I’m remiss to write about politics and really what I am about to say has nothing to do with politics, it’s more about America and what it means to be American.

However, it feels like all everyone can talk about are the differences and sharp contrasts in our country right now. The news is still trying to spin everything to look as crazy and out of control as possible. From my facebook feed to the coffee shop, everyone is still talking about how crazy the other side is, both sides saying hurtful and hateful things about the other.

But I have a different story to tell. My story is about unity, about coming together and about listening to find middle ground. I don’t really understand it all, but I do know there is beauty in finding unity despite our differences, that is exactly what our forefathers did. This is part of the DNA of what makes America, America!  

This year I have had the amazing opportunity to watch, in person, the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another, I have walked the halls of Capitol Hill as a concerned citizen and had my concerns be heard, this year I have also stood in line at the free lunch program for kids offered all summer long. I have traveled to cities from coast to coast this year and I’m continually reminded that this gift has come at a great cost. The life and livelihood of those who bravely fight for us and those who work hard, nothing has been or will be free, nothing. America is truly the greatest privilege and gift to us all, I hope more people understand this as we continue to work to restore and heal our beautiful land.  

In some ways, President Donald Trump really united us all around raising our voices again, I’m finally hearing conversations, I’m hearing people care and apathy subside, from both sides. Maybe this is what we needed.

As I told some recent senators in NY State, this election revealed our true heart here in America and it showed how far off track we have gone. No one should be silenced and we should all be engaged and active.

This year while Scotty and I were in DC for the Inauguration, we had the pleasure of staying with a friend’s Aunt who does not have the same political views as us, we actually disagree on more things than we agree on.  She hosted us for several days and once we left she hosted women who were coming to march in DC. Is this not America? This example revived me! We can live in peace and also share completely different views.  Finding solidarity is always the answer. I have sat in front of many people who didn’t agree with what we were doing, people who told us you can’t do this or that. I’ve learned through this, that it’s all how you react.  

Instead of causing hysteria and fanfare, what if our leaders went and asked for a meeting with the others across the aisle? What if together we found a way to listen and move forward. Our forefathers did not always agree, but they grappled, prayed, met and discussed until a way forward was forged.

What if some of our leaders could be like Aunt Susan and open up their doors one day to like minded individuals and the next to those who think completely different?

I have to believe great and amazing things would happen for all Americans. This Fourth of July I’m beyond grateful for all those who have sacrificed for this privilege we enjoy, who have sacrificed beyond measure so we can watch a peaceful transition of power and have the freedom to make our opinions known and disagree with those in leadership and those next door.

Let us remember that nothing is free and that it’s our duty to give back and work together to find solutions, to reach across the aisle and to listen. There is no other country in this world like America, God has blessed thee, let us never take this gift for granted and always celebrate the honor.

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