"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
- John Watson
Some days, this world disappoints me on an epic level.
I was raised to believe that I was no better than anyone else. I was raised to be compassionate and fair. I was raised to try to do the right thing... even if it wasn't easy or popular.
Unfortunately, lately, I'm finding it harder and harder to believe in human kind. Sometimes, it seems as if empathy is nowhere to be found.
Several months ago, it started with some folks who didn't believe in birth control. And because they didn't believe in it, they wanted it to become harder to get and pay for. And, of course, it should never be covered by insurance.
A little later, the abortion issues came back into public view. We don't believe in abortions under any circumstances. Not at all. Even if you're raped. But since we're unable to completely outlaw them at the moment, we're going to make you suffer if you choose one. Even if your baby has died in your belly or is horribly deformed, we're going to make you jump through hoops. There must be a waiting period. You must have an ultrasound. And during that ultrasound, a technician must tell you all about the fetus's body parts... or lack of them. And if you're getting an abortion because you already have too many mouths to feed and no way to pay for that baby? We want you to further suffer with that decision.
And then, it came around to the discussion of general healthcare. Affordability. Individual insurance mandates. Obamacare. We don't want to pay for anyone's healthcare. Period. Unhealthy? No insurance? Tough shit.
After that, it seemed that the conversation shifted to public programs to help those who are generally less fortunate. "I don't want to pay to let lazy people sit on their asses while I work hard." It doesn't matter how hard you're working to look for a job in an absolutely terrible economy. If you're not working, it's all your own fault. And we don't want to give you a red cent. And if you ARE working, let's say a minimum wage job, we don't want to help you either. Because if you just worked harder, you wouldn't need any help.
Most recently, the focus has changed to Chick-fil-A, gay rights, and the fact that a fairly large portion of our population still can't wrap their brains around homosexuality. Homosexuality is a danger to our society. And giving gay people the right to marry? Absolutely not. Because marrying someone of the same sex is going to devalue all marriage. Of course.
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a liberal. One look at my Facebook timeline will tell you exactly where I stand on just about all of the above issues... as well as a few that I didn't mention.
Thing is, I'm tired. I'm tired of people not loving each other. I'm tired of fighting. I'm tired of the judgment and the blame and the hurt. I'm tired of a nation that claims to be predominantly Christian, but rarely follows even the most basic principles of loving your neighbor or leaving the judgment to God... which are pretty darn good ideas even if you throw the subject of religion completely out the window. The whole thing, quite honestly, has me completely baffled.
I seriously doubt that my views will change those of anyone else. I can talk about it until my throat is hoarse and my heart is broken. But, nothing will really change.
But, I do have a challenge. I challenge you to go out into this world that often seems full of anger and hate and frustration and put a tiny bit more love into it. Smile at a stranger. Hold open a door. Drop a $5 bill on purpose so that someone might find it. And if you really want to shake your life to its core, consider for just a moment that everyone is fighting a hard battle. No one is perfect. Bad shit sometimes happens. And maybe finding a tiny bit more compassion, kindess and tolerance in your heart could truly change your life. Yes. It truly could.