Thursday, March 17, 2016

Kid's Yoga, M&M's and the politics of respect.

WARNING:  This post is a teensy bit political.  It contains my opinion on respecting each other and to quote Donald Trump, how to “Make America Great Again.”  P.S. It has nothing to do with building walls.

So how can a post about kid’s yoga and M&M’s be political?  In today’s world, anything can be twisted into something political, like the very word itself.  According to, “political” is an adjective with six different definitions.  Each definition has a unifying commonality of or pertaining to the word “government”.  Over the years, the meaning of the word “political” has shape shifted.  Rather than being by the people, for the people, and of the people, it has slithered into darkness, something to be reviled—lumping politicians into a stereotype of dishonesty and corruption.

Ask ten different kids what they believe the best M&M candy color is and you are certain to receive several different responses:  red, yellow, blue, brown—light or dark—it doesn’t matter.  (Keep in mind that regardless of color, they all taste the same.)  Then when they are feeling quite confident and happy with their answer, tell them they are all wrong.  Their color of choice is not the best color, because your favorite color is green and therefore, green is the best color.  Then take it a step further and tell them that because they don’t believe the same way as you, you can no longer be friends.  In fact, you are now enemies.  Watch their innocent faces contort into confusion and sadness.

See what I did there?  I used a sweet little anecdote about M&M’s, a classic American candy, to illustrate how silly it is to hate someone for simply having a different belief.  Yes…it is that simple.  Regardless if the topic is religion, political party affiliation, gun control, health care, or M&M’s, spewing hatred toward someone because they believe differently is SILLY—a term even a child understands.

I believe it is imperative people be allowed to voice their opinions, even when I don’t share their view, but I also believe it is imperative to conduct oneself in a respectful and civilized manner, and therefore I recently and for the first time, “unfriended” a FB friend for the following (unedited) post:  

“Ok I have been quiet long enough. I can no longer sit here and listen to this garbage about Syria and these refugees. Listen to the crap about ISIS. Here is the real deal. We no longer can trust any of them...not one. That sounds harsh but I don't care. If they come here again and pull an attack I promise you WE THE PEOPLE will hunt them down ourselves. Our worthless, peace of shit, coward, terrorist president is doing nothing but we will. To all you liberal pieces of shit I have an idea.... Go over there with all your huggy bullshit and live among these animals for awhile see if changes your views. It's so easy to sit on your couch and give love and crap to these animals you know nothing about. The days of these liberal views and this so called President are numbered. Than maybe we can get back to being the proud and powerful nation we once were. And before all you ass hat liberal democrats respond on here to this don't bother. Everyone is sick of your bullshit and no ones listening. I and millions of others fought on foreign dirt for this country and by God we will do it again on this dirt. So in closing.....STAND UP AMERICANS TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY AND PURGE THIS SICKNESS KNOWN AS LIBERAL DEMOCRATS!!!! GOD BLESS THE USA🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸”

I did not take “unfriending” this person lightly.  We were baptized in the same church, studied from the same Catechism, and took communion together throughout our young adulthood. 

Am I a hypocrite for clicking the “unfriend” button?  After all, I had just stated that I believe people are entitled to their opinions and that just because someone does not share my world view does not mean they should be my enemy.  In eighth grade Civics class we learned about Freedom of Speech and the other 9 amendments to the Constitution that make up the Bill of Rights.  We were also taught that those rights we as American citizens share, do not extend to infinity, but only to the point where they begin to impede on our neighbors rights.  I felt violated by this post.  It contained so much hate and venom that I believed if I had remained “friends” with the author, I would be submissively guilty of condoning the words within.  

So how do we make America great again?  Like Whitney Houston, sang, “The children are our future.  Teach them well and let them lead the way.”  Teach them to love and respect themselves and their peers, regardless of skin color, religious affiliation or M&M color preference.  And for goodness sakes, teach them to not refer to the person who holds the highest office in the land as a “worthless, piece of shit, coward, terrorist,”  because that’s not going to get it done.

I am not a person of power.  I do not have a large audience or celebrity status.  I am a wife and a mother, a sister and a daughter, a friend, a neighbor and a yoga instructor.  I am limited in my ability to defend against those that believe it is okay to spread hatred and bigotry, so I will continue to slowly spread my message of love and goodwill toward one another…one breath at a time.

And if you’d like to share some M&M’s, I’ll even let you have the best color…GREEN!

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