Keeping perspective

I read this one blog post probably at least once a week. It’s written by one of my friends who also happens to own the gym I go to. I read this blog to try and keep my perspective of other people and their struggles. No one else has quite articulated their struggle the way he has and this particular blog makes me both sad and hopeful…not to mention makes me want to push myself extra hard when I go train. This is just one example of how I take things on personally and try to help and make things better. This one person has designed a system, a plan, for me to better myself. He didn’t have to do that. And, sure, I pay to go to the gym, but it’s definitely not enough for all that Contemporary Athlete does for me. It’s not just about lifting heavy things and staying within my macros for me. It’s about making sure that I’m giving my fullest in a place where my trainers are giving their fullest. When I read this blog written by Dave, it reminds me of how much work he puts into this business. How much he sacrifices so I can come train for 45 minutes on any given day. It brings the whole thing together. All of the pieces. When I can tell that he’s having a shitty day, I think back to this blog…and I think…did he sleep last night? Has he eaten enough today or did that $20 have to go into his gas tank so he can be here for my class? Is there something he wanted to do that he just couldn’t because he’s created something so awesome? What is going on today that’s stressing this person out and how can I help? This person just wants to help people….has devoted his life to helping people. It doesn’t seem right. And I don’t know how to fix it or make it better. Here’s his blog if you want to read it. It’s very well written.

This is one of the examples of my perspective. It’s actually exhausting to be me. I’m not trying to self glorify, it’s actually a problem for me. I want to help everyone and everything. I take on everything as my own. The weight of the world literally feels like it’s on my shoulders every day. That’s why I had to get rid of Facebook. I want to fix everything. I want to make everything better. Literally. Everything. I want people to stop killing people. For whatever reason…they were stealing, the color of their skin, or by mistake. I don’t care. I just don’t want people to kill other people anymore. I want to figure out how to make that happen. I just don’t get it. If you’re scared, you COULD just go for like an arm or a leg. Why are we shooting to kill?? WHY ARE WE KILLING EACH OTHER?! I mean, I’m all for population control, but surely there has to be a better way! And then I wonder how can I fix this? And when I realize that this problem is too big for me to do on my own, I just get sad and shut down. Or how about kids that are hungry? Why the hell are kids going hungry in this world?! If there were a child outside of my door RIGHT now telling me they were hungry, I’d feed them! Why are we not trying to fix this? How do we not have a solution??
I recently watched a documentary called Cowspiracy and I learned that agriculture is the number one cause of our greenhouse gases! Yet it’s no where to be found on any environmental website because the agriculture industry is so powerful (and clearly greedy…they just want money…just like insurance companies…) How is this a thing? How can I fix it? Of course, I could go vegan, but that’s only fixing it for me…what about for the people in the future? We’re not going to have any rain forest left if we keep this up…people realize that if there’s no rain forest, there’s a minimal way to balance the CO2 that we produce. It’s science. How do people not believe in science? They’re willing to believe in a religion and a God, but not something that is tangible and fact? How? I believe in both…why can’t they? And then I have trouble with the people who say they’re “not a racist, but…” Let me tell you something that a wise woman once told me. If you have to justify your statement with a BUT, then you are that thing. For instance, “I’m not trying to be a bitch, but that girl is a fucking bitch” Everything prior to the ‘but’ should be disregarded. You ARE being a bitch…the “not trying to be, but” for some reason makes it okay in that instance. Well, it’s not. And you’re a bitch. And you’re a racist. Which I also don’t understand. How can we be so hateful?? It hurts my heart everyday. What has made us so angry and scared? I mean, things happen and there are bad people. Why do we have to label those people? They’re just bad people…they’re not Muslim terrorists, they’re just terrorists. Just because they identify as Muslim, doesn’t automatically make the entire Muslim faith terrorists. You know that there are Christian terrorists, too, right? They’re just bad people. They’re terrorists…whatever religion they say they are, we both know it’s not possible that they really are because not one religion says that killing is okay. Not one. In fact, quite the opposite. Why is this such a hard concept to understand?? I have a friend who approached me after 9-11 and told me of the ridicule she experienced on a bus ride. I can’t even imagine how terrifying that is!! How come we can’t put ourselves in these people’s places?? They’re just as upset, if not more, about these situations than the rest of us! We need to keep things in perspective. We need to join together, not separate. Muslims, Mexicans, African Americans, Asian, German, Italian…guess what? We’re all in this together as AMERICANS. And other countries are looking at us and shaking their heads. And I’m wondering….HOW CAN I FIX IT???? We all know our votes don’t REALLY count, so then what…? What do I do? How can I make this better? Why don’t we have compassion anymore? We don’t say hi to each other. We live in a perpetual state of fear. Fear of other people…and a lot of the people I hear the fear from are the people that use the “I’m not a racist, but…” phrase. Yes…yes you are. Stop fooling yourself. And change your thinking! What the hell is wrong with you?? All cops aren’t bad. All black people aren’t thieves, all Mexicans aren’t rapists and drug dealers, and all Muslims are certainly NOT terrorists.

I could go on about that forever. Seriously. That’s a big one for me. It bothers me that I don’t know how to fix it. It’s not about politics, either. It’s about being a human. Being a compassionate human. Put yourself in someone else’s place for a second. That Muslim woman that just passed you in the mall. Think about the looks she has to deal with. The whispers behind her “Do you think she’s an Isis?” She’s just trying to shop for clothes for her kids. How terrifying must that be?! Or how about the black man that’s just been pulled over for speeding. He has a Harvard degree and is late for a meeting because he had to pick up his suit at the dry cleaners and is wearing a hoodie and jeans because he’s going to change when he gets to work. With everything that’s happened, even if he does everything he’s supposed to do, there’s a chance that he’ll be pulled out of his car and possibly end up with a broken limb or, worse, dead. I’m not saying that happens all the time a black man gets pulled over or a Muslim woman is walking in the mall, but it HAS happened. And that must be terrifying to be in that situation! If I got pulled over and knew that another 34 year old woman was beaten by an officer, it would at the very least be in the back of my mind that that could happen. I’d be scared! I couldn’t even imagine what it must be like to know that people have DIED! How hard is it to put yourself in that situation? I don’t care what someone has done in the past. I care about the right now. That person did not deserve to die….no one deserves to die. To be caught, and tried in a court, yes. But not death. Who the fuck are we to decide that someone should die? And if you’re a person of faith, don’t you think that you’ll have to answer for those thoughts? Thou shall not kill. It’s one of the big 10. There’s not a stipulation like “Thou shall not kill…unless they’ve killed someone else or they looked scary or they were a major drug dealer.” It simply says “Thou shall not kill.” Compassion. We need it. Big time.

We’re destroying everything that was created for us. Including each other. We’re denied basic human rights…to live healthy and to feel safe. White people are scared of other races and other races are scared for their life. How about we just admit that there are some super shitty people in the world and then work together to capture them and put them in jail? Wouldn’t that work better? Like, two sets of eyes works better than one?

And how can we live healthy when insurance companies have so much control? I’d rather pay for every single person to have health care and be able to go to the doctor for medicine if they need it than to walk into a grocery store and be worried that someone couldn’t go to the doctor and are now carrying the virus that’s going to turn everyone into zombies. I really don’t want to become a zombie…not today anyway. Then again, it would make everything a lot easier because I wouldn’t care anymore….not alive, no emotions, no soul, no feelings. That would be a lot easier for sure….I just don’t feel like it today. The affordable care act isn’t affordable at all. And some company’s insurance plans are just awful! Not to mention, there’s more money in keeping people sick than there is in making people better. There’s seriously something wrong here.

There’s something wrong with everything. When did we become so self centered and greedy? How do we not care about other people? I mean, I don’t even LIKE people and I don’t want them to die. At least not like this. If God wants to smite some of them, meh…I guess I’m okay with it. But why are we okay with killing each other? Why are we okay with people not being able to go to the doctor if they need to? Why are we okay with the world being destroyed? Why is this all okay? And HOW is it up for debate?? Have your own opinion, sure, but these aren’t really opinion things…they’re common sense things. Why are we letting these fear mongering tactics tear us apart and divide us? Americans say this is the greatest country in the world…but I don’t see it. I’m an American and I just don’t see it. How?? How is this the greatest country in the world?? We only care about ourselves…and not even as a collective country!!! Literally only care about what affects our own lives. That’s not unity. That’s not great. That’s not compassionate. What the fuck is wrong with us? Why can’t we get our shit together? Why are all these greedy people and racist people allowed to control so much? And why can’t I fix it? I just want my heart to stop hurting…my heart hurts for us, for those that are discriminated against, for those who can’t see that they’re racist and part of the problem, for those like me, who don’t know what to do about it, for those who can’t see beyond their nose, for those who don’t want to admit that racism is a real life thing that’s still happening, for those who are struggling and working hard to make ends meet only to be let down by those you’re trying to help…my heart just hurts.

Republican, democrat, conservative or liberal, we need some humility. We need compassion. We need to keep perspective because we’ve clearly lost our way. We’ve lost our way when our only two options for President are a hateful, fear mongering monster and a lying murderess. We’re lost and I’m scared for us. And I just don’t know how to fix it and it makes me so very very sad. I just don’t know what to do…but I’m open to suggestions! I just want to put a band aid on the world, give it a hug and a hot cup of tea and say “It’s going to be okay…I have the answer” but I can’t because I don’t. The only thing I can do is hope that one day a light bulb will go on and all of a sudden, we’ll wake up and say “we’re doing this all wrong! We need to work together! Not be afraid of each other!” Though, I think people are a little too self involved and self focused to realize that they’re wrong and need to change.

My heart hurts…and I don’t know how to fix these things…and that’s all I want to do.
Thanks for reading.
~Val

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