Walking Away is Not the Answer: Even in Government

Walking Away is Not the Answer: Even in Government

We can't expect to be a strong nation if we cannot even listen to each other.

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Recently my friend, Jay, reached out to me asking "opinion on this?" and sent me a video on Del. Nick Freitas. It was an old video, but I watched it anyway.

Freitas stood on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates, expressing his views on gun rights and the attitude of the Democratic party towards the Republican party. At first, I was upset by the language used by Freitas. But as I continue watching I see a different problem; all the Democrats who walk out of the room.

My heart sinks. How are we suppose to ask the other side to sit and listen when we cannot do the same. No matter what party you're affiliated with, or where on the political spectrum you lie, it is upsetting to see people leave a room in a political discussion. Jay considers himself to be conservative and he knows that I'm pretty liberal, but we often ask each other opinions on political things and talk about them, without getting upset.

It can be difficult to listen to something, especially if you don't agree with it on a basic moral level, but don't leave. In romantic relationships, if one person leaves in the middle of an argument, the other feels hurt and unheard. It is impossible for there to be communication when half of the whole is not there. More than four in five people in a guardian survey said poor communication played a role in a previous failed relationship.

If we want our government to work, if we want the relationship between the democratic and republican party to work, then we have to be able to listen to each other. We have to be able to sit across the aisle from someone we don't agree with and continue to sit there as they discuss what they feel.

This plays out on both sides. It is impossible for the one to make a relationship of two, work. We have to be in this together. No matter what. No matter how mad the other side makes us, no matter how much they hurt our feelings. We promised to be there. Through thick and thin. We said from the beginning when we first became a country, that we would stick together. When we went through a tough time when the north was going to split from the south, we stuck together. When wars waged and we had to save our friends, we stuck together. We cannot let anger and fear tear us apart after we have been through so much.

If we are going to make this work; not just for the next two years, not just for the next century, not just until a better country comes along. If we are going to really make it, then we have to be there for each other. Until the end. Till death do us part.

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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To The Boy I’ve Been Dating Since I Was 15, I Always Knew You Were My Forever

Thank you for showing me love when I thought I didn't deserve any.

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Hey you,

People assumed our "fling" would only last a few short months. It's what everyone assumes when your first love happens during your sophomore year of high school. Yet here we stand, three and a half years later, more together than we've ever been. Although we've had our ups and downs, we still managed to keep our relationship going and to remember why we're together in the first place.

Many say loving isn't easy, but you make it a walk in the park.

You respect me in more ways than one, and you make me feel beautiful, inside and out. For a long time, I never noticed the beauty and strength I have within myself. I didn't see what others would point out to me, and at times I still find it hard to acknowledge my worth. However, you came into my life at a time when I felt I had no one, and you helped me to see all I have to offer. You helped me to open my mind to the thought of loving myself for who I am, and although the road is long and I'm not completely there, you've made me see how worthy of love I truly am.

Having you as my best friend, along with being my boyfriend, is the most rewarding feeling in the world.

I think the reason we rarely fight or stay angry with each other is that we truly are best friends. We could spend all of our time in deep conversation about any topic in the world and still feel engaged and ready to hear more from one another. Every single day I learn something new about you and vice versa. We can be ourselves in each other's presence and have fun doing absolutely nothing exciting. I am easily annoyed by a lot of things, but you are not one of them. Being with you for hours, even if we just watch TV the entire time, never gets repetitive or boring.

You treated me with the respect I deserved before I even realized I was worthy of it.

In many ways, I don't respect myself. Whether it be body image or letting "friends" walk all over me, I let many thoughts and people control my life. You, however, were the saving grace I needed. You've shown me how I deserve to be treated and how I should think of myself. Often I wonder how I got so lucky to end up with someone who loves me unconditionally and who values everything I have to offer. I say all the time that I don't deserve your heart, your kindness, your love, but you always remind me that I do. And I'm starting to realize that you're right; I deserve every bit of love, kindness, and respect that you have to offer. I can only hope that I award you with the same love and selflessness you give me every single day.

Three and a half years with someone may seem extremely long, but I feel as though we've been together a lifetime. It's hard to remember a time when you weren't right there beside me, and I would never want to imagine a future without you in it. There are so many more laughs, adventures, and memories to be made with you, and I only hope that I can be at least half of the person you are.

Thank you for pulling me out of the darkness. Today, tomorrow, and always.

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