citizen.
And to the person on the receiving end of my Irish temper last night…..I say two things. Firstly….I am sorry for my behavior. It was not me finest moment. And secondly, THANK YOU. Thank you for making me feel safe enough to not run screaming from the building, and for helping me to become more aware of things that I now know I need to change. There is always a chance to learn in every situation, and last night was a very teachable moment. You did well, and I appreciate the opportunity to learn from it. We may never see eye to eye on the different issues, but it was a blessing to finally see that it is ok to not agree on everything. And as long as there is respect, conversations about politics do NOT have to scare the shite out of me.
So from this Memorial Day on, I will pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, and embrace our politics, so that I can be part of the conversation. Because let’s face it, it’s one VERY important conversation. And it’s what so many people died for, in order for me to have the right to be part of this democratic process.