Not into politics?

This is one of those “hot button topics” I am guessing.

And yes, I have thought long and hard before I started this post. This “topic” on my Lists of Topics has many notes under it which anything “touchy” does because I feel I am putting my viewpoint out there to be bashed or agreed with.

Either way, here we go!

I thought about how often someone asks you “who are you voting for?” or “what do you think about what that judge says? Do you agree?”. Where I live there are some pretty heavy political fights happening that involve the lives of other human beings. So lately the questions have been flying.

I literally Hate those kinds of questions.

I used to work in a hair salon and for a long time in non-profit. We had 2 topics we Never discussed at both places, religion and politics.

From my employer’s standpoint, we were in business to do hair, we could listen and comment, if we chose, about everything from gardening to who was doing who doing who, the parties, people, animals, the weather but once someone brought up religion or politics we were to say, “We do not talk about that here. We are not allowed to as problems have arisen in the past. It is our policy. If there is a problem please take it up with the management.” I was fine with that and also much younger.

At the non-profit it was easier to understand. We were there to help the community and put an end to a disease that affected everyone regarding their political beliefs or lack thereof. So no need to upset folk because money was needed to fund programs and research to stop this disease. Easy peasy I could always talk my way around it onto other truly important topics. I was growing and becoming more aware of the world around me. I had definite opinions and not all of them right by a long shot, but again I do not like arguments so I was happy with following the “policy” of not discussing either topics.

When I was in my early 20’s I was somewhat of a rebel and would say, “I’m not political. I understand you feel my vote counts, I don’t nor am I in the mood to debate you on topics I may or may not know about because I really do not care about your politics.”

It was the almost truth. I did care but was hesitant to speak out about how I felt because I do not like confrontations and I felt sure wasn’t educated enough to get into a debate about it with some jerk who only wanted a chance to relive those high school debating team days or who was a toad trying to make themselves feel better by pointing out one’s lack of knowledge on certain topics.

As I grew older my voice got a bit louder. I didn’t claim a party. In fact to this day, I will tell you all of one group being in complete control scares the crap out of me.

I think we need balance.

Personally sometimes I think we need to doing a “closet cleaning” and make them all take lie detector tests and go from there. It would do a lot of the cleaning out!

The more I pay attention to politics the weirder the world seems.

I mean like the Aliens vs Predators type of way too.

No one is who you think they really are.

I do understand there are Good humans out. They really, truly do care about others and the planet. They are doing the best they can with a lot of broken parts and in some cases, arcane laws

I mean seriously, there is a town in Georgia, and probably other states too, that states you can’t walk you cow down the center of the street after 6:00 PM. Really?! This madness is still on the books as a “crime.”

See, cleaning out the closet isn’t such a bad idea! I mean what if I had decided to borrow a cow and walk up the middle of the street in this town? Would I be arrested before I was mowed down by a car or eighteen wheeler?! Because that particular area is pretty populated these days and I don’t know too many folks that need to take their cows to town by foot any longer! Where would they take my cow?!

But am I political? I would have to say yes.

Like with religion, I know I am not a zealot. Nor do I mean to offend but some folks can get a bit rabid and over zealous regarding their politics and religion. I do not begrudge you of that. However, like anything else, you get into my personal space with your hollering and preaching (over the top and yes, it does happen) and I tend to drop out on you. Or at you depending on the circumstance.

I was raised in the south. Politics and religion are a way of life or so it seemed. I remember being about 6 or 7 and having a bumper sticker that was a Jimmy Carter campaign slogan on it on my big wheel. I thought it was cool I had a sticker for my big wheel. Little did I know that was free advertising for the democratic party!

Later on I had “grown up” and moved out to California. My parents came to visit me and said the following evening they were having dinner with “George Bush, Jr and 200 of his ‘closest’ friends”. I was mortified. Had anyone heard? I mean California, Berkeley, California where I lived was full of liberals. They were everywhere and just like back home with some that got a bit to “on their party’s wagon” they scared me just a little. Not that I agreed fully with Either side but the “oh please no confrontations” gene kicked in so I moved the conversation to another topic swiftly and gracelessly while my parents and 4 other dinner companions looked at me oddly. Nothing new there!

For the record my dad did meet George and apparently got in trouble with the Secret Service because they were discussing hunting and the environment of hunters, boats and goodness knows what else. Topics my dad loved! And, gee wasn’t it funny, how the President of the United States and him were discussing guns, boats and how to work on the environment and apparently the President wasn’t supposed to be spending more than a few minutes with each of those “close friends” and had to be asked by the SS repeatedly to “Please move it along Sir.” Still a great story and proves to me that people are people, even if they have a different “label”.

I was living in Berkeley, California on September 11, 2001.

I was having a dream that I was in a plane and a man who spoke a different language than I did started screaming and I knew the plane had been hi-jacked. I was terrified.

I then woke to my roommate saying, “You have to get up and come see the news. This is horrible.”

So I am freaked out because of my dream and because, well, it’s never safe to wake me up if I think I am sleeping in (that changed a bit with a child) because I got kind of mean-ish. It could be said by friends I was evil being woke early and unexpectedly! Plus my roommates never bothered me unless there was something Big going on. This was definitely “Big”.

We all stared at the TV mutely watching the first plane on the side of the World Trade Center.

I immediately got on the phone calling back east. I got in touch with my close girlfriend when the second plane crashed. We were both throwing up on the phone as we realized simultaneously what was happening.

It took me a while but I was able to make sure all my family and friends I could think of were safe. I knew a few had trips scheduled to D.C. and New York so I was, like a large majority of the country, completely crazed to know if “my people” were ok while I lived through the saddest day I had every witnessed.

I spoke with my grandparents. My grandfather was a Merchant Marine in WW2 and they said that 9/11 was worse than the attack on Pearl Harbor. My grandmother saying over and over, “Those poor people. Their loved one could see them jumping.” I, nor will millions of others, forget that day, nor will I forget what she said.

Because of the media we had instant coverage. The horror. The grief. The rage.

In the days that followed I saw and felt so many emotions. Sadness. Grief. Loss. Scared. Anger.

But I also watched a country come together as a nation to care for those who lost their lives and those who gave their time, money and even their lives to help our nation rebuild.

As I left the West Coast a month and a half later I thought about what had happened. Going west to east during that time was truly and experience I will never forget. The closer into the heartland of America I saw more flags that I had the entire move west. Though we took different routes when going west and coming back to the south, the feeling was completely different.

America had changed. Or maybe I had. Maybe we both had.

I didn’t feel like I could pretend things didn’t matter to me anymore.

I couldn’t “ignore” things said in front of me that degraded another human, no matter what they looked like, where they were from or what their beliefs were.

I can assure you I didn’t move back and become some kind of political activist.

I did however realize that I enjoyed taking care of others and those who couldn’t help themselves over being a corporate drone again. I also had to take a corporate job after the birth of my boy as children aren’t cheap!

But I continue to this day to volunteer and help out others as I can. Not because I want some “gold star” but because for me it is the right thing to do.

What I could tolerate years ago there are now some things I have no patience for now. My way of thinking has changed. Having a child changed me.

To be young and so “set” in your views & ideals is now amusing to me.

You say you will NEVER change this or that about yourself.

Maybe you don’t. But you do grow. And with growing can come knowledge and understanding of a different perspective. Maybe you care more now that you did. Maybe you aren’t as selfish or maybe you are more so now after your youthful experiences. Maybe you changed.

For me, I think that I have always been political, I just now am better with how I articulate my feelings and actually research my topics.

I have always been drawn to my community and the world around me.

I feel I am able to contribute to a conversation even if I say, “I am not currently up to speed on that subject but I promise I will get back to you.”  I don’t feel dumb saying it because it is true. I may never see that person again but I will learn about what they were referring to and figure out how I feel or don’t feel about it.

So if the toad wants to go a round with me now, I am ready!

Have a fabulously graceless evening!

My apologies on the tardiness of this post but the stomach plague hit me today courtesy of my little Typhoid Mary. Here’s hoping tomorrow is better!

 

 

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