I wrote this post after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, and I am bringing it back to life because…well, here we are again. Another day in America, and another mass shooting. EIGHTEEN to date so far in 2018, and we are only half way through February. Something has to give… or we are going to keep burying innocent people and worse, children.
I’ve been debating whether or not I should publish this post ever since I wrote it, several weeks ago. Here’s the thing… I started this blog as a personal outlet and place to look back on and reflect upon in the future, and this is a very real part of our lives right now; so I have chosen yet again to step out of my comfort zone and post it. I ask that whoever reads this understands that these are my personal views, opinions, and experiences so please be respectful and refrain from starting any sort of political or ethical debate. The fact that I even have to justify my views and write a “disclaimer” is all the more reason I have chosen to go ahead and post this. That being said here it goes…
I sat on my porch last night when I got home from work trying to gather my thoughts, thinking what in the actual f**k is wrong with our country? How have we become this openly hatred and violent? I’ve never been one to post anything about politics or highly controversial topics, because lets face it, we have enough of that already. But I think I’ve hit my breaking point. Our so-called American Dream is turning into an American horror show. We are in trouble.
I grew up going to concerts and enjoying them without a care in the world, one of the biggest and most memorable ironically being Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, with one of my oldest friends. Some of my most favorite adolescent memories were at concerts. And unfortunately, that fun-loving, care-free experience has been forever jaded. Music has always been my happy place. Whether it was blasting through the speakers of my ’99 VW Jetta, cruising down the road with the sunroof open, or at one of the many concerts I was able to enjoy. It’s where I soul searched, overcame heartache, coped, and sought personal growth. And to think that Mila may not get to enjoy that same free-spirited experience someday without a potential shoot out looming in her head, breaks my heart.
In recent years, I have found myself paranoid, forming an escape plan, and watching my back at things as simple as going to the movies, or even the Fourth of July parade for God’s sake. But now at school, too? C’mon! This is supposed to be our second home growing up, a place we can feel safe and thrive. Think about how much of the early years in your life is spent in school. Now imagine the anxiety and fear kids growing up today will feel day in and day out while at school, wondering if there will be a shoot out that day. It breaks my heart. The things we have enjoyed our entire lives, the things that defined our childhoods, we can no longer do with peace of mind. Because if we are anywhere in numbers, we are no longer safe. .
America, our world is a scary place right now. We need to make a big change or it’s only going to get worse. I may not live on to see it all but my kids will, and I want them to know I used my voice, stood up for what I believed in, and tried to bring peace. Just a few weeks ago while at work, I experienced a coworker being openly racist and derogatory during a political conversation, and I just stood there and pretended I wasn’t hearing what was coming out of her mouth. I stood in silence. Which I am ashamed of. I don’t think I took the time to fully process it, until today, with everything else going on in our country rambling through my head. I generally never talk about politics at work, on social media, or with really anyone for that matter, and have always adopted the “to each his own” outlook. However… since when are we as a nation THIS openly hateful and arrogant?! Maybe I have just been naive and blind to the extent of it. But the fact that someone who full well knows my family is biracial, thinks it’s okay to speak that way in front of me, or in public at all for that matter, is UNACCEPTABLE. I tell myself maybe she was raised that way, maybe it’s a generational difference. The fact of the matter is – It. Doesn’t. Matter. After six-plus years of working with her, I’m just hearing it now. Why? Because our country is now in a place where it is supporting this disgraceful behavior, and it needs to STOP!
I prayed for Mila extra hard tonight. I prayed for her future. I prayed for the world as she will know it. I prayed that she won’t experience hatred and racism because of the color of her family’s skin. I prayed that she won’t be afraid to go to school. I prayed with every fiber of my being that she will know a peaceful, loving, and accepting world. And I prayed for our country.
The truth is, we are living in a very dark and heartbreaking reality right now. And if we as Americans don’t vow for change and peace NOW, our worlds as we know them are only going to get darker. This most recent gun violence tragedy in our country has shown us yet again that tomorrow is not promised. So I ask that we do better. Use your voice, and stand up for what is right. We need to spread love and kindness, not hate. We need to stop dividing and come together. We are in this life together. Now let’s make the most it.