From Millenial to Millenial

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I know I’m late to the “voice your opinion” party, but I’m hoping some form of verbal processing will maybe help loosen the knot in my chest.

There has been much to be disheartened by in the past 24 hours. The night was bound to be sad before it even started.

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Up until today I’ve been pretty proud to be counted among the millennial generation. Proud to be a part of an intelligent, informed generation that would voice the things no one would years ago, that would seek justice and equality, and that has honestly shaken things up a bit.  But today I have been incredibly disappointed in my peers. The same peers who have held high the #BlackLivesMatter movement, fought for rights on behalf of others, accepted diversity in every demographic, and been passionate about doing work that matters. But today I don’t feel that same pride. In fact, I feel a bit ashamed.

To be honest, our response to this election has been terrible. I feel like I’ve been watching my 4 year old whine when he doesn’t get his way, except it’s way more horrifying when it’s grown adults. Mourning is one thing, but lashing out is another, and I have seen the viciousness that we possess, and I feel an almost physical burden brought on by the exposure of just how similar we are to the generations that sat by watching all the atrocities history has to offer. The lines may look a little blurrier now, but they are there all the same. For all of our progressivism, we’re no better than those who have gone before us. We say we want more for our country. We try to pretend we’re inclusive, but we’re not really interested in unity…unless, of course, you agree with me. We’re more like those we hate than we want to admit.

I’d hoped we’d be more resilient, more all of the things we claim to be and less of the things we claim to be against. We are as divisive and as bigoted as the other side, whoever they are, and it’s worse because we’re louder. Redirecting hatred is still hatred.

I am trying so stinkin’ hard day-in and day-out to try to teach my two boys to be kind people. Considerate, conscientious, loving people that treat others with respect. It is painful to think of a future where common decency and compassion have no place.

I feel sad and nervous about what could happen in the next 4 years with Trump as our President. I would have felt sad and nervous if Hillary had won. I wish we hadn’t put ourselves in this position. But right now, what breaks my heart more is the hatred we are spewing. The hopelessness and despair. The talk that all of the strides we’ve made as a society are now rendered useless. Are we that frail? That weak?

I’m sure my fleeting optimism and hopefulness will return soon. But today, I feel sad as I witness, over and over again, the vitriol fly every which way with no regard for anyone. The lunacy of embodying the very thing we hate.

I’m not even ready to offer any solutions. For now, I will just pray that the weight of our hypocrisy and inconsistency will sink in. That we would sit right down in the repulsiveness of our self-righteousness and see what poison it is. Because what would be even more disheartening, is if we looked all this in it’s ugly face, and just didn’t care. If we saw ourselves for who we really are, and didn’t resolve to be different.

“No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.” – Randy Pausch

There Is Hope

Photo credit: Loving Earth / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: Loving Earth / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

As I sit here, I’m at a loss for words. I feel like I’ve been trying to process all the events/articles/debates of the past few weeks at lightning speed and my brain.just.can’t. I feel confused and…weird, because I can’t sort my mind out. Like some thought needs to rise to the top of it all and I just need to grab THAT. Maybe I just need to give it more time.

I’ve felt so many things over the past couple weeks. Thankfulness that the Lord is so evident and that He is capable of using evil for good. Thankfulness that the people of this state have completely seized the opportunity to add their voice and do what they can to remove a tangible symbol of pain and oppression from our statehouse grounds.

I’ve been saddened by the negativity and lack of understanding of others. The ones asking what the flag has to do with the crime that was committed at Emmanuel AME. The answer is not much. The ones asking how in the world this will fix anything. The answer is it won’t, and the people who want to get rid of it don’t care. It’s not about how the Confederate flag played a role in all this, it’s about loving people. I’ve been saddened by the lack of grace shown to those crying heritage and history. I get that it’s hard to deal with not being able to make people see what you see, but telling them they’re ignorant in some form or another certainly isn’t going to help them come around.

I’ve been confused by people comparing what happened in Charleston to what happened in Ferguson and Baltimore. Dylann Roof was a 21 year old kid. Those riots in MO and MD were about law enforcement officers continually abusing their authority to oppress people of color. I’m not in any way justifying the responses of the people in those cities, but I think denying the difference and claiming that we’re better because we’re above all that rioting nonsense is just dividing us further.  It proves that we have no idea what those people have been dealing with their whole lives, and I don’t know that saying “they’re idiots and we’re not” brings any unity.

I don’t quite know what to make of all the same-sex marriage talk yet. I think I’m supposed to feel something…but really, did anyone not see that one coming? When the Supreme Court announced months ago they were ruling on it once and for all, there was kind of only one possible outcome. I guess I accepted this one a while back…so I don’t have much energy to enter that conversation right now. I actually have 14 articles open on my phone right now that I’ve intended to read, but I just can’t make myself interested in what everyone is saying about this one issue right now.

In light of everything going on with ISIS, the TPP, burning churches, and mandated vaccination in California, I’m stressed. I think that’s the best way to describe what I’ve been feeling for over a week now. Overwhelmed and stressed. A little fearful. I have little to say at the moment regarding all of these things, just that I’m stressed about the implications of it all. But amidst changes in our country, in security and freedoms, I am incredibly grateful for my salvation. I am thankful that the Lord is Lord over all. I am thankful that this world is not my home, that my hope is not in my government, my country, myself, that my hope is in the One who has overcome the world.

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33