I Speak

I am not the most eloquent, nor the most informed. I have barely found the stomach to follow the political news over the past few years- it’s too ugly to face. So I look away. But I have started to look back up and what do I see? I see a community of people- individuals who all contribute together to the function of this country, of this world- divided, hurt, angry, frustrated with each other and unwilling to actually listen to each other. To listen to the core message.

If we actually listened- empathized- what’s the worst thing that could happen? Is it really our opinions (and how loudly and vehemently we voice them) that defines us? Could we be evaluated by our own willingness to find compromise? Why do we have to be right? What does that even mean, to be right?

I do no not believe that there is is a way to please all equally. We disagree. We want others to live by our values and we find it infuriating when they don’t…. we- all of us- do this.

It will never end.

As long as people have been living in communities, people have behaved in this way.

Could it be different? What would that look like? What would that feel like? Who, ultimately, decides which values to uphold?

What kind of life makes our hearts happy?

Why are we so afraid? What do we fear?

I am afraid that if I speak my thoughts, I will offend somebody; that I will be criticized for not being well-enough informed; that I will lose business; that I will make myself too vulnerable. But I’m writing this anyway because my heart aches.

Witnessing the daily ugliness that we all create and endure is becoming too great a burden to bear. I do not care who is right and who is wrong- I don’t even know if we are quipped to determine such things. I just want to move in a direction where we can find common ground and truly respect each others’ differences. I recognize that my ideal world is not the same as yours, at least maybe not on the surface. But I do believe that we all want to be heard and to be evaluated on the basis of our character and our merits.

I have grown weary of carrying the heavy baggage of the past with me from day to day. Aren’t we all? I want us to be free of it! To be lifted and lightened and to take the lessons we’ve learned from history and let them guide us into a future that we all can recognize as home.

Andreya Nightingale