I am Who I am
One more and then back to our regularly scheduled Photo & Travel Blogs
Recently I posted here about how I feel about gun violence and the need for stricter gun laws, in the face of yet another mass shooting in the USA. I wrote and posted that blog very quickly, and was feeling very emotional. So, though my points maybe could have been better refined had I taken more time, I absolutely stand by what I wrote and my opinion on the subject. If that opinion doesn’t line up with yours, and you’re still here, thanks. I’m glad we can agree to disagree and have civil discussions about such matters. Because our world needs more minds who can think beyond party lines to come up with solutions that benefit everyone, and not just a few.
That being said, this blog isn’t meant to be a politically charged platform from which I spew “dem crap” (one of the “nicer” negative comments I got in my DMs). It is a place for me to share with you my thoughts on photography, travel, and life. And those are the things I most love talking about. But, I am a passionate person and believe that change doesn’t happen until we speak up and make it happen. So, if you’re here for the photography & travel blogs, you’ll certainly get that. Just don’t be surprised when I sometimes speak up about issues that I am passionate about.
So in the spirit of full disclosure, let me tell you about me and what I am passionate about. That way you know what you’re getting yourself into and can make the decision on whether you want to be here or not. No hard feelings either way.
I am in a very happy interracial marriage. Some people in my own family have issues with this, and I’ve seen enough to know they aren’t the only ones. I believe this is unacceptable and that we need to achieve racial equality in all parts of the world if we are to find peace amongst one another.
I believe that love is love and people are people. I don’t believe you or the government should have control over who a person identifies as, who that person can marry, and who that person is. Let people be who they are.
I am a once very religious person who decided to listen to that voice inside and really begin to look for answers to all my questions about Christianity, religion, and life in the church community. I would now consider myself a spiritual person, who sees the parallels in the storylines of most modern & ancient religions and who believes in a higher power, whether that manifests itself for you through a god or whether that is simply the power of the universe.
I am a voter in both the USA and Canada, and yes, I mostly end up voting Democrat. I went through phases in my young life where I let people and/or religion control my thoughts on politics. But, I’d like to think I’ve gained a bit of perspective and a smidge wisdom since then and have come to vote for the people (not party) that I think will bring about positive change for everyone, and not just uphold the interest of a niche & shrinking group of people.
I believe we need much stricter gun laws. I don’t believe anyone needs to own a gun that is capable of shooting multiple rounds, such as semi-automatic guns. Guns to hunt with is pretty much where I draw the line. I don’t believe that conceal & carry should even be an option for anyone outside of the confines of their jobs, ie the police & military.
I believe women have come a long way towards equality, but I know we have a long way to go. And we won’t get there without continually standing up and having our voices heard.
I believe women shouldn’t be told by politicians what they can and can not do with their bodies. Albeit birth control or abortion.
I am pro-choice.
I believe children need more love and less violence in their lives.
I believe our world suffers from extreme income inequality, making it almost impossible for many millions of people to live a quality life. And I believe this is something that governments should be fast working towards a solution on. But I also know that governments are run by the rich and it isn’t necessarily to their political or economical advantage to reach down and lift up those who are poor & suffering. Shamefully so.
I believe there are too many people in this world living in poverty and homelessness. With so much money in this world being thrown around on frivolous shit (Elon Musk), one has to wonder why we can’t fix this problem? The answer is selfishness & greed. And the assumption that people are where they are because they are lazy or don’t care. It’s quite sad how skewed perceptions are, and how little some people care about human life; that instead of helping people they turn their backs on them.
I believe that religion and politics don’t mix.
To quote the Christian Bible: 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins”. I believe if more Christians lived according to the core of what the Bible teaches, which is love for all (not just other Christians), then maybe religion wouldn’t be so divisive and the church wouldn’t be shrinking by the tens of thousands each year. To put that into context, in 1999 A Gallup poll indicated that 70% of Americans were Christians and belonged to a church. In 2020, that same poll revealed that number was now only 47%. You see, you can’t preach love and project hate and expect people to continue to follow along.
I believe that each side of the divide feels just as strongly about their opinions as the other side. I’ve lived both sides and have seen firsthand how strong the opinions and emotions can be. Which is what makes coming together for the greater good so incredibly difficult. And that’s why it is going to take both sides being willing to compromise and come up with solutions that benefit us all. The power struggle that our governments has made us think is necessary to govern is a load of crap. They pit us against each other, usually along religious lines, to benefit themselves. In the end, we are all human. No matter our gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship, religion, socioeconomic status, etc. We all have to work together to better our communities and world.
I believe we need to be doing more to save our planet. We need to be using less fossil fuels and more renewable energy sources such as solar & wind. Communities need to be using more viable recycling programs & manufacturers less plastic packaging in order to curb the pollution of our land & seas. The amount of trash we produce each year is just astonishing. I used to be one of those people who wouldn’t drink tap water. Instead, I bought bottle water each week. I cringe to think back on that now. We can all do better for our planet now, and for the generations to come.
I believe the government over regulates in some areas and doesn’t regulate enough in others. There needs to be a better balance.
I believe we need a better system of accountability in government and the departments that the government uses to “police” the people.
I believe, that in spite of what the nightly news shows us, that most people are good people. Having a different opinion than me doesn’t make you my enemy or a bad person. It means we have differing opinions, and that’s ok. You can be a Republican, a Democrat, or someone who rejects politics altogether and be a good person. Sadly, you can also be all those things and be a bad person. But I believe there are more good people than bad in this world. You have to be willing to look for & see the good and trust in the good, or your world will get lonely and dark.
I love Travel & Photography, obviously. I didn’t get to do either of those things enough in the last 3 years, but I’m working to rectify that this year. I think travel broadens ones mind. You can experience first hand other countries and cultures and really grow to appreciate the people of the world. It’s truly beautiful to experience this, and I believe it helps one have a more diplomatic view of the world, and not just a view of the world from your tiny little corner of it. There is so much to see and experience, and so many lovely people. Just get out and do it!
I believe in being kind to people. Kindness & compassion seem to be lacking in the world today, and it’s truly sad. As it is really one of the easiest things to extend to others. Am I perfect? No. In my 45 years have I had the occasion where I wasn’t as kind as I should be? Most definitely. Am I working each day to be better and to project kindness? Yes, absolutely!
And I am sure there are many things I didn’t outline here that I am equally passionate about. I have COVID brain right now, so my thoughts are somewhat scattered. But I wanted to address this, get it out there, and move on. I appreciate everyone’s continued support, but if the above statements are just too much for you, and the once or twice a year I might post about one of these subjects is just too much for you, then I suppose we shall part ways here. If you disagree with me, and still choose to stick around and have civil discussions about theses issues (when they come up), great!
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming! Next week I will talk about my first impressions of NYC and how our 3 day weekend unfolded there.
Until then, be loving, be kind, be better!