Thursday, November 10, 2016

Alright.....we get it, everyone is ANGRY

"Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people." - Abraham Lincoln

Can we all stop being hypocrites for a minute? Our country just took part in the dirtiest, nastiest, most scandalous election in my entire voting history. As I watched poll after poll close and numbers start coming in, I sat in shock ~ I'm not going to lie, I was in total disbelief. And I was one of the majority of voters who honestly did not support either candidate. But, I needed a full 24 hours to process what had happened, and I was mad. Mad that in a country that I am desperately trying to raise my children to NOT be assholes.....they just watched the Nation ignore disgusting behavior and go ahead and throw their vote in with one of the worst.
Before everyone freaks out....I get it, I honestly do. The exit polls said 70% of the people who voted for Trump do not even like him. I understand, everyone is mad at the current state of the government (so they say), I truly understand. I also live in a total RED state, where people claim to not know anyone who voted for our Governor,they claim to not like him or his policies. But again when given the choice to vote for change, overwhelmingly did not.
But.......ok, now it's over. We voted, he won....it's over. During this whole process the hypocrisy and hate from both sides has driven me ABSOLUTELY insane. I want to tell you why....... We are absolutely allowed to have our own opinions. It is probably no giant surprise that I am a Democrat, I have never voted straight ticket though. I have my priorities as a woman, mother and citizen of this great country, but so do you. When I step into a "booth" to vote, I absolutely every time vote for the issues that are of utmost importance to me, and I honestly hope that is what you all do!  That is why we love America, it is part of what makes our country GREAT (cause seriously, it's always been great....no need to make it so).
But in this world of participation trophies, people need to seriously realize, SOMETIMES YOU LOSE. And that's ok.....it really is, the world will not end ~ you lost, it sucks. I know and love SEVERAL people that voted differently than me, that's ok. Does that make me love them less? Absolutely not. Does it make me want to say mean and hateful things to them? Absolutely not! Does it make me want to wish them ANY ill will? NO. Good God, what is wrong with us? How can we be on a soap box against hate speech, against assholes ~ but then behave EXACTLY like that? WE CAN'T!
Does it make me think that we obviously see things VERY differently and have VERY different priorities when we enter that "booth"? Um......YEAH. Life in general would be pretty boring if we all agreed on everything (you've seen the Stepford Wives right?). It's pretty simple though, we as a nation need to calm down, take a time out and self reflect right now. Stop blaming everyone else for our own problems. Be accountable for our actions, before we try to hold someone else accountable for theirs. If you want people to stop being ASSHOLES, then start with yourself!

"And so we shall have to do more than register and more than vote; we shall have to create leaders who embody virtues we can respect, who have moral and ethical principles we can applaud with enthusiasm." - Martin Luther King, JR.

When towards the end of the campaigning, people were SO worried that Trump wouldn't concede graciously and then what happens? Oh yeah, HE WINS.....so people protest? Exactly WHY? What are they hoping to accomplish? Besides looking like the assholes they so adamantly were against. The reason we vote, is because we all have different opinions and we are allowed that. Is the system flawed, sure. Do we use an outdated, archaic system to count votes, yes. People from both sides have said that for years! My hope with this outcome is that we will see changes being made to our government and to our voting system. I really do.
The things I have seen since the election have been concerning. I am a liberal....I am a democrat, but I am not in the street protesting, I am not throwing a fit, I am not spreading more hate. We need to STOP with the us vs. them mentality, stop all the HATE....we just have to. Not all Liberals want free everything for everyone, or to take all your guns away. Just like not all conservatives hate minorities (yes, I mean every non white, non straight, non disabled group). And I am guessing that people on either side do not like being lumped in with the radical few.
At the same time, while it may now seem like an uphill battle, or like we have taken quite a few steps backward (to some of us).....I will NOT stop believing in human decency, I will NOT stop believing in and fighting for human rights for ALL people. It does absolutely make me sad that Human Rights and decency towards others is not EVERYONE's priority, but we as a nation have created this. We have stood back and allowed people to point fingers, place blame, spread hate for years and years and years. And while many will say they do not believe in or condone that behavior, I have learned that "looking the other way" sends the same message as "approval", and that is the only part of this election outcome that makes me truly sad.
But, like I said....we ALL have different priorities, and we are allowed that. Mine will just always be rights for all people, and human decency. When we find a candidate that can run on that platform he/she will be a shoo in! (Oh wait, we had that guy in the primaries)!

"It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union." ~ Susan B. Anthony

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

An open letter to the Holton High School Class of 2017.............

A fellow Fragile X mom wrote an open letter to her son's graduating class. You can read that here. I read it with tears, and shared it. Since no two kids are the same, while reading it, I thought first "this is brilliant" (she is brilliant and amazing). Then I thought, "my letter would be different". It's a testimony to our kids, that a website or medical book would like to group them all together, same issues, same worries same "problems". It's just not true, while sometimes kids may be affected in the same way....they are still their own individual people, with individual issues and individual needs. If you've met one person with Fragile X, you've met ONE person with Fragile X. So, here goes my letter.


Dear Holton High School Class of 2017:

This is it, the last year of high school. I am having a really hard time as this year starts, your mom's probably are too. I have watched most of you grow from pre-school to now. I have seen how your friendships have changed, I have seen you become young adults. I thank God for early intervention and the pre-school Rhein was able to attend. I watched you as you all became aware of Rhein's "differences" and I watched you, with bursting heart, just accept him as he is.  As you have all grown older I see those same kids who accepted his quirkiness in pre-school become his biggest fans and supporters in high school. I have seen his Football Team defend him fiercely when he walks out onto the field. I have seen you stand up for and stick up for Rhein. I know you all care about him, I know you want what is best for him. I also know you do not tolerate ANYONE being mean to him. But........
Rhein kind of falls through the cracks. You see, since he is high functioning, it is easy to forget that he has a disability. He smiles, he jokes, he laughs with all of you. He loves to go places and do things. He loves to feel like he is part of something. I think that is why he loves Football so much. For 6 months every year, he is "one of the guys". He is a football player, he is "normal". And he loves that!
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, it's not going to get better. It's not." - The Lorax
What many people don't realize about Rhein, is that he is riddled with, what is sometimes paralyzing social anxiety, he wants to go places, he wants to do things.....but if you pay attention you will see, he is always "just outside" the circle or the group. He's present, he's a part of it, but he doesn't just interject himself, he doesn't just join in. Why? He's afraid. He wants everyone to like him, he doesn't want to make anyone mad, he doesn't want to be made fun of. He doesn't want to disappoint.
So, that brings me to this.....my plea to you....Class of 2017, include him, PLEASE include him. Really make an effort, if you would. I know that no one purposely EXCLUDES him, you are all way too generous and kind hearted for that! But, I am going to need you to make an effort. He will not ask for a ride, he will not invite himself. He might ask you 1000 questions about what you are doing this weekend, and it can be a lot....I know! But, he is asking because he so badly wants you to say...."I am going ____________ Do you want to come?" So, ask him, please! All it will take is some encouraging from you, an invite, a couple words, a "hey Rhein, why don't you come with us."

"Would you CHOOSE to be tolerated or to be WHOLLY ACCEPTED as you are?" - Unknown
You can not imagine how excited and happy he is when he gets invited to go somewhere, one on one or with a group. Or how totally bummed out he is when all his friends go somewhere, but no one thought to invite him to ride with them (his anxiety is too much to drive on the highway or big city). There have been times with him where someone asks, "are you going?", but his answer is just No...he doesn't say, "well I want to, but I need a ride", or "could I go WITH you"?  (I know ALL of you would take him if he asked). He takes things very literally, so your invitations must be direct!
There are many times that I see him standing just off to the side and I so badly want to yell..."Rhein, get over there with your group, join in....have fun!" But, he is an adult and so, I need YOU all to do that, even more, when you notice him just off to the side.
I see his face light up when one of his friends jumps in the car with him, or responds to a text, or asks him what he's doing. It's really just the little things that make all the difference.
"It's our choices that show what we really are, far more than our abilities" -Albus Dumbledore 
This will be your last year together, and I know as you all go off to college next year, or join the work force, you will miss that bright smile, (how could you not) you will miss his encouragement, but I don't think you will realize just how much, until it's over ~ I do know however, that he will miss you all fiercely. He genuinely cares about each and every one of you. I want you all to have fun, your Senior year should be a year of memories. My hope is that this year, while you are making these fabulous memories, you will think of Rhein. I want him to have amazing memories from his Senior year, just like you. So, please just remember that. You all can help him make memories, you can help with his confidence, you all can help prepare him for his own college experience, you all can teach him that it's ok to ask, it's ok to include himself. You all could make a difference this year, that will affect him for the rest of his life. And if you do, it may just affect the rest of your life too.
"Those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly, we are not the same afterwards" -Life of Pi

Friday, July 8, 2016

The enemy in us all ~ Fear........

"The enemy is fear. We think it's hate; But, it is fear" - Gandhi

1992...... Rodney King. I was 13 years old and remember crying watching the footage of Rodney King being brutally beaten by police, sick to my stomach. For those who don't know or don't remember, Rodney King was a paroled felon, he was driving, he was under the influence and he led police on a high-speed chase in Los Angeles. He then "surrendered", but allegedly remained uncooperative and resisted arrest. What followed that was a 90 second disturbing video of 4 policemen brutally attacking, kicking and beating this man with their batons. It was, at the time, the most graphic and disturbing thing I had ever seen. When the court decided to release the 4 officers without charges the city went crazy....the people protested, and so began the LA Riots, 3 days of violence, death and destruction. I can remember the shock, and honestly I still cry when I read about it.
If you would have told me then, that 24 years from now my children would see graphic, disturbing video on a weekly (if not more) basis, I wouldn't have believed you.....it's still hard to believe and it sickens me that something that was once so outrageous, has become the "norm".
We, as a society, are so desensitized to violence that it is truly disturbing. Whether it is due to movies, tv, live video, video games, it is still disturbing; it is a sad time to be part of this "human" race.

"They hate because they fear, and they fear because they feel the deepest feelings of their lives are being assaulted and outraged. And they do not know why; they are powerless pawns in a blind play of social forces." - Richard Wright

What in the world has happened in Twenty-Four years time that our citizens now behave like, or worse than, those of a third-world country. That we have terrorist living with us, so filled with hate that they are shooting up schools, office buildings, movie theaters, night clubs and now peaceful rally's?
Then the saddest part is, instead of coming together and looking for a solution to this very disturbing and terrifying problem, hate begets more hate and ignorance ensues all around us. People are divided by beliefs, race, gender, religion. Everyone is placing blame and spewing hate, no one is reflecting on themselves, no one is admitting to any wrong doing. We can't ALL be the victims, we ARE NOT all the victims.

"Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate." - Rick Warren

My Social media page has been filled with hate lately. Someone expresses an opinion 20 people disagree and an argument gets opened up in their comment section. After a while, the people are out of facts and they just begin personally insulting the "commenters", because I guess that's what we do. We don't like what someone says, we resort to name calling. Instead of stepping back and realizing that maybe there are 50 sides to the same story, maybe we can try to see someone else's point of view, we write them off......it's much easier. In this cyber world, where we don't have to say anything to someone's face we can just sit back and type anything we want, regardless of how it makes someone feel. We can bully and name call and say things we would NEVER say to someone sitting across from us, we have no manners and no regard for other people's feelings.....NONE.
So, what should we do? STOP....just STOP. We need to reach out, we need to band together despite our differences, we are all DIFFERENT, we need to work together to STOP this cycle of violence. It's getting worse. It will keep getting worse, unless we make some drastic changes and that scares me.
What will the next 20 years be like? We have regressed this much in the compassion department in the last 20 years, what will it be like in 20 more? That questions disturbs me, it makes me afraid.....what will my children's world be like, or their children.....and what does fear do? It causes hate and then more violence.
The answer.....LOVE, care about your fellow humans NO MATTER their personal lifestyles or beliefs. RESPECT all people, NO MATTER their profession or skin color. TRUST that if we work together, if we Love and Respect one another, we can fix this, we are human, we do have compassion and FEAR can not win, if we don't let it. Stop being assholes.

"This world of ours...must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be instead, a confederation of mutual trust and respect." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Friday, May 6, 2016

Who wrote your "manual"?

Motherhood doesn't come with a manual.......I've heard this saying a MILLION times. While it is true, I somewhat disagree.....for me, I have realized that I have been writing my own manual since my own childhood, taking pages from other people's life lessons. Watching, learning, being inspired, taking mental notes of what seems to work, and what absolutely does not.
Mother's Day is one of my absolute favorite holidays.....not because I get flowers (and sometimes breakfast) and not because I get to drink Mimosas, but because I get to reflect. I really enjoy reflecting, but it does make me emotional. When I think back on the amazing strong women that have helped to make me the person I am I realize how fortunate I am. There are countless women that have affected my life, from childhood to now, I could never name or count them all. I could never give them all the credit they deserve, I can only hope they know they had an impact.

"When I stopped seeing my mother with the eyes of a child, I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself" - Nancy Friday


My own mother, who managed a household, a husband, a full time job and three demanding children, but still made time to be a girl scout leader: She has contributed several pages to my manual, she taught me countless things.... she taught me that nothing in life is easy, you always stand up and fight for your family, it's ok to yell, it is ok to not be perfect, you have to work hard to see reward, you most certainly can't take it all with you in the end, so..... GO....travel, go camping, learn something new, have desert, make memories.



My grandmothers wrote a few pages too. My grandma lost her husband (my Grandpa) while she was pretty young, (I was very young) and while she grieved his loss deeply~ she taught me that love doesn't end at death, and it is OK to be strong and independent, you can do anything you set your mind to. My Granny, oh boy......the list is too long for this blog, but mostly she taught me family is important, how you treat other people is a direct reflection on yourself, everyone should know how to make a good gravy, anything can be good if you make it with love, and if God gave you a gift....you use it.

I have a few pages taken from the mothers' of my childhood friends, I won't list names....but, from them I learned a few things.....don't pull down on your eye when you put eyeliner on (it will make you have bags), it is totally ok to be the mom in the middle of everything with a camera (you only embarrass your own child during this), if you treat your children with total trust and respect as teenagers they turn in to amazing adults, a little swearing never hurt anyone, but it isn't ok to be disrespectful, save the arguments for the big stuff, don't be so busy that you can't make time for your kids, be who you are....not who someone wants you to be, some people will like you (some people won't), having snacks on hand for teenagers means they will hang out at your house.

"Everyone is my teacher. Some I seek. Some I subconsciously attract. Often I learn simply by observing others. Some may be completely unaware that I'm learning from them, yet I bow deeply in gratitude." - Eric Allen

I was also fortunate enough to have an amazing woman as a pastor during my teenage years who contributed to my "motherhood" manual. She baptized me, and eventually performed my wedding ceremony. It is hard to sum her up in a few words. Mesmerizing just about encompasses all that she is. She taught me to love, not just part way....deeply and with your whole heart. She taught me to be kind, even to people who are not kind to you. She taught me to be strong, and thankful... because I will never be doing anything alone, God is always with me. 
During trials of my life I have been blessed with angels, who were really just regular women, but they felt a lot like angels at the time. Never under estimate the power of a random act of kindness, it truly can make a world of difference.
As an adult I met and was able to appreciate some more amazing women, and kept adding pages to my manual. My aunt, who helped me keep my chin up while struggling with the after affects of my children's diagnosis. My mother-in-law, who through some pretty big life trials, made the hard choices to make sure her son's life was the best she could give him. My friends, who demanded meeting for coffee once a week....just for a break, and laughs. A few amazing friends who gave me the courage, strength and tools to be able to go talk to my son's classroom about his disability. A whole online support group of mother's who are the first one's to reach out in crisis, or lend an ear, or give valuable advice. My sisters, who taught me patience from a very early age (I still struggle with that), but have become pretty astounding women. My cousins, who have become irreplaceable friends. The amazing mother's I have met in person through Fragile X events, that felt like lifelong friends and sisters immediately. The ladies that let me vent to them and allow me to laugh at myself at least once a week.

"I've learned that family and friends are what make us who we are today and without them we would never be complete." ~ unknown

My best friends, one I can call for medical advice, opinions and breakthrough news. I think of everyone, I may have leaned on her the hardest right after the boys' diagnosis (and many of the pages from my friends' moms are from her mom) but she never let me fall, she always believed I could do it, or at least pretended. The day I went to take my real estate exam, she called to tell me good luck "you got this" she said. A few hours later, I called to tell her I passed and her exact words were "Holy Shit, you really passed?" ....yep, she totally believes in me. Another bestie, who somehow manages to defy the odds time and time again. Who works her ass off to support her 4 kids, by herself.....with little help from anyone. Who will never let the world bring her down, and who taught me a LONG time ago.....if people are going to talk anyway, give them something good to talk about. And of course my other best friend, who taught me that it is important to take time for me, that kindness is always the answer and that the silver lining is always brighter than the cloud.


My biggest blessing in life is having these three amazing boys. The best compliment I've ever received is being told I am a good mom. That's all I've ever wanted. I'm far from perfect, I don't have all the answers.....I just do my best and rely on that mental "manual" sometimes. So....my fellow women. We all have our own way of parenting, of mothering, none of us do it the same, none of us is right or wrong. But, when it is all said and done, if I have contributed even one page to someone else's "manual", then I will have done something right. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I choose to be me......

"Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?" ~ K.W.

We live in a world where you can really be anyone you want to be online, you can literally present the picture of perfection and hope that people buy it. You can photo shop, you can fib, you can warp reality all you want. People get so angry at the media, because we are teaching little girls and boys that they MUST be perfect to be beautiful, no one wants to hold that mirror up and see that they are also guilty, that it isn't just the media....

"I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not" ~ Kurt Cobain

Hi.....my name is Christina, I weigh more than the chart at the doctor's office says I should, I don't enjoy working out (so I rarely do), I do enjoy food (mostly fattening food) and chocolate, I also enjoy wine and Bud Light, I started smoking when I was 15 (and probably won't stop anytime soon), I got pregnant 2 weeks after I graduated high school, I have messed up, I have made HUGE mistakes, I lived in a state of denial about my children's abilities for years, I hate dusting, I swear (alot), I fight with my sisters, I yell at my husband, I slam the door, I have extreme anxiety (and take medication to control it), I am sarcastic, I have bouts of depression, I over share my feelings, I can be mean, I am frustrated, I sometimes don't do housework for an entire week, I am exhausted.  And that's me (most of the bad anyway) ....take it or leave it, better or worse.
See, I grew up (and still live) in a very small town. I learned very early in life, that no matter what you do, there will always be gossip, there will always be people talking behind your back. (Not everyday....I mean, I don't think THAT highly of myself). So, what exactly is the point of pretending? People either like me or they don't.....I can not MAKE someone like me, and if they like the you that you are "presenting" without the scars and warts, then that's just not real, it's not genuine. I feel bad for people who have to keep up that persona. I have had people, very close to me in life, that never acknowledged the bad......and I could just never figure that out.
First, how can you fully appreciate the good without acknowledging the bad? How can I be absolutely amazed by the character of some people, if I've never been disappointed by others? How can I fully appreciate the heights we rise to, If I have never noticed the depths we have fallen to?

"Everyone experiences some good times and some bad times in their life...But sometimes it takes the darkness of a storm to experience the beauty that the sun can leave behind." ~ Karen Kostyla

Secondly.....how will you ever HELP anyone? What exactly is the point of the individual hell's we ALL go through, if we can't at some point help someone else? I've been there, I'm not afraid to tell you (or anyone) I have gotten so low and so deep into a lifestyle full of despair that I sometimes felt I was literally in HELL. But, I made it out...... and what for? If not to somehow help someone else.

"Generally speaking, there are TWO kinds of learning: Experience, which is gained from your own mistakes, and Wisdom, which is learned from the mistakes of others." ~ John Maxwell

So yes, I could easily present a picture of my "perfect" life with my amazing children, and my wonderful husband, my cute dog, my beautiful home and my new car. I could tell you all how much I love being able to be home with my kids, how much I love my hobbies and my amazing friends, how perfect life is here, on the brick streets of Kansas, none of that is a "lie", it just isn't realistic.....it isn't the whole truth.....it's the rainbows and unicorns version.
I feel I have a responsibility to the people I know and care about, to be able to show them that sometimes life sucks.....sometimes people suck, but it is worth it....all of the bad, all of the mistakes, all of the learning curve, all the hard feelings, all the hurt and despair. It's all worth it. Don't embrace the bad, or dwell in it, don't regret and wallow........ but acknowledge it, because that allows the good, the awesome, the amazing parts of life to be that more wonderful and much more appreciated. In this world where it's so easy to be anyone you want to be....I choose to be me, all of me. The good the bad, the amazing things that have contributed to shaping me to who I am today.....and will everyone like that person? No.....but,I assure you, I'm ok with that.

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes. I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But, if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." ~ Marilyn Monroe

Friday, March 11, 2016

'My Person'.......what my 'adult' best friend has taught me

"A true friend accepts who you are, but also helps you to become who you should be" - Anonymous

I had to fill out some questionnaires about myself this week, for a study that my son and I have participated in for the past 4 years. The questions were about my anxiety, and how anxious certain situations make me and how often I avoid said situations. The thing is, I have to fill the papers out for how I have felt the last month....half way through the questions, I just start laughing. While the anxiety I feel in certain situations has not changed much, my avoidance definitely has. Where I used to mark, I avoid this OFTEN, I now had to mark SOMETIMES or OCCASIONALLY. This is all because of one person, "my person" which according to urban dictionary means: Someone who is not necessarily your boyfriend or girlfriend but is still your favorite person in the whole world. You would do anything for this person and want to be with them all the time.  

I have been blessed with some amazing friends, but I keep my circle pretty small, my two best friends have been my friends since GRADE SCHOOL, I rarely let people in. When you find your 'adult'  best friend, it is life changing....it seems like there wasn't a time when we weren't friends. Because of her I leave the house at least once a week to do something I like to do....band practice (I sing). She also signs us up for random gigs around town at nursing homes and senior citizens centers, and volunteers us to help at caucuses. She also will call me up and ask me to go watch a band in 2 hours, and amazingly I go! She embodies the art of spontaneity, and she radiates joy and happiness. I'm pretty sure she would qualify as a Type B personality..... I am in awe of her a lot of times, she makes me a much better person.
I want to try new things when I am around her, and she makes me believe I can. There are times that she drives me crazy, seriously CRAZY. But, she has inspired this list, and I hope you enjoy it!

1. Don't take yourself so seriously........ really, no one cares what you are wearing or if you miss a note here or there. They won't remember that! They will remember that you looked like you were having fun!

2. No regrets.......... the dishes will be there tomorrow, so will the laundry. You can't get time back, there are no do-overs, so enjoy every minute.

3. Sometimes planning is over rated........when I plan things, I tend to "over think" them to death and usually talk myself out of even going. When things are last minute, there is no plan and way less stress, you just go. 

4. Life's for the living....... there isn't much you can do if you don't leave your home. There is joy in meeting new people and having new experiences. 

5. Everything will be ok.......So....what's the worst thing that can happen? So, you didn't get a paper turned in, or you were 15 minutes late to something, or you didn't feel like making dinner. What is the absolute worst thing that can happen? You'll get over it, everyone will, and it will be ok.

6. It's not the end of the world.........this really goes along with #5, I mean NOTHING, that's right NOTHING is the end of the world EXCEPT the actual end of the world!

7. Smile......yep, you just look better when you smile, people want to be around happy people.

8. Hakuna Matata, it means "no worries" that's her phrase (and her ringtone on my phone). It's also my constant reminder to breathe and refer to 1-7.

So, everyone with anxiety needs a type B friend. At the beginning you WILL need extra medication, but believe me.....they will rub off a little on you and you will be all the better for it. 

"You have been my friend"  replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing." 
- E.B. White (Charlotte's Web)

Friday, March 4, 2016

My vote is my voice.......

"Voting is the right upon which all other rights depend" ~ Thomas Paine

I don't write political blogs, I just don't. We are all free to have our own personal opinions, and more than likely mine are different than yours, but I respect that. The world would be a pretty boring place if we all agreed on everything. One thing having to do with politics that I will stand on my soap box for is voting, and the importance of it. First a quick history lesson.......

"All persecution is a sign of fear; for if we did not fear the power of an opinion different from our own, we should not mind others holding it." ~ Phyllis Bottome

Our ancestors came to America to get away from religious persecution (that is why, in America, we have freedom of religion). People were persecuted for believing something different than the "mainstream". They were banished, driven out of their homes, tortured and even executed for not believing the same as the majority. America still has freedom of religion, but it becomes slippery slope, when we start fearing what is different or try to make laws to protect one certain religions point of view. The fact is there are 313 different religions and denominations in the United States......whoever you are and whatever you believe, you must be respectful that there are at least 312 other ways to look at something, or believe.

"Poverty is not a lack of character. It is a lack of money. A lack of opportunity. A lack of investment.It is when society turns it's back and makes you invisible." ~ Unknown

They also left England due to economic hardships, to give their children and their children's children a better life...today 35% of Americans rely on public assistance to supplement their household, due to starvation wages. The official number of people living BELOW the poverty line (that is based on household size, a family of 5 who makes less than $28,410, a family of 4 making less than $24,250, 3 family members making less than $20,090, 2 making less than $15,930 or 1 person household bringing home less than $11,770) is 18%. Think about that for one moment, if you are a single mom with 2 kids and you work at a job 40 hours a week, that pays only minimum wage you NEED assistance. That doesn't make you lazy, or a free loader...it means we need higher wages, it means American citizens should be doing everything they can to fight for and demand better. The richest county in the world should not have poverty rates this high, should not have people living on the streets, should not have people terrified of not being able to feed their kids. It is simply NOT ACCEPTABLE, and it is in fact one reason people moved from England to America......a better life.

"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Another reason to leave England was political oppression and tyranny. There was no democracy in England, there was a King and his court, there was the Royal family. They made all the decisions, there was no vote, there was no "we the people", they were being ruled by the thoughts and desires of a small percentage of the population. Which is why the fore-fathers of the United States fought so hard to separate from England, to become our own County, to be a government "for the people, by the people". I fear they would be disgusted at what has become of our political system, essentially it is becoming what they hated the most. We have a select group of people (Congress) who have no term limits, who spend as much as FIFTY ONE years in office. Who become so out of touch with the people they "represent" that they are no longer truly representing them. We Americans, all 318.9 million of us are "represented by 535 members of the house and senate, 1.67%.

"Bad officials are elected by good people who don't vote" ~ George Jean Nathan

Which brings me to my point.....history lesson over. WHY? Why do we allow people so out of touch with their constitutes to stay in office, why do we allow their votes to be bought by lobbyist, why do we allow the corruption and greed? Simple.....no one thinks their vote matters, no one wants to wait in line at the polls. We have become so complacent as citizens that we are not even utilizing our most important right, our right to have our voices heard, our right to make a difference, our right to VOTE. in 2012, 42.5% of the population of the United States of America DID NOT show up to vote. They just didn't. Recently in my hometown we had a City Primary vote, it had a voter turnout (including early voting) of 11%, ELEVEN PERCENT! We live in a world where people have been tortured, beaten, and even murdered fighting for their right to vote, to be heard.....sadly there are still Countries where people fight every day for that right.....but my fellow Americans, the Fat Cats of the world, the entitled, we take it all for granted........so please go and VOTE.....or, do nothing, but either way, make sure to bitch about it later.

"My vote is my voice.....and the voice of all who struggled, so that I may have my voice." ~ Lyida C. Obasi