When I was a child it was not uncommon for me and my brothers to jump the fence over to the neighbors or vice versa, so we could all play together. As kids it was actually fun to jump fences instead of walking around or using a gate. Later in life I lived beside my aunt and uncle, and I might jump the fence, or use the gate, in the back yard to play with the dog next door. Love you and miss you April!
So you can put fences up, and they can also be up when you get there. They serve a purpose to keep some things out and sometimes to keep things in. Yet when you are welcome its just a barrier to climb over or a gate to go through. That is of course if you are welcome. Those not welcome are trespassing when they go past that barrier.
Now in my life I have been invited to jump the fence over to other yards many times. Some people even open the gate for me. For many it is a unique experience to have me in their yard. Before your mind only heads down that one road, I am a unique individual in many ways, so don't just think I am only speaking about that one way. I am also the friendliest, funniest, and most interesting person you'll ever meet, so its an honor for people to have me over. Okay that was probably a little arrogant, but truthfully you can ask anyone and they will tell you that it is almost always a positive to have me around.
The thing is that for a long time I came into other yards hoping to help bridge gaps, and promote unity. Sadly I have begun to see that in some cases me going to other yards only strengthens the separation. Me becoming welcome was not changing mindsets that tell you to never let certain people in their yard or go over to those people's yard. It only enabled this mindset because now they could say that they had welcomed one of those people. They could fool themselves and others into thinking they are nothing like the extreme people who promote that mindset. Now this doesn't mean all experiences are that way, but unfortunately the few that are this way have a greater effect.
Right now some out there are trying really hard to push us apart, to start another civil war, when we should be coming together and making our lives and this place better. People are going to have to stand up and say no more fences instead of sitting back and watching them get built higher and stronger.
Hopefully by now you probably guessed that I am not talking just about physical fences, but more so cultural and societal fences that exist. For too long the majority people, that want unity and love, have stood silent while the small, those who would separate us with their hate, have talked the loudest. Nothing will change until that changes, but the only change I can truly make, is in my life.
Some will say I am putting up fences, but let me tell you, the fence was up way before I was here. I want to tear it down, and I need some help. I don't have the power to tear the fence down alone, but together we could. Me choosing not to jump the fence to other yards anymore is my only way to express to people just how important all of us coming together is to me. Coming together doesn't mean we will all suddenly agree, it just means we will learn to truly respect each other and stop promoting separation and hate.
So this means that if you invite me to hang out or come over, I am going to respectfully decline. This means when there is work related activities or outings not tied to my job, I will not be taking part in them. I am choosing for me. I cant tell people what they should do. I believe people already know in their hearts what is right and that things they are supporting are wrong. Right now however we are letting certain people and things distract us from what we know to be right. Stop letting hate and division hide the love and unity we were taught to strive for.
So if you wonder why my personal time is not spent with or around you, wonder no more. I however will not let people or situations change who I am. I will always be friendly, and will always help anyone, I am just not going to ignore things, nor am I going to have people around me that are choosing to be ignorant.
Sometimes you have to fall back so people can step up.