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.

When it Comes to Grief, All Your Emotions are Valid

Anger, resentment, sadness. These are just a handful of the emotions I still deal with from the loss of my dad five years ago, and I’m tired of having to act as if they’re somehow less legitimate because I lost him five years ago.

They say time heals everything, but I’d like to respectfully disagree with that notion. The only thing time does is make things a little more blurry around the edges. Time doesn’t heal anything, it only serves as a constant reminder that my dad is no longer with me. There are days when the emotions I feel from losing my dad nearly consume me, and I am hard-pressed to be able to focus on anything else.

On these days, I try to remind myself that I should be grateful to feel the emotions I am feeling, as they simply mean that I had someone in my life who meant more to me than I could have ever possibly imagined.

Some people say that only weak men cry and show emotion, but I’d also like to call bullshit on that one as well. As far as I’m concerned, I can cry until I can cry no longer. Crying helps me heal, and as I slowly feel the tears brush down my cheeks, I am reminded that there will be a day with no more sorrow or pain, only joy.

So the next time I’m feeling down and someone asks me how long its been since I’ve lost my dad, I’ll just say an eternity. They might be confused by that answer, but it’s honestly what it feels like on some days.

Five years ago I lost a piece of me, so don’t try to tell me what emotions I can or cannot show.

I’m stronger because I cry.

I’m stronger because I show emotion.

It’s OK to show emotions, guys.

After all, we have hearts too.

I’m Sorry

Over the past few days, allegations against Harvey Weinstein and Roy Moore have rocked both Hollywood and Washington. Actors were quick to condemn the disgraced movie mogul, and vulnerable Republican Senators quickly withdrew their support from the fiery political candidate. However, some establishment Alabama Republican’s have been trying to defend Moore, as if pedophilia is somehow acceptable and inappropriately touching a fourteen-year-old girl is a partisan issue and defensible.

To be clear, Moore never should have been chosen to represent the GOP in a Senate race to begin with. Yet now with several accusers levying almost incomprehensible allegations against Moore, it is time for him to go.

Speaking of which, I’m sorry for the way in which some are attacking Moore’s accusers, as if they’re the ones that did something wrong.

Roy Moore is the perpetrator here, and the ones who stepped up to tell their stories should be praised for their courage.

It is 2017, folks. There is no logical defense for inappropriately touching underage girls without consent. Yet some GOP members have chosen to do just that, and take away any shred of decency and honor they had left to their name.

Their is only one thing left for Roy Moore to do: drop out.

Moore has no place in the GOP, and as far as I’m concerned, he can go back into the backwoods where he and his ideas come from and never come out again.

I’m sorry, Alabama.

You deserve better.

Grow Up, Mr. President

It was early in the morning, and President Donald Trump was restless. Instead of going back to bed or reading a pocketbook Constitution, Trump did what he always does: tweet.  Not unlike most things President Trump tweets, it was an attack on the media. However, this attack was particularly personal, targeting Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski of the TV show Morning Joe. Trump sent out the first tweet at precisely 5:52 AM, typing these characters apparently without a second thought:
“I heard poorly rated  Morning Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came… to Mar-a-Largo 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

I think those repulsive words speak for them self, and there is no logical way to defend them, especially coming from The President of The United States. I mean, seriously? What kind of deranged lunatic talks like that, let alone broadcasts it on Twitter for the whole world to see? President Trump obviously needs an intervention when it comes to his Twitter usage, but it remains to be seen if his staff can hold him back. By using his tremendous platform to spread hate and vitriol, Mr. Trump only divides the country further, playing into the already toxic political discourse in America.

Mr. Trump, grow up. Put down the phone, lead by example. Be a leader we can all be proud of, and please, please, apologize to Ms. Brezinski. America deserves and desperately needs a better leader than Donald Trump. He’s no longer merely an embarrassment, and he’s a disgrace to the office he holds.

President Trump took the low road to the highest office in the land during his campaign and continued to stay on it.

Will he ever get off this road?

Judging by his past actions, probably not, but only time will tell.

One thing is for sure. However, President Trump needs to grow up.

Will The Real Men Please Stand Up?

It seems more and more like guys in my generation are facing an identity crisis, in a never ending competition to prove who is the most masculine and manly. As if somehow manliness is a competition, and one must outdo others to prove how manly they are. Whether it be drinking beers or seeing how many numbers a guy can pick up, my generation has fallen into a worrisome, and might I add- completely avoidable trap. There’s no award for the most macho guy, although I’m sure women do appreciate machoness to a certain extent. There’s this toxic belief out there that somehow one must prove their manhood by doing or achieving certain things, but that’s simply not the case. Real men don’t find their identity in how many beers they can chug or how many girls they can hook up with, real men know that their identity comes from God. Real men don’t belittle and objectify women, they respect them and value them, treating them as if they were their own sisters. Real men know who they are, and realize that their identity comes from God and that respecting others isn’t a choice, it’s a must. Real men stand up for the vulnerable, and take a stand injustice, no matter how small that injustice might be. You won’t find this definition of a man in popular culture, but you will find it in The Bible.

Manliness isn’t a competition, and the road to becoming a better man is a marathon, not a sprint.

What Happened To Civility?

When it comes to politics, civility is now the exception, not the norm. Across the web, comment sections are filled with the most polarizing opinions and voices, with little room left for a reasonable and well thought out debate. Of course, some of this can be contributed to this past’s Presidential election’s extreme rhetoric, but I would venture that it also has to do with the very nature of online interactions. Behind their phones and computers, people are bold. With only the click of a mouse, one’s opinion can be spread virtually anywhere, with little to no real world consequences.  American politics will always be broken so long as we have our political discussions behind a keyboard and not in real life. To achieve the progress we need, bold and courageous real life conversations must take place. Virtual discourse gets us nowhere, too often driving us apart. As Americans, there is still more that unites us than divides us. Judging by the comment section on news articles, however, one would get the sense that the most polarizing voice is always the most popular, that the loudest and most bombastic voice is the one that people agree most with. However, that’s simply not true. To fix what’s broken in politics, we must get past the keyboards and phone’s and once again sit down with each other.

The conversations that we have might not be easy, but they are certainly necessary.

And who knows, you might just be surprised at what you find out from the other side.