We must have the courage to stand up for our beliefs. But we must also have the courage to listen to the beliefs of others. Communication is essential. Otherwise, we will always be divided.
It’s scary to put yourself out there, to be vocal about about your beliefs and convictions. Especially if they might not line up with the beliefs of people you love… so I am trying to have a little courage.
I feel incredibly proud of the people I know that stood up for women’s rights at the Women’s March on Washington yesterday. I thought my heart might burst with how proud I felt seeing people gather all over the world to raise their voices together. It was completely peaceful, totally within our rights, and, from what I hear, full of love.
And then I started to hear some dissent. And it crushed me a little bit… I tried to read and listen to why others opposed this march. What I kept running into was a lack of understanding. People literally not knowing what this march was all about, but opposing it nonetheless. So if you don’t know, here’s why we march…
Women’s March on Washington:
- Feminism. Women’s rights are human rights.
- Ending violence and gender and racial inequality in the criminal justice system.
- Reproductive rights, quality healthcare services, accurate sex education, safe and legal birth control and abortions.
- LGTBQIA rights are human rights.
- Worker’s Rights that work for women too. Equal pay, access to affordable childcare, sick days, healthcare, paid family leave, and healthy work environments.
- Civil Rights, man! Voting rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, protections for all citizens regardless of race, gender, age or disability.
- Disability Rights as Deaf women and women with disabilities should be fully included in American life, economy, and culture.
- Immigrant rights for the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
- Environmental Justice to protect our world because we have the right to clean water, clean air, and access to public lands.
So, there you have it. Why we march. Can you read it and not see something that speaks to you? Even if you can’t get behind all of it… Can you honestly read through that list and disagree with ALL of it? If so… I honestly don’t understand. But I suppose that might also explain why we have ended up with President that I also don’t understand. We are not on the same page, we are not understanding each other. But it seems to me that we aren’t even trying.
So, here I am… trying. I am trying to be courageous enough to share my beliefs with you. I hope you will have courage, dear heart, and share with me too. I will not shame you for speaking your mind or for having beliefs that are different than mine. I will listen to you with an open heart, and hope you will offer me the same courtesy. Maybe then we can build a bridge to reach each other. Maybe then we can move forward with courage and with love into a world we are all proud to call home.