I've been playing the "quiet mouse" children's game these last few days. I haven't felt like much of a songbird, didn't have anything to tweet and its not my style to chirp out a strong position on my blog. The roar of the election ate up my news feed and I knew my small voice would have been lost in the noise.
And besides, I was afraid.
The thing is, every single being on this earth has a voice and some are much louder than others. Words are flung across computer screens and news outlets, get tangled in the world wide web and create knots of frustration. Most importantly - as I try in earnest to explain to my fourteen year old son - the words spoken or written are there forever. We now have a word tug of war, forever locked in a searchable engine, trapped to be shared and analyzed, critiqued and held against us for the rest of our life. And to slightly alter a quote from Morticia Addams, the world wide web is chaos for the fly but normalcy for the spider machine.
So, I wanted out for a few days. I needed time to center my feelings and find my wholeness again....whatever that is. For me, it's a lot of time at home. I didn't always consider myself an introvert, but as the calendar flips every year, I find being at home one of the finest places in the world. I say NO to TV, NO to news and NO to scrolling through social media. There's way too much stimulus in those activities. I become an ostrich sticking it's head in the proverbial sand. I spend more time saying YES to board games with the kids, YES to long walks with the husband and YES to cooking meals that take longer to prepare than spaghetti....and there's a whole lot of YES to quiet.
Lots and lots of YES to quiet.
And in my quiet, I started asking questions. Which, by the way, is okay. People need permission to question what has always been. I promise, it's okay. We're human and asking questions and pondering options is the beauty of innovation and communication. People seem to fear it and it made me consider, *can you mostly believe in something and it still count?* Here's what I mean: I think people who claim Republican on their ballot status are *mostly* Republican. Same for the *mostly* Democrats. Same for the *mostly* Christians. Can you *mostly* believe in something and it still count? If you don't agree with everything your party, organization, or group represents then does it void your affiliation?
My Christianity can be questioned. I'm still a Christian. Jesus is my savior, but I promise you, I can ask questions and God can take it. His word can handle it. His word has been debated for years and it still stands. I believe down deep in my soul that God is okay with you asking questions. You might believe that questioning is blasphemy and that's fine for you to believe it. God is not afraid of our differences so we shouldn't be either. He made all of us so none of this is surprising to Him.
I'm a Christian, Republican, married woman and mother of two. I send my kids to a private Christian school. My job outside the home is in accounting. Based on that description, what image forms in your head? Conservative? Idealistic? Maybe, judgmental?
Guess what? I'm one of the least judgmental people you'll meet. I love ALL people. "I don't care who you are or where you're from..." (Backstreet Boys song lyric seemed appropriate here.) I question just about everything and I don't believe anything just because it's meant to scare me. There are parts of Christianity I'm still learning and God knows I'm not perfect, but He is patient. I'm married and a woman but the roles in our household are far from traditional but our love is fierce and loyal. My Republican views go off rails on some issues and the private Christian school limits learning and exploration of certain topics that my husband and I encourage at home. I bet all of this differs from the category selection you chose for me.
So I waited to post. Because I recognized that I have about as much control over you and what you post as I do limiting the amount of toothpaste that comes out of the tube. Some days I push too much, some days not enough, but every day I use what's given.
Here's my plan: (It's my plan and its open to changes that best fit you. Make it your own.)
1. I'm going to smile. Bunches and bunches of smiles. I plan on plastering this cynical world with smiles because they are contagious. Smiles take less effort than a frown and usually disarms hostility. Smiles also bluff fear. When I'm afraid, I'm gonna' smile.
2. I'm going to be kind. We can disagree on a lot of things and still be kind. It's possible and in times like this - necessary. Kindness helps us remember that if we peel away our skin, tug away at the muscles and stand there in front of nothing but bones, we are all the same. Our differences fade away and we see that under it all we are the same. And we all need love.
3. I'm going to refuse to hate. I might disagree with you but I'm going live by positive example and not hate. If my kids see me as compassionate they will be more likely to become compassionate. And more compassion is one of my greatest mom gifts to the world. It's easy to hate and sometimes tough to be gentle. This is true no matter what your religion. I want to be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.
4. I'm going to do good deeds. I'm going to be a good deed doer. I'm going to volunteer and donate to causes I believe in because those organizations are good deed doers, too. They need our help. Right now more than ever. Your favorite organization needs you too. The only people we need to get even with are the ones who have helped us along the way.
So no more quiet mouse....
TAG you're IT!!
Let's play nice in this beautiful playground of life.
Seeds to Share:
Raise your words, not your voice, it's rain that grows flowers not thunder - Rumi