Kindness and Honesty

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Well this morning was going to be the next post in my seamless tutorial series but I just have to speak up. As a business owner, woman, mother and human being I’m waking up every morning almost afraid to turn on my phone or computer to see what’s happened overnight in the US. It feels a little like the entire world has been turned upside down right now and has ceased to make any sense.
In theory, sitting cosily here in the south of Ireland, I shouldn’t be impacted by this. BUT you know the world is a very, very small place AND all other 5 members of my family hold duel citizenship with the US. But apart for that, you can’t just stand by while the world crumbles around your ears. I am not political but this is no longer about politics, this is just about being human and wanting a better world.
I felt so proud to be a knitter on Saturday watching all those woman and Pussyhats marching. We will not stand by. We have strength. We will not say that this is ok. Its time for people to make noise and be heard. I have spent the last 19 years trying to drive home basic good behaviours in my children and I expect that at the very least from world leaders. I can’t ignore bad behaviour as a human being in this world any less than I can ignore it in my children.

Love, Kindness & Respect
This is the basis of everything. If you respect and show kindness to other human beings, animals and the world we live in, the rest follows. We all have different backgrounds, viewpoints and perspectives but we need to listen. We need to be tolerant. If you start with kindness and respect the rest will follow.

Equality
Often people think that equality means that everything, for everyone, should be exactly the same. One favourite parenting theories I heard years ago that stuck is “equality does not mean that you give the same to every child you give every child what they need”. This might mean that your 3 year old needs to go to bed at 8 o’clock and your 10 year old goes to bed an hour later. You are giving each of them what then need, it is fair but it is not the same.
For me as a woman equality for me means that I get to pick how I live my life and respected for that choice whatever that may be. The same goes for the rest of the world. I opted to have children but that was my choice. It is not better or worse than the decision not to have children but it was the choice I made.
Having small children was quite frankly the hardest work I have ever done. I thought I had severe depression but in fact it was just chronic sleep deprivation (having a fourth child who doesn’t do longer than 2 hours of sleep for 18 months from illness will do that to you). You don’t get to hand them back or take much of a break. And the whole time you’re trying to figure out if you’re doing it right. The idea that mothering work isn’t valued because you aren’t handed a pay check at the end of the day is insane. Having mothers and caregivers who instil the values we want to see in our future society in our children is invaluable.

Honesty & Truth
Sometimes it’s hard to be honest. It isn’t always easy to tell the truth but it’s important. You cannot make informed decisions on half-truths and lies. Just because a fact is inconvenient or hard to deal with doesn’t change that it is a fact. If you don’t like a fact you don’t get to censor it, you deal with it, debate it, figure out a solution to it and compromise if you need to. You don’t get to delete it.

After that brief interlude it’ll be back to business with the next tutorial later this week. I love what I do and my business but sometimes the personal just won’t take a backseat!

19 thoughts on “Kindness and Honesty

  1. ballnailhorn

    As a non-posting reader EVER, my new vow is to thank every person who speaks up for truth, decency, and kindness. I plan to support businesses who risk some of their income by advocating for tolerance and love of humankind as well as the environment — good grief, there is so much work to do. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  2. Barbara

    I live in the US and it is scary, I can’t bear to watch the news and for the first time don’t fee safe in the world. Each morning I wake up and wonder what happened while I slept. We all have to stay united, watchful and keep up the pressure.

  3. Thea Colman

    Thank you Carol. As someone in the US who’s waking up every morning with a sense of dread, it makes me smile to know that my community is with me. I’ve never been prouder to be a knitter.

  4. Laine Snowman

    Thank you for your words. I am heartsick at what has happened already in my beloved country, but taking comfort in the words of people like you who are willing to speak out.

  5. Laura Nelkin

    Amen Carol….. silence is clearly not a solution in this current political climate and your words are heartfelt, real and positive! Thankyou for sharing them… now is the time to show (and remind our children) what democracy truly looks like! xoxo

  6. Nancy

    I’m horrified about what the next four years will bring, but I’m glad to see people around the world are not going to be silent. Vigilance is going to be necessary, and breaking the silence is imperative.

    I seldom voice my opinions on my blog, but I broke that silence on Sunday evening with a post about the “alternative” facts coming from the official podium. I cannot and will not tolerate that attitude and that behavior.

  7. Peggy Martin

    Thank you Carol. I could not have said half of what you said better! I will be a first time grandmother in late Spring and I worry each day what kind of world my grand child will be arriving in. It scares me! I’m so glad to be a part of a community of knitters that will support each one of us and help us make it through the next four years.

  8. Ellen

    I’ll point out the other side. I am an American and live in the US. I didn’t vote for Trump, and fought against him in every way I could, but he is now the President. While he has certainly said and done things that I find objectionable, this is where we are. Listening to the press in their collective despair is, as one writer puts it, “schadenfreudtastic”, since they worked so hard to make him the Republican nominee. The only problem was that he didn’t lose like they thought he would. Believing everything they tell you now is just as foolish. Our country is not suffused with hate or bigotry. Many women like me feel very fortunate to live in a place where we have been able to pursue our goals, whether as mothers or in our careers or both.

    The beauty of our country ( and our world) is that it is much more than one person. People are free to voice their concerns, and the pendulum of power swings back and forth as things change. A little to the left, a little to the right, but rarely to the extremes ( see Venezuela for just how crazy things can get…). To wake up every morning fearing that we are approaching the End Times is to shroud your life in unnecessary darkness. Live your life the best way you can, raise your children to be decent people, and be an example of what you want to see in the world.

    Four years ago I campaigned for Mitt Romney because I thought he would be a better president. I still think that and was mightily disappointed when he lost. President Obama did things I disagreed with, but I didn’t go around wearing a hair shirt and complaining ( ok, I complain some…), but I used my voice and my vote to try and make things change, all the while knowing that I can do that because I live in a place that allows that. Last Saturday, 500,000 people, mostly women, marched in Washington DC, peacefully. There would have been more had they not actively discouraged those of us who disagreed with the organizers on abortion. Next weekend there will be nearly as many or more, again mostly women, marching in the same city fighting for the rights of the unborn. That is awesome!

    So chin up ladies! Stop being morose. Find your voice and do your thing, whatever that is.

    N.b.: if this sounds preachy, or weird, or oddly optimistic, it’s mainly because every knitting blog I read lately has the same “doom and gloom” theme. One or two i could have stomached, but it gets tiring, even creepy, when it happens for weeks on end.

  9. Shari

    Thank you, Carol, for your heartfelt concerns! Normalizing bad behavior is never a good option! My standards for anyone who holds the office of President of the United States of America is very high. There is a lot of work to be done.

  10. Barbara

    Thank you for this post, Carol. I, too am afraid of the call to exclude rather than include. It’s difficult to not be terrified with the removal of fact-based studies from government web sites. I hope more of us will be moved to speak and act, as I believe that it is our combined complacency and refusal to move forward that could be our undoing. There is no going back. The past that some think was “great” was not a better time for many of us! So let’s be heard and seen and remain optimistic that together we can turn this into an awakening.

  11. Roxy

    It still holds true, don’t believe everything you hear in the media. Do not be duped by what the media says. Stir up trouble and you’ll get it. God’s word says not to fear, over 365 times. Fear is your real enemy. Each morning, get up and thank the good Lord for a beautiful day and the breath in your lungs. Pray for safety, health and protection and then trust in Him. And then enjoy your life and your knitting.

  12. Sara A.

    It’s important to remember that they woke the sleeping giant of American politics and life. I’ve never in my life seen such a large widespread movement. Everyone I know is scared and angry and rather than sitting home and waiting, we’re calling our representatives we’re writing enters and emails and calls to action. When I go to the park these days, it feels like I’m attending a political meeting as the mom’s and the babysitters’ talk turns to “did you hear about this bill” and “this is what I did/this is what you can do.” Part of the work we have in front of us is the normal pendulum swing stuff that the right always starts hammering through when they are in power, far more concerning to me is that we’re being lead by a lunatic. I can fight tooth and nail for my way of life and my kids and I’m not the only one.

  13. Donatella

    Hello Carol,
    Thank you for your comments.
    I believe that we need to speak up and don’t let this administration bring us back to the Dark Ages. Personally, I do not recognize this despicable individual as our President and will resist every single decision he will make which goes against our freedom to speak and think. Yes, the media are responsible for giving this individual and his supporters too much voice and advertisement since the beginning of the Presidential campaign but they are are not responsible for the ignorance that has led to the results of this election. This is not a message of Gloom and Doom and there is an abyss between what Obama did in his administration and the decisions that the new one has already made. It is not a matter of being on one side or the other but being free thinking human beings who respect themselves and others. This is an administration which is already working at undermining basic democratic values by banning public agencies from communicating with the media, promulgating lies and invented paranoid stories.
    Women need more then ever to come together to understand what this administration is trying to do to their freedom to think and make decisions about their lives, bodies and minds. To the women who didn’t participate to the marches because they are against abortion I say that it is a shame that they want to impose their believe on other women. People and women should be free to believe in their own values but they should have profound respect for the ones of others.
    Thank you for your kindness and your thoughts.

  14. Tobie

    Thank you for your words. What’s happening in our country smacks of what happened in Germany in the 30s. This is frightening and awful.

  15. Ann Marie Joyce

    Thank you Carol. He will not prevail. Our country and systems are strong enough to contain him so take some solace in that.

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