Today I give thanks… I’m grateful to live in a free nation, one that was born out of a desperate need to flee religious persecution, and continues to be a place of refuge for people from ever different background and life experience.
I may not know your whole story, or even the best parts. I may not have the same spiritual beliefs, moral viewpoint, skin color, personal preferences, but I believe my God called me to love. And so I walk through my life everyday, in the most imperfect of ways, and I work towards love. I have no right to judge you, your circumstances or choices. Fear, hatred, discrimination, judgement – these things drive away those that need love most, and though I’ve made plenty of mistakes in the past – I hope going forward my own words ring true each day as I walk through this life.
This nation is one that allows us to voice our opinions, to speak up and stand up for what we believe, however too many times over these last months I’ve heard people take that to sickening extremes. How can we possibly remain the free and equal nation our forefathers sought to create if we regress to a point of ignorance, discrimination, and flat out hatred? I believe my God gave me an example of how to be love to those that need it, and I’m sad to see so many who claim similar beliefs act in complete opposition to the example that has been given.
Each day we wake up and make choices in our own lives, and its up to us to line those choices up with what we believe in our hearts. I didn’t choose to be born in the US, but I’m so glad that I was. No one is perfect, and certainly we will never agree fully on every subject… But know this – I’ve chosen my home, and I’m incredibly grateful for the freedoms that have been granted to us here. I believe in democracy for what I understand it to be, and the democracy I chose to live in served us yesterday with a path for our future, this future may not be the one you agree with, or I agree with – and all our lives will be affected because of it. But each day you wake up and make a choice – do you believe in the model this nation was built on and continues to exist on, or not? If not, maybe it’s time to get out there and take advantage of the opportunities we’ve been afforded in this great nation and work to change things. That is the great power of this nation, we all have a voice and its up to us how we want to use it.
There are many paths to the end – and I choose love. I am humbled by this place I call home. I am moved by the choices people make each day in living out their freedom. Stand up for what you believe in, please, but don’t do so in ignorance, discrimination, or hatred. Hatred doesn’t encourage change, it ruins it. It is with love that we win hearts and work towards a brighter future.