My Wish For The World

My Wish For The World

A necessary reflection on the tragedy in Orlando, Florida.
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I know I can’t be the only one thinking that our world is falling apart. Specifically referring to the shooting in Orlando, Florida, that killed innocent people at a nightclub. The majority of these people just so happened to be a part of the LGBT community. I’ve seen way more on social media than I would’ve liked to have seen stating that these people deserved to die. They deserved to die because they were “disgusting,” “pedophiles,” “bad,” “sick,” etc.

Yes, I understand that words like these are not what killed these people. I know that the person who did kill them had a hateful heart, and I would like to think that most of us do not think that way. However, I do know that mean spirited words like the ones I mentioned above do not help the matter. They only add fuel to the fires of those hateful hearted people.

When you refer to someone of a different race than your own as inferior to you, you're fueling the fire. When you glare at the gay couple holding hands in the grocery store, you're also fueling the fire. When you make a judgment about someone before knowing them, just because of something you recognize on the outside, you're sending a message to those hateful hearted people that their hate is OK. I do not want to live in a world where hate is OK. I do not want to live in a world where people are afraid to hold the hand of someone they love because it is dangerous. I most definitely do not want to live in a world where innocent, hardworking, loving, happy people are killed because of who they are or who they love.

When are we going to open our eyes, put the guns down, and realize that all we really have in this world is each other? Whether we’re male, female, gay, straight, black, white, Christian, or not — we are all human. What all of us really want is to be accepted for who we are, not just during tragedy — but every single day.

I have spent many nights recently wishing and hoping for something better. I want a better world for the people I love and care about, for my future children, and for myself. I want a better world for people that I don’t even know, and for the idealistic dreamers out there like me.

I hope someday I can say that we have overcome this obstacle. And that we have overcome every other obstacle that will come upon us in the future. I hope that someday, the majority of people I come in contact with will not have a bad word to say about someone just because they are different from them.

My wish for the world is that we can come to understand and love one another. And even if there are people who you disagree with, you can still meet them in the middle, and at least see where they are coming from with their views. You must always remember that not everyone has been through what you have been through. No one has walked in the shoes you have walked in, but we are have our struggles. We all have our own hopes, dreams, and fears. But my wish is that our fears can be something other than the world we live in.

If you’re reading this, please choose to love someone else today. Always choose love over hate, and spread kindness everywhere you go. Because love always wins in the end.

Cover Image Credit: Illustration Source

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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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Let's Talk About Israel

As a reform Jew, I have had a lot of problems with the country of Israel and where I stand on supporting its existence versus supporting its government.

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As a reform Jew, I have had a lot of problems with the country of Israel and where I stand on supporting its existence versus supporting its government. I know there is a need for a country for Jewish people to reside without fear of anti-semitism. Especially following the rise of it after the election of the Trump administration and following the shooting in Pittsburg. There have been many actions taken around the world that continue to prove my point that anti-semitism is on the rise and that there is a need for Israel as a home for the Jewish people. However, the actions taken by the Israeli government have made it truly difficult for me to support Israel with all of my being.

Some of my issues with the state of Israel lie within its treatment of Jews who are not Orthodox as well as people who are not Jewish at all. Since it follows international law that all people are allowed to follow there own religious beliefs and practices, it should follow that religious states allow for leniency underneath laws made surrounding religious beliefs. When it comes to Orthodox versus Reform and Conservative Jews, Israel has some laws that directly limit the rights and abilities of this population. For example, Orthodox Rabbis have exclusive rights to perform marriages in Israel.

Also, dual citizenship for Jews is limited to Orthodox Jews. This would mean that every single Jew who is not Orthodox or who did not convert under Orthodox law do not have rights to dual citizenship. Gay marriage is not legal in Israel yet also despite Tel Aviv has one of the biggest Pride Parades that occur each year. With all of these pieces coming together, I have had to come to terms with what it means to support a country whose leader does support me as a reform Jew and as a bisexual woman. My right to practice my chosen profession in Israel would not even be recognized due to the fact that not only am I reform but I am female. I would not be allowed to practice Rabbinic's in Israel.

Also, Israel has been committing atrocities during their recent conflict with Hamas and in their push to claim territory on the West Bank. The Settlements have been created through incentive programs that make it more fiscally reasonable to live there. Israeli citizens often move out there more for financial reasons. The conflicts with Hamas have caused countless civilian casualties on both sides. Both Hamas and the Israeli government have been committing acts of war and putting innocent lives in the way of their continued issue with each other.

Most of what I explained is barely scraping the tip of the iceberg that is Israel and its many conflicts, issues, and history. My issue with Israel rests within its government and the people in charge. The way Netanyahu has taken to leading the country is an embarrassment and a travesty. Watching these actions unfold over the last few years under Netanyahu have made me question my support of such a beautiful country.

Each government has its own issues. However, I have found a fine line between supporting Israel and her right to exist and not supporting her leaders. The people who run the country do not reflect the beliefs of the people and of the religion that the country represents. This must be emphasized as the line between disagreeing with Israel and disagreeing with Judaism altogether has been blurred.

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