Matt and I have been keeping up with the recent news out of Tucson, Arizona. We are both admirers of Gabby Giffords and the work she's done, as well as her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, as Matt's always dreamed of traveling to space.
I am a news buff, and it's hard to tear me away from CNN or MSNBC. And Matt and I both are Political Science majors, so add that to the mix, and you have two people that are constantly bouncing ideas and current events around in every day conversation.
Now, I do not intend for this blog to get political. Politics are divisive, and that's not the purpose of Das Coles. However, I do want to touch on the recent tragedy in Tucson a little more.
Gabrielle Giffords is an amazing woman who has accomplished amazing things. As a woman, I look up to her. Over the last week and a half she has become a household name, and those who otherwise wouldn't know of her benevolence and service have learned just how special she is. The fact that she has fought through this tragedy is a prime example of her strength.
People have been blaming everyone for this tragedy. Sarah Palin has been one person that many seem to blame. Now, I am not Sarah Palin's biggest fan, but I do know she is not at fault for a psycho's tirade. That being said, I think what she said in response to ignorant finger pointing was inappropriate.
There is one person to blame for this incident, and that is Jared Loughner.
But I thought President Obama made a great point when he said we should use this time to take pause and reflect on ourselves. Are nasty and negative comments really necessary? Does it do any good?
I'm a firm believe in karma and positive energy. You reap what you sow, get back what you put it, however you want to say it. And negative words/thoughts/actions do nothing but proliferate hate. There is no reason why two people of opposite belief systems can't have a respectful conversation.
I am guilty of it. Since I've met Matthew I've matured and "toned down my rhetoric". There are things I've said about people of different value systems that are just plain wrong. And every once and a while I slip up. But more times than not I use caution, because even though I am not an influential person, my words may hit someone the wrong way, and cause them pain. And I'm certain that is not any sane person's intention.
Still, I have found myself in conversations with people who are just as passionate with me, on the other side of the spectrum, and their words have crossed the line. That's when you step away from the negativity and reflect on the positive.
Yes, I like politics and yes, I enjoy healthy debate. But we all need to look at ourselves and ask if we are putting forth the best example. Whether it's about politics or sports, it doesn't really matter.
Matt and I recently attended Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" and it changed us for the better. It seems our country is in the adolescent stages, trying to find itself. While we are trying to figure it out, I think we should ALL put our best foot forward.
Smile more, speak kind words. Help out your neighbor, pick up that piece of trash in the middle of a crowded parking lot. You never know when what you do or say may be seen or heard by another.
But most of all, smile :)
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