My parents had seven children.

Yes, they are Catholic. Now stop interrupting.

I was the sixth born, second girl and probably the best baby they had. Except that I wasn’t. That distinction always, always goes to the youngest child especially if it is a girl. Which she is.

We are, for all those looking in from the outside, a really close family. All employed, own homes, married, and all but one brother decided to spread the love by bearing off-spring. We’ve given my parents 20 grandchildren and already 20 great-grandchildren. And most of the grandchildren haven’t even gotten started yet.

None of us are currently in jail. (Currently is the key word in that sentence, but that’s not my story to tell.)

But honestly we are simply one messed up bunch. None of us agree on much of the stuff of life. But you’d never know from looking at us. We seem like we all get along, like we’re all on the same page but really we aren’t even reading the same book.

Isn’t it amazing how different the truth can be from what we actually show the world?

And doesn’t social media exacerbate this problem?

My goodness, what a joy it would be to live some people’s Facebook lives! Not they’re real lives! Just their perfect Facebook life.

I’m sure that we humans have been living in Potemkin villages for more than just a few centuries.
Side note: That was a word of the day in probably oh lets’s say mid 2009. I’ve been waiting that long for the chance to use it. FINALLY!

But I digress. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, realness. Honesty. Laying it all out there for everyone to see and owning it. Why don’t we do this? Why aren’t we all confident enough in who we are and what we think to do this? Why aren’t I? Am I afraid that someone may point out the flaws in my opinions? Couldn’t that just be considered a learning experience? Aren’t we open to learning and growing? But instead, I, like most of us, choose to talk about tough issues mostly with those who stand in agreement. I like the pat on the back and how it makes me feel right.

On top of the natural bent towards self-preservation, the political correctness that pervades our society is ruining us.

I want to be done with it. I want to be able to disagree with someone and not feel anger from either of us. I want to disagree and not be made to feel like I just murdered a puppy. Vaccinations, political candidates, sexual orientation, none of these discussions should evoke hatred regardless of which side you’re on. And why do there even have to be sides?

We all view life through different lenses. Even if we were raised in the same household we don’t have the same life experiences. So we tend to think through things differently. How much more so for people who grow up in different families, or belief systems, or laws, customs, cultures, and societies? We can’t possibly think that we’ll all ever agree on anything, do we? And if we’re destined to disagree why can’t we learn to do it with patience and kindness? And maybe even an attempt at understanding?

I mean seriously, can’t we all just get along?

Written by Lauren

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