As I browsed through the bookstore today, I saw an older couple walking in and I immediately felt self-conscious. I looked at the books I was holding and tried to hide them. Not that they were anything to be embarrassed of (A copy of Paine’s Common Sense, Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning, and Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance), but over the past 18 months there has been a cloud looming. A cloud of division and misunderstanding. As I hid my books along the other side of me, I realized how stupid I was. Not only had I judged them for thinking that they could be potentially judging me, I tried to hide books out of fear! I was thinking that when they passed by they would say under their breath “Look, another liberal girl trying to cause trouble” I think that way because that is the picture that has been painted. I have seen too many examples of anger and misunderstandings from both sides when there shouldn’t be sides at all. I do believe that for the majority, there is common ground and a sense of understanding, but the ones who only see black and white are the ones who’s voices are heard the loudest. I have always had a natural curiosity about what people think about me, but I have never let it cause me fear. Now, there is so much fear among people who are different. There is fear from any community that isn’t predominately that of white males. I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t want to think that I may have to defend myself and who I am or my beliefs just because someone else doesn’t like them.
I don’t want to, but I will.
I come from the school of thought of understanding. Even if I don’t understand all the rudimentary ideals, I can still appreciate the diversity. That what makes life so bountiful and beautiful! But here we are on the eve before the inauguration of our 45th president and I’m scared. Just because I am scared doesn’t mean I’m just going to put my head in the sand for 4 years, but it does show for some concern. Will he be able to do all the horrible things that he said he was going to do? Are the members of his cabinet (I.e. Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson, etc)able to do to jobs that they have been appointed to do? Will he actually bring jobs back? Only time will tell, but so far I feel justified in my concern. With all that being said, I will continue to love and try to make this world a better and more beautiful place. I pray that I will be able to share my ideas openly and continue to have faith in our government. I pray that new and different ideals can still be shared. And most of all, I pray that my concerns will not come to fruition.