We have reached a period in time, where our ability to educate ourselves is only limited by our willingness and desire to learn, to access information, to expose ourselves to ideas and concepts beyond those we have been raised with. We look for solutions to problems that are quick fixes, rather than approaching the layered needs of many issues our society and our communities face. We have nurtured a pariah mentality, one that circles a prey and attacks relentlessly, and then are surprised when our children or our neighbors, maybe even ourselves act in a way which harms another verbally and/or physically. Common sense and human decency seems to have left the building at times.

This past week has been historic for many reasons. We have been challenged to accept changes in our definitions of marriages, and I for one have been thrilled to see that our country does not want second class citizens of one another. I have witnessed the fall out of those who have struggled with this change, and read vicious words from those who claim a higher purpose and belief as their validation for school yard behavior. I have watched some win with grace and others win with a response that kind of makes you smack your forehead and go..."really, not the right time for gloating." I have watched reactions over flags become mixed with reflections on history. I have heard people of all shades of human race argue for and against a symbol. I have realized that reactions are very individual and conversations should include calmer discussions rather than grandstanding statements.

I have wondered if we realize how much freedom has given us in being able to create and scream, yell and climb, hug and pray, salute and stand while monuments are taken down. I have watched faces come out of the dark in declaring their non religious existence. I have smiled that they can do so without being shot or burned on a stake, or simply excommunicated from the community. I have listened to  a former mass experience being a minority for a period of time. I have felt empathy for their discomfort.

This fourth of July, as you celebrate and enjoy your freedom, take a moment and consider the roles we all play in creating a better world and planet for ourselves and one another. If you make a mess, clean it up, if you hurt someone's feelings, apologize. If you feel compelled to use your keyboard to hurt another, stop. If someone is alone, maybe say hello, if they are hungry, offer food. We are in this together, whatever this is. We each our a keeper to one another and ourselves, so this weekend, be safe, be aware, and be kind to one another.

We have reached a period in time, where our ability to educate ourselves is only limited by our willingness and desire to learn, to access information, to expose ourselves to ideas and concepts beyond those we have been raised with. We look for solutions to problems that are quick fixes, rather than approaching the layered needs of many issues our society and our communities face. We have nurtured a pariah mentality, one that circles a prey and attacks relentlessly, and then are surprised when our children or our neighbors, maybe even ourselves act in a way which harms another verbally and/or physically. Common sense and human decency seems to have left the building at times. This past week has been historic for many reasons. We have been challenged to accept changes in our definitions of marriages, and I for one have been thrilled to see that our country does not want second class citizens of one another. I have witnessed the fall out of those who have struggled with this change, and read vicious words from those who claim a higher purpose and belief as their validation for school yard behavior. I have watched some win with grace and others win with a response that kind of makes you smack your forehead and go..."really, not the right time for gloating." I have watched reactions over flags become mixed with reflections on history. I have heard people of all shades of human race argue for and against a symbol. I have realized that reactions are very individual and conversations should include calmer discussions rather than grandstanding statements. I have wondered if we realize how much freedom has given us in being able to create and scream, yell and climb, hug and pray, salute and stand while monuments are taken down. I have watched faces come out of the dark in declaring their non religious existence. I have smiled that they can do so without being shot or burned on a stake, or simply excommunicated from the community. I have listened to  a former mass experience being a minority for a period of time. I have felt empathy for their discomfort. This fourth of July, as you celebrate and enjoy your freedom, take a moment and consider the roles we all play in creating a better world and planet for ourselves and one another. If you make a mess, clean it up, if you hurt someone's feelings, apologize. If you feel compelled to use your keyboard to hurt another, stop. If someone is alone, maybe say hello, if they are hungry, offer food. We are in this together, whatever this is. We each our a keeper to one another and ourselves, so this weekend, be safe, be aware, and be kind to one another.