Yesterday I fell into a trap.
It was a pretty important election day here in North Carolina and I decided to vote against my party. I voted NO on Amendment One for a few reasons. But mostly, I think altering our State’s constitution is a pretty huge deal and for me, this Amendment wasn’t something I felt necessary. But this letter is not about my opinion on the Amendment.
I don’t know what the internet will be like when you start using it. But right now it can be a place where words of anger flow as freely as booze at an open bar. People are passionate about what they believe and all too eager to pigeon-hole those who disagree with them as ignorant, bigoted or worse – full of hatred. There is a joke called “keyboard courage” and in the past 24 hours a lot of North Carolinians got real brave.
My mistake as I was pouring over these words yesterday was getting really fired up myself. I began to judge those who were judging and whether I typed it or not, my thoughts were no more pure than those who were openly flinging arrows left and right.
What I want you to know is I am thankful that I live in a country where each individual has a say. So many countries have nothing. NO VOICE. I want you, my sweet boys, to understand how incredibly privileged this makes us and how embarrassing it should be when we are infighting because not everyone agrees with our specific point of view.
I want you to value and learn from other people’s perspectives and really LISTEN to how they came to their conclusions. I want you to act with humility knowing that you do not, nor will you ever have all of the answers. It doesn’t matter how progressive you are or how enlightened you are or how religious you are. At the end of the day, you are human and humans are imperfect.
I want you to really know in your heart that anyone who is taking the time to exercise their privilege to vote has at least some understanding of what they are voting for. I hope that you won’t make assumptions about people that you do not understand. I hope that you will learn that the only way to truly make progress is to lay down your pride and your “rightness” and just love people the best you can.
Be passionate about what you believe. Stand up for righteousness. Encourage others to learn and understand you. But please guard your heart and your mind from prideful arrogance. And when you find yourself being less than gracious, I hope you will quickly take a step back and remember that no one is perfect.
And I hope you’ll do a better job than I have.