Dear President Trump, Stop The Deportations

Dear President Trump,

I am writing to you today concerning a very important and relevant topic in today’s society, immigration. Sir, I have grown increasingly concerned with the increased ICE raids and deportations, and am asking you to please reconsider what you are doing and the effects that it has. I want to first clarify that I am all for deporting criminals and violent offenders and that I see nothing wrong with sending them back to their native country. However, I have several issues with the recent deportations I have seen on the news of nonviolent immigrants. For example, the mother who was recently deported in California had several children and was an exemplary citizen by all accounts, who had done nothing of significance wrong. Sir, think about the effect that this must have on her children. They now have no mother and are stuck to wonder if they will ever see her again, and will now most likely have a negative view of the United States government. Sir, all I am asking for you to do is to reevaluate your immigration policy and to ensure that it is reasonable and humane.

Think of this quote by Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird,” You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view.. until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Think of all the sacrifices that immigrants make on a daily basis, and then think- should they really have to worry about being deported?

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Dear Donald, Do You Really Know How to Lead?

Dear Donald,

   Do you really know how to lead? I’m asking because by the looks of it, the answer would be no. A quick look at your Twitter account reveals desperate attempts at bullying and shaming your critics into submission. However each time you tweet, the opposition only grows larger. I wonder why this might be? You promised to unite our divided country, but your tweets are doing the exact opposite. They spread division and uncertainty, and make me ashamed of our current political climate. Donald, real leaders don’t insult and criticize through a keyboard, they strengthen alliances and build trust through understanding. Real leaders inspire through unity and strength, not hate and division. Leaders make mistakes and fail, but they have the courage to admit the mistakes and learn from them. Leaders build bridges, not walls. Leaders bring out the very best in others, and help them reach their full potential.

Donald, now ask yourself: how are my tweets making me a better leader? How are they setting an example for the next generation?

The answer? They aren’t.

Prayers, Not Politics Please.

Today in Washington D.C. a gunman opened fire at a baseball field where Congressional Republicans were practicing for an annual baseball game. Several were injured, including  House of Representative Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Lousiana. Soon after the tragedy, keyboard and social justice warriors were quick to attack the 2nd Amendment and gun ownership in The United States. Seemingly unshaken from what just took place, many took what happened and used it as an opportunity to spin it in a way that benefited their own personal agenda, regardless if it hurt or upset others. There’s a time for politics and political discussion, but it isn’t now. Not when Congressman Scalise is battling for his life, and other members of his security detail are still in the hospital. Today is the time to pray, to reflect, and to put aside our political differences. There will always be another day to discuss guns and other hot-button political issues, but today simply isn’t that day.

Today, let’s push back against partisan politics and remember that no matter what our party affiliation, we are all Americans.

Trump’s Twitter Trouble

I am legitimately embarrassed by The President of The United States. Mr. Trump is almost 70 years old, but a look at his Twitter feed reveals the emotional maturity of an eight-year-old. Instead of being a leader and attacking an argument solely based on its merits, Donald decides to opt for the personal attack, going after someone personally and calling them names. To make matters worse, Donald decides to do this on Twitter, a social media platform with millions of users. It is the mark of immaturity, as well as insecurity, that causes Donald to do this. Can anyone imagine if Ronald Reagan sent out some of the Tweets that Donald Trump has sent? The outrage would be non-stop, and Reagan would surely not have the reputation he does today. Donald, what joy does it bring you to attack people personally? What good does tweeting out insults really do? You’re the President of The United States, it’d be nice if you started acting like it. You claimed in your victory speech that you wanted to unite this country and bring people together. Your tweets do the exact opposite. They say the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. If that’s the case, we’re in for a long four years.

I’m urging you, Mr. President.

Put down the phone and start leading by example.

Be a President everyone can be proud of.

We’re All On The Same Team

Too often we frame political discourse in America as some boxing fight, where one side always has to win. You’re either right or wrong, ultra-conservative or a liberal who thinks the government is the answer to everything. It’s beyond time we end this nonsense of name calling and insulting others we don’t agree with and try to understand why they believe what they believe. Too often we frame political discourse in America as some boxing fight, where one side always has to win. You’re either right or wrong, ultra-conservative or a liberal who thinks the government is the answer to everything. It’s beyond time we end this nonsense of name calling and insulting others we don’t agree with and try to understand why they believe what they believe. Not every Donald Trump voter is a “deplorable,” and not every Hilary Clinton voter is an ultra-liberal who believes the government is the answer to everything. Believe it or not, people had valid reasons to vote for either candidate and calling them names and belittling them for their vote accomplishes nothing.
In the end, we all should recognize we’re on the same team, and we all want to see America succeed. It’s just that we have different approaches to achieving success. We have reached the point in politics where to compromise is to be labeled a traitor, and to negotiate is to sell out. This, of course, could not be further from the truth, but it helps perpetuate the idea that politics is about winning when in actuality, it’s about helping people. We must always remember that before we are Republicans or Democrats, we are American’s. Our ultimate allegiance should not lie in a political party, but in The United States of America.
In the end, we all should recognize we’re on the same team, and we all want to see America succeed. It’s just that we have different approaches to achieving success. We have reached the point in politics where to compromise is to be labeled a traitor, and to negotiate is to sell out. This, of course, could not be further from the truth, but it helps perpetuate the idea that politics is about winning when in actuality, it’s about helping people. We must always remember that before we are Republicans or Democrats, we are American’s. Our ultimate allegiance should not lie in a political party, but in The United States of America.

The Problem With Perfection

A quick glance at Instagram or Facebook reveals nearly perfect images of seemingly perfect events, with apparently no sorrow evident. This, of course, could not be further from the truth. However, as social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook become increasingly prevalent in today’s society, one would almost be forgiven to assume that this perfection is the norm, that some people just have nearly flawless lives. The problem with this, however, is that nothing could be further from the truth, that there is no such thing as a nearly flawless life. One might try their best to project a near perfect image, but there is no humanly way possible to have a perfect life.  As far as I’m concerned, the words “perfection” and “life” don’t belong in the same sentence. To live is to screw up, to make mistakes. If we’re lucky, we learn a thing or two from these shortcomings. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that a person’s life is nearly flawless because their Instagram photos are. Human beings are imperfect creatures who fail on a daily basis and are in need of eternal forgiveness and grace. There’s nothing inherently wrong with social media, just don’t equate someone’s online life with their real one.

The Problem With Forever (Finding Extrodinary in The Ordinary)

It would be a grand miscalculation to live life as if time was infinite, a journey with seemingly no end in sight. Yet this is what many of us do, we live our lives as if there’s always another tomorrow to be had, and spend our time on things with no meaningful impact on the world around us. Of course, a lot of life is mundane, but that doesn’t mean that the extraordinary isn’t around us, waiting for us to notice it. Think about the very breath you breathe, is that not extraordinary to some extent? Look at the trees and the nature that surrounds us. That’s extraordinary, no? It is my contention that life’s greatest moments are not the one’s that we so often think of (vacations, extravagant trips), but the ordinary one’s.  After all, can’t the extraordinary exist in the ordinary too? Often we are focused on the next event, the next impressive vacation, and we do not take the time to celebrate the precious gift of now. We assume that there will always be another tomorrow, so we put off what we should have done or said today. Society constantly tells us that it’s OK to put things off and that everything will last and be around forever. But the truth is, life is but a mist. The truth is, life goes by so quickly, and if we don’t take the time to appreciate the ordinary, how can we truly live a full life? The problem with forever is that in life, there is no such thing. In life, there’s only a limited number of minutes and hours allotted to every person.

Know this, and live accordingly.