As the world knows, yesterday was our presidential election, and our President shall remain President for the next four years. I’m not here to talk politics though—the only people who know how I voted are me, my parents who saw my sample ballot, and Jesus. I will say though, that I voted for Alan Jackson. I felt it was my duty as a country music lover to do so. Don’t worry though, that’s not the only reason I voted for him. I made sure he was worthy, too. I value my right to vote, and I won’t ever abuse it or take advantage of it.
This election brought to light many things, and one thing that continuously makes me frown is the constant bullying. I talk to kids and my peers about bullying and abuse all the time. "Love, Justine" is the result of those causes. So you can see how it is frustrating for me to walk into seventh and eighth grade classes to discuss with them about talking to each other with respect, when the leaders of our nation cannot restrain themselves from playground bullying.
It’s a beautiful thing that we have in this country, to have the right to think freely, speak freely, and express freely. However, too many people take these rights a little too far, and all that comes across is reckless, classless ignorance.
On my Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds, and within the campaigns, there has been a lot of trash talk and picking at irrelevant issues. Here’s what I have to say about this election: Republicans freed the slaves. And enough with Obama’s birth certificate—he’s already held one term, so there’s no point in arguing it, because it’s not like you can go back and undo everything that’s been done in the last four years. All the trash talk everyone is doing is highly unproductive. All the trash talking that anyone ever does is nothing more than a headache, and a waste of time and energy. All the trash talking sets a bad example for our children.
How do we teach our children to play fair, when we’re all taking cheap shots at one another? I’ll admit, sometimes people say things that are really funny; but there’s a difference between funny and hateful, and funny and ignorant—know the difference. There's also a difference between standing up for what you believe in, and just bullying the other sides. No one’s perfect, and we won’t always say the right things in the right way—heaven knows I’ve let regrettable words fall off my tongue—but we can at least try harder not to reverse time and become complete ignoramites. Have faith in each other.
Words are powerful, and we have to remember not to take advantage of our free use of them so as to make them meaningless, because your words will still mean something to someone whether you think it does or not. Our differences don’t divide us—we divide us.
I say this a lot, and I’ll keep saying it because I think it’s important. I’ve been blessed to travel all over the world, and one of the most important lessons I’ve learned from traveling, and getting to know people from all different walks of life, is that as different as we all are, we’re all quite similar. Everyone has something to bring to the table, as long as they are willing and/or allowed to put it on the table. As soon as we can embrace our differences and remember to be human beings to one another, we can be a stronger community—nationally and globally.
I hope that when all is said and done, we remember that we’re one nation, and we must grow as one nation. And someone put the freakin’ Pledge of Allegiance back in schools!
BIG LOVE & HUGS