Light trigger warning: I’m going to mention politics in a very respectful way in this blog post today. If you are angry and like to post hateful comments, I’m asking you politely to walk away from this post. If you would like to share anything in the name of respectful discourse and understanding, please keep reading.
The new year is here and I am continuing my Scrapbook Your Year approach to year-long memory keeping projects. It looks like this: four pages per month and about 30 photos or less. And that’s it. Done and done. If you’d like to see how my 2016 album turned out, click here and read the post. I’ve got a video that covers it pretty handily.
Yesterday, I sat down to make my first pages of the new year. I started with a paltry 186 photos for the month (I know, right?) and ended up with the following pages.
Yes, health and fitness stuff dominated my month for sure. If I’m teaching women to document their health and fitness, I’d best be walking the walk, right?
Yes, my letterboard gets a workout.
Okay, those are all very safe pages, and here’s where it might get tricky.
I chose to write about politics on the last page for my January pages because right now in America, we’re all experiencing them in some fashion or another. That said, we’re not all experiencing them in the same way. Some people feel relieved that there is a new sheriff in town. Some people are very scared. And a lot of people are shouting and angry.
I am looking to understand. I posted something on Instagram last week and it was met with surprisingly little anger and a lot of understanding. Women who are completely across the political spectrum from me posted the most heartfelt support for respectful dialogue. I do not want to be afraid to have conversations.
Here’s my page and then I have a few more thoughts to share:
My intention today is not to inflame. My intention is to tell complete stories on the pages of my scrapbooks and not to make alternate pages to share on blog posts for the fear of offending someone. This stuff right now? It’s a big part of life and life, in all of its glorious complexity, belongs on our pages, regardless of what side of the aisle you hang your hat.
Bottom line: we don’t all have to think the same way. Diversity is what makes us strong. Compassion and the desire to understand? That will make us wiser.
I’d like to close with an anecdote that my husband shared with me years ago, and again the other day.
The pastor at our former church told a story where he’d gone to a synagogue to hear his friend, a rabbi, preach. During the rabbi’s message, our pastor was surprised at how many conversations were going on while the rabbi was speaking. He wondered if the community was being somewhat rude. Later, the rabbi explained that conversations among parishioners were part of the process. He explained it this way: “I do not hold the only truth. The truth is in the conversation.”
I wanted to share that today because I believe there is truth to be found in the conversation. Not in the anger. Not in the hatred. Not in the judgments. But in the earnest conversation.
If you feel this crafting scrapbooker is stepping too far out of the accepted bounds today, that is wholly your prerogative.
I’m all for more conversations in 2017.