Thursday, November 10, 2016

How To Be Awesome: A reminder

When my brother and I were kids, my mom said to us "I may not always love everything you do, but I always love you." That is how I feel about America. Nation, I do not love all your actions, historically and recently. I think you need to take a time out, go to your room and think about what you've done. But I love you, Americans. All of you. This nation is a melting pot. Founded on the ideals of equality, of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. FOR ALL. Let us not forget that. We are stronger together. We are the UNITED States of America. We are HUMANS. Let us be humane. 

I understand that some of you are struggling, that some of you feel unheard, marginalized, unwelcome, that some of you are angry, fed up. Some of you don't feel all that great. So not great that you voted for a man who promised to make you great again. But I'm sorry to say, America, that you were lied to. The man used the magician's greatest trick: misdirection. He shouted about Muslims and Mexicans and Nasty Women, trying to make them the scapegoats for your struggles. But here's some truth for you, America. Your economic struggles are not caused by immigrants, they're caused by a vast income inequality where the wealth is concentrated in the hands of the 1%. Why do you think the man whose millions were handed to him by his father, the man who used his charity's money to purchase portraits of himself is going to help you? He's not going to help you, but he's going to try to distract and divide you so that you don't realize he's not going to help you until it's too late. 

He's not going to make you great. Greatness is not achieved by hate speech or mean tweets. America is greatest when we are inclusive rather than exclusive, when we tear down walls instead of building them. You are already great, Americans. Look at you. You are a beautiful rainbow of existence, people of all different races, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages. You've fought so many wars against fascism and totalitarian regimes abroad. Don't let that authoritarianism happen here. Americans, you have done great things. The greatest of those things are the ones that work to provide equal opportunities and options and basic civil rights, basic HUMAN rights, to ALL. But there is more work to do, people. Don't settle for being great, be AWESOME. 

Maybe we could all use a reminder, so here it is:

How To Be Awesome: A reminder

  • Think. Really think about what it's like to live someone else's reality. You can never really know what it's like to be someone else, but you can realize that everyone has struggles and that other people's experiences in the world are different from yours, sometimes unfairly so.
  • Work. Work hard on yourself. Change starts with you. Work together to make things better. Work through your disagreements respectfully and compassionately. 
  • Speak up. Use your words and actions to show that we will not tolerate racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia or prejudice.
  • Do not give in to fear. Fear divides, paralyzes and hurts us. Be bold. Be brave. Be curious about life and about others. Ask questions. Read. Think critically. Discuss. Learn. Grow.  
  • This should go without saying, but history has shown us that it does not. Do not do any of the following things. They are NOT OK. EVER. EVER. EVER. Do NOT commit sexual assault. Do NOT brag about committing sexual assault. Do NOT draw a swastika on anything ever. Do NOT invalidate other people's struggles by saying things like "All lives matter" or "Police lives matter" in response to the "Black lives matter" movement. Do NOT engage in Us vs. Them mentalities. Do NOT ban transgendered people from using public restrooms. Do NOT tell women what to do with their own bodies. Do NOT judge or disparage people based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or religion. Do NOT vote for legislation that limits the rights of others. Civil rights are not a zero sum game. The more basic human rights everyone has, the more we all win. As a country. As a species. 
  • Let go. Of your attachments, your entitlements, your past. You cannot go back. You can only go forward. 
  • Remember that you are not just an American citizen but a citizen of Earth. Be kind to your fellow carbon-based lifeforms. All of them. Be kind to your earth. Treat it like you would your own home. Because it is your home. It is all of our homes. 

I love you, my fellow Americans, my fellow humans. I love you wholeheartedly and unconditionally. You do not need a tiny handed, insecurity plagued, hate spewing orange man to make you great. Screw that. You are great. You are so much more than great. Build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Love each other. Love so much it crowds out all the fear and hate. You are capable of immense awesomeness. I know you are. Go forth and be awesome. 

From Robot, with love. Always and forever. 

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