Dear America...

Dear America...

Americans get so caught up in ​being American​ that we forget to just be humans first and foremost.
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Dear America,

The land of the free, and the home of the brave. I want to preface this by clarifying that I am grateful for you, and love where I am from. I love you, but you have some serious issues that need to be worked on much more thoroughly than they currently are. This isn't about one side of political opinions, values, or beliefs. This is about people ignoring proven facts simply because they do not fit their personal narrative.

I am beyond tired of the severe, and very distinct, division among citizens. It is impossible to share your opinion on any semi-controversial topic without being called every curse word in the book. Liberals are always labeled as "snowflakes", while Conservatives are automatically called "bigots". Nobody is capable of having a civilized and educated debate about anything without trying to be the victim at some point. In modern America, you have to be entirely over one side of the political fence to have a valid perspective. Having a viewpoint that falls right in the middle is unacceptable to both sides, and you are then considered unpatriotic. Not all Liberals want everything to be free, and they certainly do not all believe that the government should be completely centralized. On the other hand, not every conservative hates POC and is against equality. Political perspectives fall on a spectrum, which is something that many Americans are unaware of. By definition (in every political science textbook), Liberals tend to favor change while Conservatives are content with the status quo. These are simply the most basic structures of these ideologies. Nobody is required to believe every value that their party holds, so let's stop assuming that everyone does.

Can we also stop ignoring the fact that there is still far too much inequality for a nation that prides itself on freedom? In 2015, women were still only paid 80% of what men were paid, leaving a 20% gap. The median hourly earning of men was at least $4 more than that of women, in some cases it was higher. Not to mention the $6 average difference between white men to black men. Nobody is pulling the victim card. These are scientific statistics that need to be understood and discussed by both sides of the spectrum. There is no logic behind men being paid more than women for the exact same career. Pay should be based on level of skill, not on gender, race, or any other factor. Wages are just the tip of the iceberg of inequality. Pretending that we are all truly equal is ignorant.

We need to start peacefully communicating before we dig ourselves into a hole that we are unable to get out of. How are we supposed to continue being a world superpower when all 321-some million of us are shouting at each other, rather than listening and compromising? Americans get so caught up in being American that we forget to just be humans first and foremost.

It's time to wake up, America.



Cover Image Credit: http://www.euclidlibrary.org/kids/tickle-your-brain/the-american-flag

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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