Hope. . . Respect. . . Decency . . . Civility. . . Compassion. . .
What happens when those values get dumped on the trash heap to score political points? We know what happens because we see it play out every single day in our nation’s capitol.
Raw, naked hatred of those have a different point of view.
Lie after lie.
The ugliness of winning at all costs.
Manipulation of democracy at the expense of everyone else.
No pretense of working together for the common good.
And that was all before most of us had our first cup of coffee.
It’s way past time we stop looking to our elected officials to encourage hope over hatred. It’s not going to happen.
Promote an “us versus them” mentality to gin up fears and resentments between groups. Check.
Divide the country for their own narrow political benefit. Check.
Ignore laws and norms if it gets you what you want. Check.
Viciously attack anyone who dares to question or criticize. Check.
Civility? Compassion? Simple respect? Not going to happen!
They’re too busy vilifying each other. Too focused on the “base” — whatever that means today. Too intent on playing a win-lose game instead of working together on behalf of all Americans. It’s way past time to keep waiting for those in power to do the right thing. It’s not going to happen.
Instead of shrugging our collective shoulders and saying, “There’s nothing I can do about it,” what if we all decided to that decency and respect for each other mattered?
That’s where change begins. That’s where hope lives.
What we tolerate . . .What we choose to ignore. . .What we shrug off. .
Those things matter a great deal.
They matter just as much as the actions we take.
They clearly reveal who we are. And what kind of a country we hope to become.
What we need right now is a pivot in the way we think. . .
And speak . . .
And do. . . Especially DO!
It’s not that hard, People!
Look, surely we can remember how to treat each other with respect. We do recall how to have a conversation instead of a shouting match, don’t we? We know that tweeting insults and using social media to spew hate-filled diatribes is infantile. You know it. I know it. So just stop it!
How about if we behave like responsible adults, even if those at the top won’t?
Imagine how different things could be if we decided to stop attacking each other over every little thing. Instead of defaulting immediately to fear, entitlement, or resentment how about if we actually listened to a different perspective. You know, opened the walls in our thinking just a crack. Emotional baggage, prejudice, hatred — it all plays right into our “leaders” hands. Why do we keep going there?
Yeah, it’s not that hard.
Here’s a thought. . .
Go out of your way to be a little kinder today.
Share generously, even if it’s just a smile for a stranger.
Practice respect and decency toward everyone. . .
No matter what color skin they’re wearing.
Or where they’re from.
Who they love.
What their religion is.
Lend a helping hand to someone in need without expecting anything in return.
Just do something nice without making a big deal out of it.
Because that’s where hope lives.
What do you hope for?
Your community — what do you want it to be like?
What matters to you?
Stop wishing someone else would take care of it and do something about it yourself.
That’s where change begins.
With one person deciding ENOUGH!
Then another steps up and joins in. And another. And another.
It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. That’s right. You and me. Our friends and neighbors. Religious leaders. Business people. Educators. Young people and retired folks with gray hair. All of us . . .
Because that’s how we build the communities that we need.
That’s how we create a better country for all of us.
Because it’s the right thing to do.
Let’s get off our bahoodas and do what we already know how to do.
Because that’s where hope lives.
10,000 Butterflies is dedicated to planting hope and growing change. Every one of us has the power to create positive change — in our own lives and in the lives of others. Together we can solve problems and build stronger communities. 10,000 Butterflies is a place to connect with others making good things happen, to find resources, to be inspired and to celebrate what connects us instead of what divides us.
Please join us.
Bonnie Pond is the founder of the 10,000 Butterflies Project and author of The Power of Three: How to be Happy and Get What You Want in Life (Without Doing Anything Illegal, Immoral, or Unethical) and Unlock Your Creativity: 30 Days to a More Creative YOU!