On ‘being a good person’.

Of all the things he hasn’t accomplished in his presidency, Donald Trump has most definitely been successful in emboldening hatred, bigotry and misogyny around the world. In my mind, he is the prime and shining example of school-yard bullying at the highest powers of society and the fact that he’s so well known has, in some way, given a voice hatred spewers world-wide.

If you like Donald Trump and you think he’s a good president, that’s your opinion and you’re allowed to believe that. I don’t like him. I don’t like what he stands for. I don’t like what he represents, and most of all, I really don’t like that he’s made it acceptable in 2019 to be a horrible person and have it be socially acceptable.

I don’t want to go backwards. I don’t.

The world that my mom and dad grew up in, the world that my grandparents grew up in, it had a lot of problems. There were a lot of things going on that I thought we’d already passed and left behind us. I’m not saying we don’t have our own problems now, I’m just saying that we shouldn’t be revisiting the past.

Hate is not okay. Bullying is not okay. Bigotry is not okay. Misogyny is not okay. Sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, all not okay.

I know that it was naive of me to assume to, but I liked to think that all children in this world are raised with manners, and taught tolerance, acceptance and respect. Sadly, 2019 has been teaching me that that is really not the case.

The thing is, no one is born evil. No one is born to hate. That’s why I think it’s so important to teach people when they’re children. Trying to teach adults is a whole different ball game. That being said, it saddens me that so many people in this world are raised being taught to hate and bully.

I consider myself to be a good person. Or at least I try to be. I’m nice to everyone I meet, I use my manners – hold open doors, etc… I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, whether their opinions agree with mine or not. I just wish that everyone would try to do the same, to be the same.

What do you get out of bullying someone? Honestly. What do you get out of treating someone as though they’re less than you? Does it make one happy? I can’t imagine that it makes someone fulfilled. Donald Trump (sorry to use him as an example again, but really) doesn’t seem all that happy, or fulfilled. And, considering I question whether or not he actually has any money, he doesn’t seem like he has much of anything beyond a lot of hatred.

I just want to encourage everyone to be nice. Just be nice. Treat your friends well, treat strangers with kindness. Have hope for the people you don’t know and have understanding for the people you do know. Try to understand the human condition and that we all have good and we all suffer from time to time – some a lot worse than others. Just because we don’t know what someone is going through doesn’t mean that we cannot help.

Kindness is so important. Manners cost nothing. Be a good person. Please.

Of all the legacies you can leave in this world, please try to be a good person. That might be the most important of all.

Pet Peeve: “Don’t be such a girl” and so on and so forth.

It makes me angry when I hear people say things like “don’t be such a girl” or “you fight like a girl” or “you throw like a girl”. As a female it gets thrown your direction so dang much that eventually you just start to believe that being female is a bad thing. You just accept it. You know what it means and you don’t argue with it because arguing would take far too much time and effort on someone who doesn’t want to understand.

I am a girl. I have a short stature, and long hair, curvy hips and small hands. I’m proud to be a girl. I do fight like a girl – because I am a girl. Fighting like a girl doesn’t mean that I’m a bad fighter, or that I’m weak, or that I’m incompetent. I’m extremely competent and if it came down to a physical fight I could hold my own with many men. 

I do throw like a girl. It might not be as far as my male counterparts, but that doesn’t stop me from sinking baskets, or clinching that out at home plate. It doesn’t stop me from hitting the waste basket EVERY…SINGLE…TIME.

Being a girl is not a bad thing. It pisses me off when people throw it around as though it’s an insult. Just because I was born female does not mean that I am slower, dumber, weaker and not as good as a man. I make my own money, I pay my own bills, I work, I work out, I fix broken pipes, change flat tires, lift heavy boxes, and can turn around and put on a dress and heels after it’s all done.

I am not weak. And being who I am is not less than anyone else in this world. 

Being female is not a bad thing. It’s not a weak thing. It’s not something that we should be ashamed of, sad about, or made to feel as though we’re not good enough when a man wants to put down another man. And women do it to, don’t get me wrong. I would say that infuriates me even more – when women say it to one another. I just want to hold a playback button to their ears and ask ‘do you her yourself right now?’

As a gender, we should not be treated as though we’re lesser than because we don’t grow up to play in the NBA. ‘You throw like a girl’ is not an insult and should not be used as such. ‘Don’t be such a pussy’ should never be used as a means to make someone look weak.

Firstly, do you really need to insult this person? Could your efforts be put forth to something more positive? Secondly, if your insulting someone is coming at the cost of degrading or demeaning an entire gender then you need to work on your insults. Tearing other people down is not a way to get your point across.

You know what, save the insults all together. When your girlfriend beats you in an arm wrestle, I hope you’re proud of her. When you’re daughter hits a home-run at bat, I hope you’re extremely proud of her. If you really, genuinely, must make reference to someone you know as being weak, just use the term weak. That’s it. Nothing more. Leave women and girls out of it.

Let us throw how we want to throw and live how we want to live. The world is a much nicer place when we’re not verbally or physically beating up on one another for the gender which we’re born into.

Honestly, remember:

Even the prettiest people feel ugly at times, the happiest people feel the need to cry themselves to sleep at night and the most independent people feel alone… whether they admit it or not.

As much as we all might lead different lives, we all deal with the same demons. The best thing you can do for yourself, and for everyone else for that matter, is to remember that we’re all dealing with the same demons. Compassion and people skills go a long way in this crazy crazy world.

Late night thoughts: My mind won’t shut off.

It’s easier to do math with a calculator than it is to try and do it in your head. It’s easier to listen to audiobooks on your electronic device than it is to actually sit and read a book. It’s easier to drive to the store than it is to walk. It’s easier to assume the worst than to put your trust in someone, even if that someone is someone that you love. It’s easier to judge someone for who they ‘appear’ to be rather than who they actually are. It’s easier to go along with everything then it is to stand up for something you believe, even if it isn’t something most people do. 

Society chooses to do a lot of things the easier way. Why? Laziness? Or convenience, I guess. It’s convenient to bust out the calculator rather than trying to multiple 70×70 for most people on their own. So, if you don’t have to then why would you?

I’ll tell you what though, this restless mind of mine cant ever accept anything as is. I can’t help but believe there’s a time when convenience crosses into an inability to do anything for ourselves. Sure, technology is great. GPS relieves a lot of headaches. But there are people in this world who are driving that still can’t read road signs. Calculators are great; they’ve given us the assistance to solve many of the universe’s greatest questions, but the amount of people in this world who can’t do simple math in their head is alarming. Just about a week ago now I had a cashier whose register was broken and she needed to pull out a calculator to do $3.00 – .32 cents. 68 cents lady. It’s $2.68.

There’s a lot of talk. Everybody’s got words. But the lack of actions, that’s something that bothers me. So many are so quick to judge the homeless man as a ‘dirty rotten scoundrel’ who is clearly unintelligent and brought his situation on himself. Because believing that what is expected, what is believed of him to be, that is far easier than actually getting to know that he’s a war veteran with a masters degree who, thanks to situations beyond his control, lost a whole lot more than his belief that people will see the better in him. Believing the dirty rotten scoundrel of it all is so much easier than actually having to care… to take notice, and to be forced to think about what actually happens in this world.

All I’m saying is that sometimes a little math is good for the mind, and, a little truth is good for the soul. Reading books is not for punishment, but rather for expanding your horizons of what you ever believed possible. Questioning is never a negative, and getting to know someone is always a positive. Even if it’s just to learn who you don’t want as a part of your life, everyone’s got a story to tell. Convenience is great but sometimes it’s nice to take the road less traveled. 

You don’t always have to take the easy way out.

Day 29: A rant.

There’s something that happens whenever I speak about the very real issues of inequality – things like sexism, classism, racism and pay gaps. 

I’m met with responses such as: “Don’t be ridiculous!” or “Why are you making problems where there aren’t any?”

Every time. And every single time, I get frustrated. How do they not get it? Why don’t they care?

I honestly believe that they just don’t know any better. I think we’ve reached a point in society where it’s inequality has become so prominent that we don’t even realize it’s happening when we see it happening. We downplay it, we minimize it, and we overlook it. And why?

Now, to preface this, I grew up in a very middle-class comfortable white family. By many, many, many accounts I have had a lot of privileges in life. I’m not trying to cry foul, I am merely trying to shine a light on the fact that as a society, women are largely undervalued in a world dominated by ‘boys-club’ mentality.

When women speak the very real truth that we’re underpaid and undervalued for the things that we do in the workplace, we’re mocked. Or ignored. Or, in a lot of instances, we’re even called liars. And why?

Heaven forbid we stand up for ourselves. Heaven forbid we point out the very reality that we’ve come to face every day in society. The reality that we, for the most part, quietly, humbly, and politely accept. We’re taught to. We’re told to. From a very young age it’s instinctively drilled into our minds that this simply the way the world works and trying to fight it, or change it, is going to be a waste of our efforts.

It doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel right. And it most definitely doesn’t feel fair. 

But maybe they just don’t know? Perhaps they aren’t aware that a male and a female doing the same job have salary differences in the upwards of tens of thousands of dollars per year. Perhaps they don’t know measure education, work-experience and skill-sets when setting these salaries. Perhaps it was just a lottery and he won the larger salary.

Maybe they honestly believe that calling us ‘gold-diggers’ is a fair assessment to make when we seek financial assistance in raising children.

Maybe they simply think that they bring more value to this world. 

They most certainly don’t believe they’re doing anything wrong when they insult each other in ways that demean the female gender. “Don’t be such a pussy”, I’ve heard said more times than I would ever like to admit to. You throw like girl. You’re such a little bitch. Sissy-boy. And the list goes on…

They don’t see it when we clench our jaw, force a smile, and continue on as to not ‘cause a scene’.They don’t know how often it happens. So often that it’s become routine to ‘grin and bear it’.

And heaven forbid we stand up for ourselves. Heaven forbid we raise very valid points that treatment of that nature is not fair, not right and not called for. Being labelled as a “difficult woman” is not a title that simply fades away with time.

This isn’t a new way to view the world. It’s always been happening. As female we’re taught from a young age how to do this. How to stand down. How to not cause a scene. So much so that we often don’t realize we’re doing it anymore. We’ve taught ourselves to be masters of de-escalation. To treat it as though it’s not happening; to be grateful for the mere fact that we have a job at all; to accept every name called, every insult heard, every insecurity showcased as a fact of life.

That’s the reality of being female. 

At my former place of employment my boss was married to a doctor. A very highly respected, hard working, incredibly talented doctor. Though she had more education, more skills and was far superior to him in intelligence measures, he weaseled his way into a high-paying job where he got to treat people like crap. His wife’s salary was 20,000 less per year than his and he never let her forget that. It almost seemed as though it was priority in life to demean and demoralize his wife for not contributing in the way that he did to their shared expenses.

My best friend’s ex-husband, without an education, works a job that pays him more than 100,000 dollars per year more than his ex-wife. His ex-wife that he, on regular occasion, referred to as a ‘free-loader- whilst she stayed home during the first year of each of her two young-children’s lives. His ex-wife, who he then referred to as selfish for not wanting to be with her kids, when she attended nursing school to help establish her career. His ex-wife whom which he now refers to as a ‘gold-digger’ on any of the rare occasions in which she has asked him to contribute towards hockey registration fees, or dance class fees.

These are just stories at top of mind. These are just people. And it’s not just in the people that I know. It’s everywhere.

It’s in the hallway of the office, any office, where I hear a male coworker to tell one of his counterparts to ‘stop pms’ing’.

It’s in the hockey arena, when the coach shouts that a ‘Dumb Bitch’ isn’t qualified to officiate his team’s hockey game. Because she’s female, she can’t possibly know enough about hockey to be qualified. Is that what we’re supposed to believe, coach? Thank you for passing along this incredible messaging to the next generation.

It’s over the phone, when a complete stranger’s first words to me are ‘Oh, you sound like a hot line call girl’, only to further that with ‘That voice could get me through a lot of lonely nights’.

It’s everywhere and nowhere, all at the same time. 

It’s so frequent and prevalent that we pretend it doesn’t happen because often times it means requires a battle so time-consuming and recurring that it’s not something we can physically and mentally focus on.

When a woman asks to be treated fairly, do it. It’s not a lot to ask.

When a woman comments on the pay gap, don’t ignore her. Don’t devalue her. 

When a woman seeks help, don’t criticize her. Don’t diminish her self worth.

When a man doesn’t measure up to your standards, don’t insult him by demeaning women. Don’t insult him by demeaning anyone. Actually, don’t insult anyone. Negativity perpetuates negativity.

I guess all that I’m trying to explain with this really long-winded discussion is, be kind. Treat everyone with the respect that they deserve. Try to understand. Or, at the very least, try to listen. Don’t de-escalate. Appreciate. Value. Put a stop to the inequality, the bullshit and the unfairness. Put yourself in their shoes. Put them in your shoes. Remember that no one else in this world has had the advantages that you have.

Be fair. Create equality on your own. Perhaps others will follow suit. At the very least though, at the very possible least, you’re going to make the women in your life feel a whole lot better when you attempt to understand. And it doesn’t take a lot of effort.

So just fucking do it.