20. DEMOCRAT vs REPUBLICAN

You know what the difference is between a democrat and a republican? 

Absolutely nothing. 

Both are products of their circumstance. 

Both have developed world views, beliefs, and convictions based on the circumstance of their upbringings and personal experiences.

Both can be Christian, Muslim, atheist or any other religion they choose to be. 

When you hate the person opposite of you simply because they don’t have the same values as you, sadly it only reveals that your insecurities prevent you from admitting error. Your pride prevents you from admitting to your lack of perspective.

Both sides have been conditioned to believe what they believe because of their life experiences and that is something that can not be taken away from any of us. That is something that is truly human. 

Whether they were loved as a child or abused. Whether they have families or live alone. Whether they were afforded opportunities or had to make their own way. Whether they were academically successful or persevered by street-smarts. 

We only perceive of a difference because we have bought in to a two-party system. You may agree with this system or you may not, but wherever you fall, it is not meant to pit us against one another. 

The hurtful things you say about one party, true or not, can easily apply to the other. Most can agree that many politicians are corrupt or strive for self-interests. This is not a trait limited to one side. 

These two parties are put in place to represent the unrepresented and effect change in our country. They are civil servants and when it’s working at it’s best, parties cross the isle to work together to better our nation. 

When it’s at its worst, we see what we see now. Hatred, spitefulness, arrogance, and misinformation. You calling a democrat stupid or a republican racist, does nothing but reveal the state of your heart. A heart that lacks long-suffering, a heart that lacks self-control, a heart incapable of empathy. 

I don’t foresee this upcoming election playing out much different from those in the past, but we can all do our part. We can vote, we can cheer on our candidate of chose without slandering others, and we can, most importantly of all, listen to the voices that sound different then our own and earnestly try to understand their perspective. 

The simple saying “when you point your finger at someone there are three pointing back at you” seems applicable here, but not in an action of self-accusation, but rather self-evaluation. What are the unhealed emotional wounds you’re dealing with that cause you to lash out at others who believe or act differently than you? Is this an attempt to control something when you feel out of control?

Being misunderstood can be incredibly frustrating, no matter what party you identify with. So let’s stop and think before we proceed to misrepresent someone else, because in doing so, you ultimately misrepresent ourselves. 

19. Kuh-Row-Key

For the longest time, even up through high school, I thought the word karaoke was pronounced kuh-row-key. It wasn’t until I met my wife that I was corrected. 

How I went 17 years saying this common word in such an uncommon way seems outlandish, but really it’s not all that unusual. Like many things in life we learn by doing things wrong and then being corrected by those we love and trust. 

I had seen the word numerous times, but I hadn’t heard it spoken all that often. Sounding out the letters in my head, I came to the aforementioned conclusion.  

So here I am, driving along with the love of my life in 1999 as we pass a kid’s pizza restaurant with a sign out front that says “KARAOKE.” I look to Christina, my girlfriend at the time and in the most embarrassing, redneck way say “oh look, they have kuh-row-key now.”

She, looking flabbergasted asks, “what did you just say?” I felt the blood rushing to my face wondering how I must have unknowingly humiliated myself. Sheepishly I repeat “Kuh-row-key.”

She graciously corrected me and we had a good laugh about how ridiculous it was that I had made it that long I’m my life saying a common word so horribly wrong. From that day on, I was sure to pronounce karaoke correctly. 

Now I could’ve taken it personally, or stubbornly chosen to to say it wrong for the rest of my life, but because of the relational equality we had, I took it to heart and made an asserted effort to better myself. 

Many times in my life since then when I’m presented with new information I didn’t always receive it so easily. Many times I would pridefully reject constructive criticism.  However, in those times I have learned a valuable lesson.  

That lesson is that being right isn’t nearly as important as I once thought it was. Having good character and choosing wisdom and truth over being first to be right was much more sustainable in the long run. As well as less humiliating when my boisterous attitude came back to haunt me. 

In this age of political toxicity, where even something as unprecedented as a global pandemic can be politicized by internet sleuths and conspiracy theorists, it is of upmost importance that we can walk away from these squabbles with our character intact. 

The lack of control we all feel right now may lead to the strong temptations to grasp at straws in an attempt to control the spiraling world around us, if nothing else, at least the narratives we believe. 

We could even go as far to shame one another for being uninformed or fearful of the unknown. We can try to boaster what little information we gathered from a google search or a video on Facebook and try to present it as gospel truth. 

Times are tense. Some have more time on their hands and some have less. We are all navigating this new norm and doing our best to rationalize its impact. 

In hindsight, when we look back on this, no one is going to remember how right or how wrong you were, but rather how you treated them in the midst of the chaos. 

Were you patient, were you kind? Do you show grace and empathy during a time of crisis that none of us truly understand?

If there is anything I hope to convey in these words, it’s that being right, means nothing to those around you unless it is presented with compassion. 

18. Fear Has Two Faces

When the world starts burning, people either panic or become complacent. Let’s discuss.

17. My Corona

Should we panic now?

16. The Unreasonable Fear of Technology

BOO! Are you scared yet? Technology is coming to get you!

15. Top 5 Embarrassing Stories

The say vulnerable is valuable, so here goes nothing.

14. Happy Birthday to Me

I wanted ‘sir’ till I got it. 

13. Misunderstood

I can’t be the only one, can I?

12. Marriage Story

A love story, cautionary tale, and a movie you won’t be able to look away from. The is less of a review of the movie and for of a therapy session.

11. The Naked Philanthropist

Kaylen Ward calls herself the Naked Philanthropist, she raised more than $1 million in contributions to aid the Australian bushfires by giving donors nude photos.