I don't know how to tuck my children in tonight and tell them that everything is ok. I can't seem to swallow that lump in my throat that gets larger and larger every time I read the news.
I don't know how to feel safe anymore. Shootings in schools, movie theaters, music festivals. At work, the hair salon, while you're being pulled over. You can't tell the good guys from the bad guys anymore. You don't know who to trust.
I don't know how to explain to my little girls that their bodies will be looked at, used, and not considered their own business. I don't know how to prepare them for how men will look at them and treat them. Not a single year goes by that I don't have at least one tearful friend tell me how she was raped. I am 37. I have cried so many tears for my friends an for myself. I cannot fathom crying those tears for my own daughters and somewhere secretly knowing that the day will come and I will pray they physically and emotionally can survive.
I don't know how to go to church when the congregation says one thing and does another. When hypocrisy and double standards are paired with insecurities and rein supreme. Because men and women are not equal there. Leadership is a trait that only men possess and you are not truly welcome, part of the group, and your offers of help are not good enough if you don't fit the mold.
I don't know how to smile today when my heart is so heavy with the realization of what this country has become. I can see the greed of men rise above the greater good of humanity. People can be bought and sold while the sheep are sacrificed and nothing is sacred anymore. It makes me feel like this world is dying. Certainly this country is. If there is any moral high ground left, then it does not reside with the people running this country. We have a president who screams at the people of PR to stop listening to fake news because he has no concept that they have no electricity or clean water. He is more concerned with making himself look good than acting as the public servant he was elected as.
I don't know how to help. I have friends in PR that I have no heard from. I am watching suffering all over this country as people reach out to loved ones who were in Vegas. The political mudslinging has begun to happen and somewhere when humanity should be joining together, there are people STILL clutching their guns. Would a mother hesitate to sacrifice anything to get their baby back who was pictured laying in a pool of blood in Las Vegas? Would you sacrifice your child to save your gun? Or just mine?
I don't know how to convince people that you are supposed to care about others. That God created each life on this earth and you are supposed to care for each other as your brother. As. Your. Brother. You are not allowed to tell me I should die in a gutter because I don't have health insurance. You cannot choose to not vaccinate your child and have it give my newborn measles so it dies. You do not get to pack a peanut butter sandwich for your child if it will kill another. You may not. Are you understanding me? I don't give a flying fuck about your guns anymore. I care about the 40 children who were murdered in 2012 in SH. I care about the 60 people who died for no reason in Vegas.
I don't know how to be sympathetic to the population of people who think the revolution is coming and they have to stock pile ammo to protect their homes from "them". Who is it that is coming for you exactly? The Others. Those who are not like you. The enemy. Those of different color, beliefs, and background? Do you want to know what I think? It's you that's the problem. You are the ones who are scaring everyone else. Any decent human being knows that each person is a human being like them who has a brain and a heart that YES, may have different beliefs, but is not inherently evil or dangerous by virtue of them being different.
I don't know how to thank the good ones. You know who I am talking about. The men and women who help when they don't have to. The ones who sacrifice themselves to save others. The every day heroes in this country. They are the glimmer of hope in this world. The ones who pull me forward when I want to run and hide. They are what the strength and backbone of this country truly are. And through all of the corruption of the government, they prove that there are still come good in this world.
I don't know how to raise my children in this world. I feel like I've been struggling with this for months. I'm ashamed of this country and what we've become. I try so hard to teach my children right from wrong. I hear their questions about people's actions in the world and I fight back tears as I tell them that it doesn't matter what anyone else does. You have to do the right thing. The right answer is always the right answer, it doesn't matter what anyone else says or does. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks of what you do or say if you are doing what is best for the greater good and being unselfish. The truth is always the truth and the right answer is always the right answer. There are no loopholes. There are no justifications. The world can show you shades of gray but you can see black and white. You can understand the difference between right and wrong irrespective of what others do and say.
I don't know how to stop crying, even as I'm writing this. There are too many days that I feel like I'm standing alone. It's hard to say what you are really thinking when you know people will not agree. It's hard to say no, this is the right thing to do when people don't want to hear it. When they will try to argue with you. They tell you to be quiet, that it's not the right time, that they don't want to hear it. They don't want to be wrong. You don't get to cheer for restrictions being lifted on firearms, be upset that people over 11,000 people have been murdered in 2017, then tell me that they don't deserve health care to be treated from the massacres that you've enabled. YOU DON'T GET TO DO THAT.
I don't know how to make you understand that this is not political. I am not a Republican and I am not a Democrat. I have a distaste for both parties and i'm not sorry for saying that the perversion runs deep in both. Extremes of any kind are dangerous, and this friends is an age of extremism. There needs to be a middle ground founded on common sense. People deserve access to health care and education. Women should have equal rights to men and be able to make decisions about their own bodies. No child should ever go without lunch at school. Contraceptives should be readily available and we must all be education on sex and STDs. Abortion should be reserved for instances of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is in danger or the fetus is not longer viable. Not because you fucking decided you don't want another baby or you had a goddam oops. Our soldiers deserve higher pay that includes mental health care. Our veterans should be treated as heroes, not people who star in movies or play sports. Every person who works 40 hours a week deserves to be able to pay their rent. Every fucking person in this country should pay a flat tax to the federal government with NO EXCEPTIONS. You live here. Support your country and your country will support you. Maybe if 40% of american paid federal tax like they should then we could afford universal health care. And maybe if we didn't have companies buying off the people running this country, then we would have some of these common sense laws in place. But we don't.
I don't know how to fix that either. Do you? Because I need help. I need to sleep at night. I need to see the sun in the morning. And I need to give my kids hope that things will be ok again one day.