Stop hating people you don’t understand, and other memorial day lessons.
I wanted this memorial day to be simple. Me, the murph, remembering a few fallen soldiers, and feeling lucky to be safe, in love, with the expectation of a long life together with Jesse. It has kind of turned into something different.
A few days ago, a facebook friend commented that all members of ICE were terrorists and should be treated as such. She also extended, after some discussion, the terrorist moniker to police officers. I politely tried to mention that a) that kind of language was not productive, and b) that hating one group of people in its entirety without having met any one of them or trying to understand them was kind of similar to hating all illegal immigrants.
“Well,” she responded, “you have a choice to join ICE.”
“You have a choice to immigrate,” I responded.
“Yeah, well given their circumstances it wasn’t much of a choice, was it?”
“Can you think of any reasons or circumstances that would extend the same not choice to an ICE member?”
“Understanding ICE isn’t really high on my list of priorities.”
It’s this kind of thinking, on both sides, that hurts both this country and my heart deeply. It’s also completely not productive. I brought up being vegan, on the simple fact that most people hate vegans because they are “pushy about their methodology.” If I were to hate everyone who was complicit in the murder and torture of animals then I would hate a lot of people, wouldn’t I? And who was ever convinced to change by being told they were a terrible person? This logic was completely lost on this particular facebook friend.
There you have it. Both vegans and ICE are equally nonsensical.
But dark humor aside, it’s a terrible thought to think of people you know (as I know police officers, and military members who have trained with ICE) who are willing to lay down their lives for, at least, Americans, being hated by fellow Americans. I think of how rare it is to find someone willing to take a bullet for another that they might not even know, and wonder, how can anyone not appreciate that? How can you not appreciate someone whose drive to do the right thing, as they see it, is so great that they would put themselves in danger? That they would feel every day their own fear, and the fear of their spouse and family, that they might not come home?
DISCLAIMER: I am not saying EVERY member of ICE is a saint or every police officer is a moral person. However, out of the entire group, is it not possible that some are decent and good people? How can you say an entire group of people is evil?
BUT, you (and this facebook friend ask) what about NAZI’s?
Ah yes, the Nazi trump card. I leave you with this.
After WW1, everyone maligned Germany, tanked their economy, and then Hitler happened. During WWII, German POW’s were taken to the United States and given the option to work on American farms in exchange for a small salary. They did, and many made lifelong friends with American farmers. Many of these relationships even persevered after these German soldiers returned to their country after the war, to try and rebuild. Is Naziism evil and did Hitler deserve to be shot, a fate I would not even give to a rabid dog? (I would say ‘shot like a rabid dog,’ but the poor puppy didn’t mean it and he should be euthanized). The answer to that question is equivocally YES. However, if we would have completely isolated the German people and told them all that they were equally evil, as opposed to building relationships with them, would they have become our allies and a current bastion of good sense, democracy, and fairness?
What happened after WWI?
What do you think?
And in case you are wondering, yes, I did do the murph. This morning, bright and early I biked to a local park. Being solo, I decided to go for the gold and do everything in order. 1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 air squats, and another 1 mile run without dividing everything into sets. I completed it in 1 hour and 12 minutes. Then I had to bike 4 miles downtown to walk a dog.
The key to a good murph is to do something, and to keep doing it, even when your mind says you can’t. You can feel the panic welling up, your body screaming, but you to just keep breathing, and keep going. A murph on memorial day is nothing in comparison to the pain and suffering of many people who fought (and this goes for civil rights activists and police officers too) to make this country great. However, it is hard, and it let’s you know that impossible things are possible.
If you think understanding an ICE member or a Trump supporter is impossible, keep breathing, keep going, and think harder. We make change through understanding and communication, not hate.
Happy memorial day, everyone.
This Week in Updates: Grilled Cheese and Presentations
I made grilled cheese vegan and healthy and homemade! Yay, yay, yay, yay! I also had some time to sleep and actually blog. Maybe we will try for once every two weeks? Who am I kidding, we will try for every week, but at least accomplish once every two.
Jesse also had his first solo ref presentation and KICKED ASS. Yay, yay, yay, yay!
The Recipe: Healthy Smokey Gouda Vegan Grilled Cheese
So Heidi-Ho has this vegan smokey gouda cheese spread, made of canola oil and other yuckies, that tastes delicious. I wanted to make something similar, but healthy, and more gooey, to make bomb vegan grilled cheeses. I did it, and this is the result!
- Olive oil
- 1/2 cup soaked cashews
- 1 cup hot water
- 4 tbs tapioca powder
- 2 tbs nutritional yeast
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Blend all ingredients but the bread and olive oil together
- Cook blended mixture on medium heat in a non stick skillet until it gets gooey and "cheesy"
- Spread 1 tablespoon or two (depending on how many grilled cheeses you are making) on a baking sheet.
- Lay bread a single slice at a time on the baking sheet.
- Spread cheese over bread.
- Cook in over for about 10 minutes until bread is toasty and brown on one side.
- Put whatever toppings you want in your grilled cheese, I like onions and jalapenos!
- Put both slices together, and enjoy your sandwich!
- Makes enough for two thick grilled cheeses, or four thinner ones.