It is not our differences that divide us
Not going to lie, I cannot believe I haven't posted in a few MONTHS. My brain cannot wrap itself around the fact that so much time has passed. Hindsight suggests that it probably wasn't the best idea to launch a blog with a newborn, but I did and I'm still alive and have things to say, so here we go....
I've returned to this space because of a new and hopeful energy I've experienced since participating in the Nashville Women's March on Washington. Participating in the march was the first time I was brave enough to publicly take a stand for something I’m passionate about well aware that my involvement would not be looked upon as admirable by many people that I know. Up to this point, I've never had the guts to fully speak my mind, especially on social media, for fear of upsetting others or starting an unwanted argument. The hopeful energy I'm feeling is due to my personal victory of being brave enough to show up and stand up for something, even though it may be unpopular or controversial.
Many criticized the event and many others minimized the march to being about one issue (reproductive rights), but for me it meant so so much more. I marched for unity, to stand with my marginalized brothers and sisters to say I’m one of you and I’m with you. I marched because love is love is love. I marched against hate. I marched to say I’m awake and paying attention. I marched because I’m alive and I’m here. I marched because I’m important and so is everyone else.
I received some criticism and I'm honestly very thankful I did because it allowed me to articulate why my involvement was so important to me (from my Facebook post explaining why I participated): "Many people marched for many different reasons and the beautiful and loving fact is that I didn't have to agree with all of them 100% to be able to stand up and say that every human is seen, important, valued and loved. I would've still marched even if I didn't agree with anything they stood for because love brings unity and hate brings division. We will get nowhere if we attack and alienate those who think differently from us."
This post is not meant to be about the march (entirely) but about standing up for what is important to you and allowing others the space to do the same, even if what they're standing for conflicts with your views. Diversity of thought and beliefs should be treasured and respected. Where do you think we'd be today if none of our ancestors thought differently from one another? Where will we go if we all think the same? What will happen if we're too fearful to speak our mind..too fearful because every time we do we’re attacked and hated for being different? I personally do not want to find out the answer to any of those questions.
So, I encourage you to speak up and have conversations and research and learn and take action. I implore you to have an opinion and respect others’ right to have an opinion of their own. Or, you could even take it a step further and befriend someone whose opinion you don't agree with to gain a better understanding of their beliefs, perspective and background. Above all, I beg you to choose love and respect because we're all worthy enough to receive it. Hate divides and love unites.
"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences."
— Audre Lorde