Get To It

Dear Millennials:

When I see you, Monday through Friday, September through May, I think a lot of things about you. Keep in mind, this isn’t judging you. This is wondering things about you. I wonder about the girl in the Beatles t-shirt. Should she “really” be an engineering major, or is her heart is music and words? About the boy majoring in business, I wonder if he should really be building things because the sketches I see in the margins of his notebook are exquisite.

Recently, I’ve read a great number of social media posts, from both people I like and people I don’t, about your “whining” over the presidential election. And for what it’s worth, I’d like to tell you something from someone that sees you, helps to educate you, interacts with you, and would like to think that she understands you.

You’re not whining.

When others look at your protests and see “babies that need a ‘safe space’”, I see compassionate young people that are doing what they can to be political without being violent. Your world isn’t safe, my world isn’t safe, the world isn’t safe, so to the people telling you that, yeah, they might be onto something. But the question to ask then is “why shouldn’t it be?” Why can’t it be?

When others look at your dismay and tell you to “get over it” ask them if anything worth fighting for has ever been accomplished by just “getting over it?” That whole women voting thing? Apparently, those ladies were supposed to just “get over it.” We see how that turned out, and regardless of whether or not people “like” it, a female presidential candidate was on the ticket this year. So, “get over it…”

When I look at the generation in front of me, I see a generation of people with compassionate hearts and a rallying cry for social justice and equality.

Are they perfect? No. Not by a long shot.

However, how many generations have claimed that the next ones to come up were “lazy” or had no work ethic? This is the same record on a new player.

These same people that tell the millennials to “get over it” are the same ones that bitch and say that “kids today don’t stand for anything.” Yet, when they do, they’re told it’s wrong, they’re stupid, and to get over it.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too Gen X’ers, Baby Boomers, and Silent Generation folks. You can’t tell these young people to believe in something and then attempt to silence them when they do. If they’re nonviolent what are they doing except showing the very values that YOU INSTILLED IN THEM?

In closing, dear Millennials, don’t get over it or get used to it, or any of the other “to its” that you’re told, except this one: get to it.

If you want to affect change, get to it.

It you want to make a more inclusive world: get to it.

If you want equality: get to it.

Words are power, and if you use yours, I promise, you have more power than you think. You have it all, and I for one, will help you use it.

Sincerely Yours,

A Not So Secret Admirer

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The Note Left In Your Lunchbox

Dear Person Whose Body I Inhabit,

I know you are torn. I know you are wondering why people have acted, and are acting, the way that they are. I know you are wondering why friends, neighbors, and family members are busily tearing each other down instead of lifting each other up. And here’s the thing, so am I.

When did I get left behind? I have been with you since birth and I helped you make your first friend. I was there when you helped your friend after falling down on the playground. I was there when your best friend got dumped (he was a jerk anyway). And I was there when you received bad news, and I’m what makes you celebrate the good in others.

So when, I ask, did you leave me behind? When did you stop listening to me?

I, my friend, am compassion.

And I feel lost.

This is what compassion would say to us if it could speak. Compassion: it is what drives us, or better, it is what should drive us. I know, as I sit here in my safe, quiet space, that many people have lost theirs.

It’s no surprise to me, or anyone else, that there has been incredible backbiting and resentment from this election. And it started a year and a half ago! And what for? Why?

Does it somehow make people feel better about themselves to hurt their friends, neighbors, and family members?

I wonder.

While I believe that is important to discuss our differences, I find a remarkable difference between discourse and disrespect.

We can’t change minds with name calling. I think we’ve seen plenty of name calling to last us for quite some time.

Compassion is what is left. It is the thing that we can all do. It’s FREE. It doesn’t raise our taxes, inconvenience us, or create more work for us in any way. If anything, being compassionate is less work than displaying negativity and hatred.

And I “get it.” I really do. I know that we feel varying levels of anxiety and discomfort, but perpetuation of that is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Instead of verbally assaulting the person that doesn’t agree with you, try to understand the perspective.

Instead of sitting safely behind a computer or phone screen and running over those with differing opinions, talk to those people. Understand them.

We are all people. And at the end of the day, we are what make anything great. If you want something great, you must first be something great.

If you want a world with acceptance, love, and respect, you must be willing to not only show acceptance, but mean it. Act out of love and respect. Even for the simple reason that the person, or people, you disagree with is another human being.  If you want a world with equality and balance, you must be willing to fight for those things without fire, without hate, and without destruction in your mind and heart.

So be what you want.

And what I want, is compassion.

And listen hear please.