January 7, 2021 – Violence doesn’t solve anything.

I must first begin by saying how disappointed I am in the events that took place at our nation’s capital yesterday. I don’t like to talk politics. It’s one of those touchy subjects that often divide people. It’s the same reason I avoid discussing religion. But I have to tell you, to see our president encouraging people to act like hoodlums, inciting violence and trying to disrupt democratic processes? It’s so incredibly disheartening. We have had a democracy in place that has served us well, and for one person to create so much chaos in such a short amount of time? It gives me pause. In recent years, there seem to be so many more people coming out of the woodwork that are espousing hatred, violence and intolerance to deal with things or other people they don’t necessarily agree with. When are we as humans ever going to learn? Violence is not the solution.

And it isn’t just that that concerns me. Have you ever heard of the term ‘history repeating itself’? There’s a reason it’s a common term, because IT KEEPS HAPPENING! Why do we continue to do things that we know will not end well? Two events in history that have long fascinated me are the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. The Holocaust happened because of the influence of one charismatic person, one incredibly evil individual that convinced millions upon millions of people to support the near eradication of Jews. He encouraged people to ‘use any and all means’ to achieve this twisted agenda. And most did. Most did because if they showed any dissent, they themselves would be punished. At the time, that usually meant being tortured or executed on the spot. I don’t know, does any of this sound familiar? Maybe not the ‘torturing and executing part’, but I see some similarities.

I’ve seen and heard a lot of things generated by our current president that appear and sound very similar to things a German leader (whose name I shall not name) not-so-long-ago was famous for. And when I say ‘not so long ago’, I’m talking about World War II. That is not very long ago when you think about how old our planet is. It’s still so recent and fresh that there are still people alive that experienced this tragic chapter in our past. This is really and truly frightening! I’m not sure what happens to people, but for individuals to start behaving like raving lunatics at the behest of one individual? I have to scratch my head. What has happened to common sense? What has happened to ‘love for our fellow man’? Looting and rioting and fighting one another in the streets? It has to stop! When we commit these acts, we are only hurting ourselves.

We aren’t a bunch of kids in middle school that have no control over our impulses and resort to physical fights to settle our differences. We cannot be. Our brains have advanced well beyond that, where reason and logic should have a greater role in our actions. Using threats and intimidation and violence to coerce people into submission? It is not the way. We are better than that! How do I know this? I grew up in a family that used those tactics to ‘survive’, if you want to call it that. Disagreements were rarely settled through a discussion, fists usually were involved. If two people didn’t see ‘eye to eye’, one or both of them would end up with a fat lip and a black eye or both after taking matters ‘outside’. But what did it really resolve? Nothing.

I remember a time when I went out to a restaurant with two of my older sisters (one was 17ish and the other was 24ish). I was around 9 years old. It was the late 70s. We were sitting in a booth and then a group of about 3 black women walked in and settled in a booth ‘kitty-corner’ to us. At some point, words were exchanged. I don’t know who started it or even what was said, but eventually all parties moved outside and a huge fight ensued. I stood back and watched in horror as I saw my sisters battling it out with these other women. Complete strangers. Punches were thrown, hair was ripped out, there was kicking and screaming. It was horrible. I was so taken aback by this behavior. It seemed so foreign. To go from eating lunch to a full-on assault? Over what? And why? Because someone said something ‘ignorant’? And more than likely, it was my own sister (Diabolical Debbie) that spurred it on. Always picking fights.

That’s how several of my family members were and in many ways, still are. Things no longer ‘get physical’ but the verbal attacks, the intimidation, the manipulation, the threats? They’re all still alive and well. And what purpose has it served? What it has done for certain is distance me from those individuals. I don’t want any part of that. We are all grown ups now, isn’t it time to start acting like grown ups? When I step back, the state of my family resembles the state of the country, but on a much smaller scale. Like a microcosm. I see one side working ‘against’ the other. Each feels as strongly about their views as the other, but different tactics are used. One side uses love and logic while the other uses fear and threats. What I find disheartening is that the members within my own family cannot seem to accept their differences and move on. If my family cannot find a way to peace, what hope does our country have?

What can we do? We can allow our elected leaders to do their jobs and stop trying to put a wrench in the works by storming buildings and acting like a bunch of middle-schoolers with underdeveloped brains. We had a vote in November, the people have spoken. Enough already with the ‘conspiracy theories’ and ‘fraud’ claims. Let us move forward and become a united country again. It is time to put our differences aside and look towards a brighter future. So much darkness has consumed the country in the last few years. Let us replace fear with hope, hatred with understanding, anger with love, division with unity, and violence with peace. Isn’t that what we all really want? Personally, I don’t want to live in a world of chaos. We have worked too hard and come too far. America is a great country, at least it used to be. I don’t recognize it right now, but I still have hope that things can turn around.

Does anything I have to say make a difference? Probably not. I am one person out of billions. However, if enough of us stand together, I believe we can end all of this ‘nonsense’. When people feed into fear, fear grows. We have to stop feeding into the fear. We have to trust the processes of our democracy that was crafted deliberately and with care. People put a great deal of thought into our Constitution before it was ratified. Let us trust the leaders that we have elected to uphold it. What we mustn’t do? Listen to the bizarre rhetoric of an individual that doesn’t understand the words ‘graceful exit’. You don’t agree with me? Hey! Not a problem! That’s the beauty of the country we live in. Free speech. We have so many freedoms that so many other countries don’t. And that’s why I’m proud to be an American.

Am I proud at this very moment? Not really. I see my fellow Americans running around and acting like a bunch of animals. This isn’t one of America’s proudest moments by far. But I have hope that people will come to their senses soon and peace will be restored. Hope is the opposite of fear and hope is what we must feed if we ever want our lives to return to ‘normal’ again. Thank you so much for stopping by. For the folks that are ‘following’ me, I am grateful for you and the continued interest you have in reading about the variety of things I talk about each day. I’m no poet laureate or anyone with significant credentials to speak of but I do enjoy the opportunity to share things about my life and family or to just make simple random observations. If all goes well and I haven’t run you off, I trust you will return tomorrow as will I.

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