Monday, July 7, 2014

Us and Them.

Not sure who pissed in everyone's cheerios today but I noticed a distinct nastiness on the intertubes today. Several people, who I usually adore reading and hearing from, seem to have woken up on the holier-than-thou side of the bed this morning. That's a shame.

Not a darn thing to do with this. I just really dig this tree near my house.

When we start playing this Us versus Them game, judging people who we only think we know, everyone loses. Everyone loses. Republican versus Democrat, Citizen versus Illegal, Gay versus Straight, Black versus White, Haves versus Have Nots, Us versus Them.

Party tip, cupcakes. We are all Us. And we are all Them. If we spent less time being Judgey McJudgeys, and more time simply being, I daresay the world might be a better place. I am not saying we need to stop advocating for what we believe in, or we need to stop thinking. We just need to quit being assholes about it.

Be a Republican. Be a compassionate conservative. Take a page from my friend, Ronda, and advocate passionately for your conservative beliefs. Do it like she does, from a place of love. Advocate for a kinder gentler world where every life gets a chance. Be that Republican, not the one who blames Obama for the overgrowth of cedar and the rising price of yarn.

Be a Democrat. Hug trees and advocate for green energy. Ride your bike to work, but don't begrudge the working mom driving her gas guzzling SUV. Plaster your car with Flying Spaghetti Monster stickers, but don't denigrate the family in their Sunday church clothes. Just keep planting trees and move on.

Nothing to do with my soapbox, just a friend's chicken. Isn't she awesome?

Be gay. Be straight. Be rich. Be poor. Be vegan or be a carnivore. Cover your body in tattoos or not. Be whatever you are, and spend time being that. Define yourself with what you are, not with what you perceive others are not.

It may be trite and overused, but remember that everyone is fighting a hard battle. So before you judge that woman with a SNAP card buying bakery goods, remember that you have no idea what her situation is. The average person getting food benefits gets four bucks a day to dine on, so the stories of lobster and champagne are one in a million. SNAP mama might be treating her kiddos to a once a month splurge at the beginning of the month because she can. She might be too fucking tired from working two minimum wage jobs to bake, but she might just splurge this once. The last thing she needs is you standing in line behind her, judging away. So, take that energy and use it somewhere else. Look at volunteering at a faith based charity. Investigate, an empowering organization that helps get people to choose well.  Donate to, and actually try the recipes to see how 'they' live.

I could go on and on, but just please knock off this 'us versus them' thing. We are all Us. We are all Them. It's a big messy world, and we are all doing the best we can. Most of the time. Take your five minutes of Judgey McJudging, and see what you can do to be better than that. Put yourself in 'their' shoes. Buy a coffee for the guy behind you. Make the crying baby in front of you at the checkout  laugh, instead of judging his young mama. Volunteer to teach English to kids at your elementary school, who don't speak it at home- look in their faces and get to know them as people, not just a statistic. Work at a soup kitchen, and thank every homeless veteran for their service. Hug a surly teenager. Make eye contact with that person you would normally see as a "Them", and get to know them for five minutes. And thank your God or Goddess or Flying Spaghetti Monster or whatever you need to thank, that you are where you are and that you have the ability to be the light.

Flying Spaghetti Monster. This guy really happened.

If you cannot do this, well. Go back to bed. Sleep it off. And try to be less judgey and more light tomorrow. We won't judge you, we will just see that you are doing the best you can.

Peace and love and light and new beginnings, buttercups. XO

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