Just my heart…just my view.
I know politics has divided so many of us Americans from loved ones and friends. I have experienced it within my own family and friend groups. Last year, in my own selfishness, I became so caught up in the politics competition. Where I competed to be right and to be heard and I did it with intent and purpose. I thought I needed to ring the bell. Sound the alarms. The competition to have others hear my opinions and political views became infuriating and suffocating. I found myself in divisive conversations that I did not want to be in with strangers, friends and family members. The unfollow my friends selection I used quiet often or I just began skipping posts. It effected me because I cherish all the relationships in my life. I want nothing more than peace amongst us. But somehow, I found I kept finding the trigger points in my conversations or posts that led me to engage in unwanted heated discussions of politics. Needless to say, it only brought up arguments and division in my relationships.
I finally had to ask myself what good was this doing for me or for others? What good was I doing for my relationship and witness in Christ? I was convicted of…
Phil 2:14-16, Scripture says: Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life….
I decided I needed to make a change. Stop engaging the political news and views. I needed to set boundaries for myself and not involve myself in conversations of political natures. I tried to avoid entering into political posts. I tell you I haven’t always succeeded to the temptation of those triggers but I try. I soon had to realize that our first amendment right allowed us all to think, believe and respond or to not respond freely to others beliefs. I’m not saying we shouldn’t speak up or share our views but doing it with an argumentative competitive spirit doesn’t work. Freedom of speech is our right. It’s how we do it that matters most. We don’t have the right to try and make others believe their opinions are wrong. We have the right to agree or disagree and to listen or not listen. That is our American Democracy right to be free thinkers and decision makers over our own lives. It’s not my role or responsibility to try to influence others to think like me. To teach grown adults by law right from wrong. First of all, that teaching groundwork has long been laid before becoming an adult. Thank goodness! That is an impossible role to fill. I realize I don’t have to engage in pouring gasoline on the fires of political discussions. It is ok if we have different opinions and worldviews. That is why God gave us free will in the first place. To make our own choices and not be robots responding to others ideas and views or how others think or choose what is right for them to believe. Everything we do and have experienced in our lifetimes have become our plumb lines guiding us to our moral compass and foundational views. We are raised and grow up with morals and standards that teach us right from wrong. We learn it from parents, teachers, family members and friends, from laws, our faith and governments. Everything is used to shape us into being the best adult person we can be. We take everything we know to be true and all our life experiences teach us to form our own system of opinions and values and beliefs. We begin to learn all of this from a very young age. We learn this until 18 years of age, when we are told we have become adults. We leave home believing we have the tools necessary to go be an adult in this world. We have the right to the freedom of being our own person. We can now go find a career choice, go vote, go join the military and so on. But, quickly we learn that we don’t have all the tools or all the answers necessary for our life. We find we aren’t as prepared as we thought. But that’s ok. We each have our own life journey to travel. If we are wise, we will still see our need for advice and our need for instructions that they never cease. We find as people, we are still learning and always growing into who we are as a person each and every day. And we recognize we’re all different as people with different colors, shapes and sizes with different minds, thoughts and opinions. We recognize we are individuals created with the ability to make our own choices and decisions with our own ideas and beliefs. With our own goals and dreams. Truly we start to see our own humanity. If we seek to understand our humanity we can begin to see we all want the same things for ourselves, our families and our country. We all want a happy, peaceful, prosperous, healthy and awesome life and world to live in for our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren and all generations to come. We see we may all want the same things but we all have different views on how best to achieve them. What I have learned is it’s okay…It’s okay to be of different colors, shapes and opinions. We don’t have to agree on anything at all yet, we can still respect the individual humanity in each of us. We don’t have to agree, however, for unity’s sake we do need to seek peace and respect the humanity of one another. Let’s respect the free thinking of others and be proud that we all may have different ideas. Let us celebrate the fact it’s not our job to make us think like one another or try and believe like everyone else. Let’s listen more to each other’s hearts with a tone of love and empathy. Let’s look for the common ground of what we want for our country and visit there. Let’s share and listen to the experiences that have shaped us. Let’s set boundaries to divisiveness. Let’s talk or debate less about which party or which candidate is right or wrong for political offices. Let’s talk more of the hope we share.Have we lost the unity and respect of listening and showing love to others by putting others above our own selves? I know I had. I find it’s too easy to get caught up in competing to be heard to be right and getting into the pride trap of not wanting to be wrong. Few of us truly know those in office and how they are behind closed doors yet we fight and argue as if we do. Only God knows the hearts of mankind. It’s not my job, duty or responsibility to tell others who, what, where, when or how they should think, act or feel. Not my job to be the moral police.It is my duty to be a good neighbor and love and respect all who are different and who may disagree with my political viewpoints. It is my job to keep peace as much as it is possible for me to do so. Therefore, I want to take the first step with myself, the only person “I” can control as to what “I” think, and do and what “I” believe. My job with what “I” wish to become as a facilitator to peace and to unite and reconcile our country. The first step begins with me, Cindy Towsley, a proud American and responsible registered Voter who stands with respect for all parties with their right to think. The right to your own freedom and democracy. Your right for peace and the pursuit of happiness and your right for liberty to all. -—-this my friends is Cindy Towsley and I approve this message. And it’s perfectly okay with me if you don’t agree with it. I still respect you completely.
“Tell yourself that it’s OK that everyone has their own opinions, even if they’re completely different than your own. Remind yourself that you don’t have to change anyone’s minds, it’s not your job.”- DEBORAH DULEY, PSYCHOTHERAPIST AND FOUNDER OF EMPOWERED CONNECTIONS IN MARYLAND