Make It Stop

Who was your first best friend? When you were just starting school who was it that you went to school every day for? For me, it was my friend Shantel. I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing her name, but it’s necessary, because my friendship with her, my very first friend, solidified how I view people of other races. Shantel is black. I am white. It didn’t matter when we were four, and it doesn’t matter now nineteen years later. I’m from a rural town in South Carolina. Your first thought is probably going to be that everyone there is racist. I’m sure some people are. I’ve witnessed it. What makes my town different than a lot of rural places in the south is that for the most part I think our community works well with each other, no matter the race. I have grown up with parents who luckily never kept me from getting to know people who were different than me. I’m lucky. But unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are not as lucky. I don’t want to write about this guy, because if I do he gets exactly what he set out for. I will write about why he did it though. He is a racist. There’s no nice way to say it; it can’t be sugar-coated. The man is now and will forever be known as a racist. Stop trying to say it was motivated by anything else, because to do so is an insult to the people he shot in cold blood. A State Senator died. I don’t know why this animal targeted this particular church. Maybe it was because of the history of the church, but I think there’s a strong possibility that the State Senator being the preacher may have had more to do with it. People are quick to say bad things about politicians, but fail to mention the reason many of them go into politics. Senator Pinckney went into public service to help his community. He wanted to make a difference in the lives of the people of this state. He still can, and he will. It doesn’t matter that he was a Democrat and I’m a Republican. When it comes to matters of race and what is right and wrong, being a Republican or a Democrat is not something that should even have to be discussed. Race should not be a part of politics. Race is a moral issue, not a political issue. Please stop making it one. There are black Republicans and white Democrats. It completely baffles me how some people can quote the Bible and then turn around and say something hateful about someone because of their race. How dare you? God made that person too. It’s a simple concept. Just as He loved you before you were created, He loved people of other races too when they were created. I hate the mainstream media. For the most part, they do nothing but stir the pot. That goes for everyone on Facebook that shares articles from right-wing and left-wing “news” outlets. Do you not realize that anyone can type on a computer? Yes, I realize I’m including myself in this. When you open up a news article and it says something like, “PRESIDENT OBAMA DID THIS AND YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHY” or “REPUBLICANS HATE EVERYONE, HERE’S THE PROOF YOU NEED” there’s a really good chance that the article you are about to pull up and read is garbage. Repeat after me: “I will no longer share articles from news sources with the name conservative or liberal in the web address.” I also have a huge problem with people who cherry pick at the Constitution. Do not call yourself a Constitutionalist and then ignore the part about separation of Church and state. I am a Christian. In no way will I ever try to hide that. This country was founded by people who left Europe to practice their religious beliefs freely. They wanted that for anyone who lived in this country. That doesn’t mean only Christians can practice their religion here. Of course I pray and wish that everyone will know the Jesus I know and love, but I accept that there are people in this world who have different beliefs and religions. It’s imperative that we as a society do not punish them for it. It’s so frustrating that someone who believes in the 2nd Amendment to its fullest extent, would not also believe in the separation of Church and state. Just like you can’t cherry pick what parts of the Bible you want to believe in, you can’t cherry pick the Constitution. I love Jesus. I shoot guns. I love people of races other than my own. I get to do that because I live in a country whose Founding Fathers had the foresight to protect our rights through a living, breathing document. I have no answers. I don’t know how to fix the racial divides in this country, other than to tell you that I will not stand by and let my future children be racist. I will teach them that they are no better than anyone else because of their color. They will not hear a bad word uttered in my house about an African American, Hispanic, Asian, or any other race. Racism is not genetic; it’s a product of the environment someone is raised in. Stop raising your children this way please. I’m begging you to bring love into your house and let the hate leave it. What are you gaining from teaching your child to be disrespectful? Kids have the purest hearts of anyone on this Earth. Don’t take away their innocence by teaching them to judge and hate. This animal that did this was taught that he was better because of his skin color. I don’t know who taught him, but someone did; that is something I am certain of. He was taught to hate, and it came to fruition two days ago. I’m thankful for the love I have been shown throughout my life from people of every race. I will spend my life trying to show that.

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Love Is.

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I love love. This might actually be funny to you if you know me, because then you would know i’ve been single for the majority of my adult life. It’s true though. I like showing love to people I care about, I like being in love, and I secretly like watching proposal videos online (sigh). So if you are like me (bless you if so), Valentine’s Day will not be spent with a boyfriend/girlfriend or the “normal” significant other. I hope you are like me though, in the sense that it will be spent with someone you love. This will be my fifth year celebrating Valentine’s Day with my roommate (now ex-roommate, but I will probably always refer to her as my roommate, because I’m convinced we will live in a nursing home together) and I would not have it any other way. Valentine’s Day is what you make it. I choose to make it fun.

People have a tendency to be bitter towards Valentine’s Day for one reason or another, and I used to be the same way. I woke up and realized that Valentine’s Day isn’t about loving someone romantically. It’s about loving…period. I want to share my thoughts on what love is. Take it or leave it, because I’m not Dr. Phil, but I do know what love feels like.

Love is a verb. Say love as many times as you want, but that’s not what it’s about. Love is never wondering. There is no doubt, and there is no confusion. I have never sat down and thought to myself: “Hmm, do I love my parents today?” I just do. I love my parents. I do not wonder if they love me. They just do.

Dogs are better with love than humans. Dogs love unconditionally. They never leave you because you said something that hurt their feelings. Dogs love you, because it is inherently part of them. You’re their person, and they love you. They don’t think about loving someone else, because they’re unsure how you feel. You never have to convince a dog that you are worth loving. So why would you waste your time trying to convince another person?

Throughout my life, I’ve struggled like a lot of girls with “figuring out” if a guy loved me. The secret is actually not a secret at all. If I ever had to wonder at all if someone loved me, they didn’t. It really is that easy. I could have spent all of the time doing something much more productive and useful. Hindsight is 20/20.

Love (“the greatest of all things”) is not an emotion that you learn. It is part of you, and it is within you. You were created out of love. Your Father loves you. Love just exists. There are no rationalizations, and there are no questions. If you ever find yourself wondering if you love someone or if they love you, just walk away. Actually just run. Maybe i’m simplifying this too much and it is completely possible that I’m a pessimist, but why would you waste your time trying to figure it out? No one is worth losing your view on love. No one is worth making you question whether or not you can be loved.

Since i’m an old maid by the standards of many people, in my old age i’ve decided not to waste my time loving people that take work. I choose to love the people that I don’t have to wonder about. The people who love me regardless of whether I’m having a bad day, the people who love me if I yell at them when I’m mad, the people who love me whether I have the nicest car or clothes, and the people who love just sitting in a room with me without me having to constantly prove why I’m worth loving: those are the people I choose to spend my time with and love.

17 Older Women On The One Thing They Wish They Knew About Dating In Their 20s

Thought Catalog

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Dating is one of those things I don’t know if any of us ever have it completely figured out but we can certainly learn from our past experiences and gain insight and knowledge on what to do differently in the future. I love talking to my mom about my love life because her wisdom is invaluable to me. She always reminds me of what’s important. I decided to ask her and several other beautiful older women in my life and across the internet on the one thing they wish they would have known about dating when they were in their 20s. Some of the answers are inspiring, others are heartbreaking. Hopefully, we can all take a few lessons on life and love from these women.

1.

“A man does not nor ever will define you as a woman. Love yourself before you can truly love someone else. If a man…

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The Girl Who Everyone Wants To Marry, But No One Actually Dates

Thought Catalog

Brittani LepleyBrittani Lepley

You do the sleepovers. You meet the families, the best friends. You get invited to the weddings, the Christmas dinners, road trips to the Cape to visit the siblings. You’ve been in their house. You know the way they take their coffee, all their favorite films, the times they’ve eaten in a day, and how they articulate their words. And you’ve never had to ask. You know their finest strengths and lowest weaknesses, where they stash their cash, what’s in their will, and the time they were born.

They tell you everything. Who they’ve hurt and who’s hurt them. What they see when they look in the mirror. How many kids they’d like to have and what they’d name them. The things that make them tick and how they are in bed. Their passions. You talk about the past and the future, the wills and will nots. Dreams…

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Why I Support Senator Lindsey Graham

I should start off by saying that I’m not writing this as an employee of Senator Lindsey Graham. This post is simply my way of telling everyone why I’m going to be voting for him on Tuesday, November 4th. I’m just a Political Scientist (at least that’s what the degree I have from Clemson University tells me I am) with a keyboard. Ronald Reagan said, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.” It confuses me to no end how the same people who idolize President Reagan have negative things to say about Senator Graham. He’s the epitome of a conservative Republican that is willing to work with the other side. I know that many people have a problem with understanding this, but our government was set up with that very strategy in mind. Nothing can ever work or come to fruition if our nation’s politicians are more focused on winning than compromising and developing solutions.

Many articles are written daily concerning him, but I do feel that I can give a unique perspective that you may not get from the reporter at the local paper. I think a common misconception about him is that because of the national attention he receives he no longer cares about the citizens of this state. That could not be any further from the truth. He’s a normal guy that likes football and goes to church. He doesn’t drive a fancy car, and he lives in a modest house. If you’re lucky enough to meet Senator Graham be assured that he will remember you. I most recently saw him at Clemson’s homecoming, and the first thing he asked me was, “How’s law school going? Is Torts hard or are you getting along alright?” That speaks volumes for him to remember what’s going on in a former campaign worker’s life. There are many politicians that could not say the same.

The beauty of America is that everyone gets to believe whatever he or she wants when it comes to politics. That’s your birthright as a citizen, and it’s what our Constitution protects. I would never say anything negative about somebody that was well informed and voted in a way that they truly felt to be right. It is not up to me to tell you you’re wrong, but rather to tell you why I feel I’m right.

The very reason that many people want Senator Graham removed from office is the same reason why I feel he is the right person for the job. I am not a fan of having term limits not specified by the Constitution. People don’t expect engineers to learn everything they need to about a job in six years, they don’t expect a doctor to be at the peak of his career after six years of practicing, but for some strange reason people think elected officials should know everything there is to know in a matter of a couple of years. If a senator is elected and is subject to term limits, by the time he would understand how to be a senator, it would be taken from him. It’s a difficult craft, and it takes time to get your feet under you in a place like Washington, D.C. The more experience you have under your belt (just like in any field) the better you are at your job. It’s why he’s respected in Washington, D.C., it’s why he’s respected in South Carolina, and it’s why I respect him.

I worked with an incredible group of people during my time on the campaign. Nothing makes me happier than reunions with them. It’s called Team Graham, because that’s exactly what winning a Senate race takes: teamwork. From the campaign manager to the volunteers, there isn’t one person more important than another. I may no longer work for Senator Graham, but I will always consider Team Graham to be family, and I’m lucky to be a part of it.

Not everyone is just like you. People are raised differently, they have different values, and they view the world differently. Here’s what they do share with you though, they’re American citizens. That means that they have the same rights as you, no matter what they choose to believe. I choose to back a candidate for Senate that recognizes that not everyone will always agree with you. I like rational people. It’s that way in politics, and it’s that way in life. You expect your spouse, co-workers, and friends to be willing to compromise, so why would you not want the same from your elected officials?

“Why Do You Want to be a Lawyer?”

It turns out law school was exactly what I was always supposed to be doing at the age of 22. I knew at the age of 6, and I always kept finding my way back to it. I’m so glad I did. There is no better feeling than knowing that you made the right decision for yourself, even when a vast majority of the people around you were advising you against it. I have felt contentment like this only a couple of times in my life: the first was when I sent in my deposit to Clemson the day after receiving my acceptance letter and the second was when Senator Graham won the Primary election. Those were the two moments in my adult life that I remember being perfectly okay with life at that moment and not wanting to change a single thing.

I think to take a leap of faith and go through more school when you have people waiving flags at you to go in the other direction, takes courage that most people don’t even know they have. I think for the months leading up to this, I just figured I was doing this because I am stubborn and set in my ways. It turns out, God’s will was a lot stronger than the words of man surrounding me. Even when I wasn’t sure what my brain wanted, my heart and my gut knew what I was supposed to do. I should probably listen to them in other aspects of my life.

Law school is a lot of work, and it’s true that I don’t get to go to bars every night or see my friends from high school and college as much as I would like. If I had a full time job I wouldn’t get to either though. Law school is just that, a full time job. Do you know what would suck more than the three years of school I’m going through to get where I want to be though? Never getting there at all. I might have to spend hours reading, and I may not have a full social calendar right now, but i’ll take this any day over never reaching the goals I’ve set for myself.

“There are too many lawyers now. You can do what you want without a law degree.” If I had $5 for every time someone has said this to me, I wouldn’t have to worry about paying my tuition. There are a lot of doctors too, but you don’t see people trying to dissuade others from entering this profession. Doctors eventually retire. SO DO LAWYERS. I guess we should just not replace them once they all retire? I like the law, and I like learning about the law. I think lawmakers need to be educated on the law as well. Do I think this means that they need law degrees? No, absolutely not. There is also no such thing as knowing too much about a subject.

I’m doing what I love right now- just like I have always done. It makes my heart happy. It makes me feel like I’m being challenged, and nothing feels better than answering a question right when you’re called on.

I don’t think it’s a crazy statement to make that my generation has forgotten how to listen to themselves. There are so many distractions in the world now, and we let ourselves get bogged down in the opinions of others. At the end of the day, if you fall asleep knowing you’re where you’re supposed to be, who cares what anyone else thinks?

If you want to go sell knit scarves in Switzerland, then start knitting and book a flight. If you want to teach, then do it. Money was the motive for the last few generations leading up to ours. Let your motivation be the smile that crosses your face when you walk through the door of your apartment or house or hut or wherever you’re living at the moment. If you aren’t smiling at least once a day, do something else. There are enough unhappy people out there.

I don’t love law school all day, every day. I would have to be on really high dose anti-depressants for that to be accurate. Every single day though, I’m excited about something. Stop questioning other people’s choices, and start questioning if you’re happy with yours because at the end of the day you’re the only person living with it.

(Someone please remind me why I wrote this around the end of November/beginning of December!)