On October 8th, I celebrated a birthday. I was treated so well and had so much fun that month, there wasn’t even time to do my usual Birthday Edition message. Fast forward to exactly 1 month, 1 day later (November 9th), I find myself putting my money where my mouth is when I look at this post. Especially the first two wishes …
I think by now, even sand under a rock knows who the US president elect is. I can’t speak for everyone but I know for some of us here and worldwide the result was devastating. For so many reasons. I’m not here to disrespect anyone’s choices but I need to say what I have to say … for me. To get this big weight off my chest. To just have it written down some place. I’ve not turned on my TV since Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, but I can’t ignore what is. Shutting myself away or ignoring what the results mean to people on both sides isn’t going to change the inevitable. I need to accept it and give voice to my thoughts, my fears and my feelings even if doing so comes at a risk. More importantly, I need to practice what I preach. I need to make space for those who think differently from me and also allow them to express themselves.
Earlier this year, I agreed to join my friend Poppy in making hats for a homeless shelter in Indiana. The demographics of the recipients didn’t matter to me and I even told some of my knitterly friends about the plan. But today, I found myself caring about the demographics. I found myself wanting to instead, support a charity in a state where the political views closely mirror mine. This morning it was “let them take care of themselves”. Stupid I know, because everyone in Indiana does not subscribe to hate and bigotry. But that’s how hate is perpetrated. Seemingly logical and “right” rationalizations about why we can’t do something for someone who is different or thinks differently from us. Or why we should oppress them with whatever power we have to do so. Usually, these rationalizations/generalizations don’t make one lick of sense. I thank God those thoughts didn’t last for long. Who my parents raised me to be, who I am and who I desire to be is not a person who would let those thoughts fester much more act on them. So I’m pressing on.
The more I thought of why I had those thoughts, the more I thought of the movement that was part of this president elect’s platform, I accept that I can’t yield. I can’t yield to hateful thoughts. I can’t yield to divisiveness. I can’t yield to exclusion and I have to make space — for everyone. So my beanie project continues. Regardless of the recipients. For with each stitch, I’ll be praying. I’ll be praying that each recipient chooses:
- love over hate
- to embrace that we are more alike than different
- to embrace that we are each, all of us, valuable
- to be kind one to another
- to speak against injustice
- to choose joy
- to embrace diversity
- to be a light
What’s in a beanie? For now, my prayers and most importantly love will be in each stitch.