I woke up this morning a little bit lighter, but still tired and with a heavy heart from yesterday’s events.

I am not physically tired, but I am tired of the hatred and lack of honest and progressive discourse among the citizens of this country.

I’ve been feeling this way for a few weeks as I’ve watched fellow writers, bloggers, and mothers come under attack for voicing their well-researched and peaceful opinions and concerns that advocate for CHANGE in the areas of medicine, wide-spread prescription drug use, vaccines, gun-control, politics, etc.

Note that I said CHANGE.

Change does not mean “abolition of”. Change calls for more honest research, better solutions to the issues we are facing, and for the fucking politicians and lawmakers of this country to take their stinking hands out of the jingling pockets of the interest groups and organizations that keep us where we have been… and where we will continue to be if money remains the driving force behind this country.

The NRA, the CDC, the FDA… I could go through the whole alphabet… THESE are the people who need to be challenged. Direct your frustration towards them, towards the greedy monsters who aim to keep their coffers full with absolutely none of your interest at heart…

… not towards the citizen who’s heart is filled with YOUR interest, not towards the parent who is calling for REFORM in gun control…not at the mom who is advocating for a SAFER vaccine… not at the neighbor who QUESTIONS the long term repercussions of genetically modified food sources and cancer causing pesticides.

Note… again… that these crusaders I mention above are not trying to get rid of anything, not trying to take away your freedoms… they are pushing for this country to break out of the status-quo…

Because the status-quo frankly sucks.

Note it… because, in the midst of one of the most depressing news weeks I have ever been witness to (rape, murder-suicides, politics, voter fraud, and the worst act of gun violence this country has ever seen), I have also been witness to the most ridiculous and misdirected hate-filled dialogue aimed at people I know who only want to make this world a better place for their children, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren… and for all future generations.

I saw a mom post something last week about a very divisive topic, and the first thought I had was… wow… she is so brave. I WANT to be that brave. And while she received love and support from many… the opposite opinion was so vitriolic and hate-filled (this towards an amazing, loving mother and family who is a gift to her community and to our world), that she ultimately had to remove the post… most likely because she feared for her family’s well being.

The home of the free and the brave?!! My ASS.

Free speech still puts a price on your head. We haven’t moved forward much at all, have we?

And finally… moving on from the fearful… to the absolutely ridiculous…

These moms and bloggers I speak of have to preface their posts and discussions with “please keep these healthy debates civil”, and “I know I will lose followers over this… ”

I mean… Really? #unfollow? Is that the best you’ve got? Give me your educated debate (you don’t know how many comments I have seen that have seemed to COMPLETELY disregard what the author was saying), your curiosity, your desire to learn more… not your silly hashtags.

I was driving in the car with my almost 6 year old son over the weekend and we were listening to the Hamilton soundtrack (at least the parts I could play that were somewhat appropriate), and it led to a discussion about our country, about beliefs, about freedom, about what it means to fight for something…

… and that unfortunately in our history, war and violence were the only means by which some ideas could take root.

… but that today we can fight without a gun in our hand. We can use our minds, our music, our words, our love, our peaceful negotiations to drive our points home and to HOPEFULLY move forward.

Did you see the Hamilton cast perform The World Turned Upside Down without the use of prop guns? Mic Drop.

For you, Orlando, and for the future of my country and my children… I will send no more #thoughtsandprayers. I, instead, will do my best to be brave about what I believe in…

Come at me with your questions, with your concerns, and with your opposing views…  and let’s hopefully have a well-informed discussion…

… because I cannot claim to be tired, unless I too rise up.