This morning in Israel, I found myself crying during breakfast. Something has left me feeling very unsettled, and I just can’t go on unless I try to make sense of it all.
You see, for the past three years I’ve been traveling around the world and retelling my experiences on this blog.
I’ve written posts about all the beautiful places I’ve seen. I’ve written posts about all the warm and friendly people I’ve met.
I’ve traveled to countries where Americans have been fearful of going, because of what they hear on the news. I’ve tried to banish those unjustified stereotypes through my positive experiences.
I had hoped to inspire my fellow Americans back home to see that people from all over the world are more alike than different at the end of the day. I had hoped to show that we are ALL people. We are ALL good at heart, and we ALL deserve recognition and respect.
It’s because of this travel goal that I’m left feeling unsettled today.
After reading the news about what’s happening currently in America, about all the violence, oppression, and hate perpetuating hate, the country I am most fearful of revisiting, is the one that I once called home.
After three years abroad, I can honestly say that I’ve felt more leery walking down the streets of Milwaukee, Wisconsin than I’ve ever felt in the other places that I’ve been.
Exclusivity and segregation seem to permeate my homeland- a place that is ironically called a “melting pot.”
And its in these dark times, that I find myself wanting to find a silver lining, or at least a rainbow after this storm of hate.
You see, as a white female, regardless of my race or religion, sex or social class, my parents never made me feel that I was any less or more deserving than the next person.
I can’t understand this entitlement that people feel. I was raised to be humble and grateful of all the things that I was given.
For this reason, I’m grateful to be an American. To have grown up in a country where people are allowed to speak freely and voice their opinions.
But at the same time, I was also raised by parents that taught me to think before I speak.
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
All people bleed. All people cry. All people fear. All people are people, after all.
People around the world may look, think, and act differently, but they still deserve the same respect and acceptance.
My parents always told me, “It takes all kinds to make the world go ’round.”
If people were all the same, life would be boring and uninspiring.
It’s because of this individuality that the world is such a beautiful place.
So this is a thank you to my parents. Thank you for teaching me these values. Thank you for teaching me to see the good in everyone.
Thank you for helping me to become confident enough to hop on a plane by myself, and travel all around this wonderful world.
Now I know it’s easy to hate one another, and to feed off the negativity of others.
But just like hate, I know that love and happiness are also contagious. ❤
Every day brings new choices, and today I choose to wipe away my tears, and smile. 🙂
I choose to stay positive and hopeful that the goodness of humanity will prevail.
I want to send these positive vibes around this world, and right now, I’ll start with all of you.
Writing this post became very therapeutic for me, and left me better than when I started. Here’s to hoping this also gives you some happiness, and leaves you feeling inspired to spread the love as well. Take care and until next time.