Fight The Finger

politics Nov 17, 2020

A few days ago I participated in a freedom rally with hundreds of other vehicles. We met at the Utah State Capitol, sporting our American flags and patriotic attire. As is our right in the USA, thousands of us gathered to demonstrate and protest our election concerns. We drove to show our love of the country. And we drove in gratitude for our flag, our Veterans, and our freedom. 

It was electric. The fun, the excitement, and the patriotism were exhilarating. People laughed and honked and waved along the side of the road. At the end of the 40-mile drive, we ate at food trucks and supported an important non-profit. It was delightful. I’ll certainly be doing it again.

The saddest thing to me was the handful of cars that drove by me on the freeway with only one message. It was a finger. 

That’s all. A finger. 

(well, actually some weren’t just a finger - some people were screaming and scowling WHILE giving us the finger)

Now I understand that it’s a free country. Yup, I’m right there with you. But you know what?  I don’t want to be that person. I just waved and smiled. I fought the finger. 

The beautiful thing about America is that we don’t have to agree on everything. We’re not required to like the same people or want the same solutions. We aren’t required to eat the same foods or watch the same movies. We’re not even required to believe the same things about Christmas, public schooling, or which toothpaste works best. 

But we should believe in civility. 

Whatever happens in the next two months in our country requires all of us to fight the finger. 

It will require our better angels and wisdom in order to keep the streets safe and our way of life intact. It will require us to all suck up some of our feelings and bite our tongues a bit to save relationships, save dignity, and save our peace. 

When I was young my Grandma Eva would say, “Don’t hate. That’s where murder starts.” I didn’t understand her back then. As an adult, I’ve thought a lot about that statement. Hate begets hateful actions. Hate has never begotten solutions. Never. 

So, for me, I’m deciding to fight the finger. 

Maybe it’s a small thing but in our world today, maybe it’s a beginning. If I feel that urge to whip out the bird in some aggravated way (which is not my habit), I’ll fight the urge. If I feel a swelling of “hell no” rising up in my rebel soul - I’m going to breathe deeply. I’ll wait. 

I think we all need to consider how we can best respond when we feel ticked off. How can we best handle relationship struggles? How can we best handle political differences? I can assure you if you haven’t felt it yet in the last month, you will.  

All over America, people are struggling and angry with things near and dear to them. Whether the lockdowns, the shutdowns, the down ballots or the up ballots, the tweets or the censored tweets, everybody is shredded. 

From me to you friend, just know, we can disagree intensely. And still, I’ll be over here fighting the finger. 

In the small battles, I don’t want to hate. 

As simple as it is, fighting that finger means I’m fighting for us. 

I’m fighting for us. I hope you’re fighting too.