I’ve never gotten political on this blog, and I don’t consider myself to be an overly political person.
GG is a place that brings together people of all backgrounds and beliefs. A safe place where you go to escape the craziness that is happening in the world and where you know someone else’s point of view won’t be shoved down your throat. (Unless it’s on which striped turtleneck is the best or how to tie your scarf, and then, you know–obviously I have opinions ?)
Believe it or not, that’s intentional. Keeping things lighthearted, cheerful, funny and avoiding things like politics is actually part of my brand.
At this point though, I feel like I’m at a crossroads.
I have built up this amazing community of readers–smart, driven, creative women, whom I dearly love and respect. So many of you I haven’t met, but I truly feel like you’re a friend. And for reasons I still cannot fathom, you come to my site for daily inspiration. I can’t put into words how rewarding that is to be able to create content for you on a regular basis.
Aside from marrying the most amazing man I’ve ever met (life accomplishment #1) I consider this to be the thing I am most proud of in my life.
With that being said, it’s getting harder and harder to write about things like cute fall outfits, my favorite shampoo, and how to wear over the knee boots–when there is so much that is happening in our own back yard that demands action.
This is bad, you guys. I think Las Vegas was the turning point. Something inside of me woke up.
And sure, I can turn a blind eye, choose to keep important issues off my blog because I’m scared it will offend you, and in turn, only focus on the fluff that is fun.
But if I died tomorrow knowing I had the ears of all of you–thousands of you–and chose to do absolutely nothing with it but talk about some clothes?
I can’t lie to myself anymore–that is just not something I’m okay with.
This isn’t about sides. It isn’t about liberals or conservatives or who you voted for in the election or about pushing anyone else’s agenda (or even my own!) It’s about the goal we all have in common: we want to make this world–and America in particular, a safer, better place for everyone involved.
I love this country. Let’s call a spade a spade–I am a poster child of American freedom–I mean, I literally MADE UP my job. I post photos of myself in–let’s be honest–super basic stylish clothing for a living, which allows me to live in a cool city and buy organic vegetables. I pay an arm and a leg for my healthcare but hey–I love my doctor and she’s pretty damn good at her job. As I’ve grown up, I’ve gone to school with friends from other cities and countries, from different socioeconomic backgrounds, with different religions and who spoke different languages, and my parents taught me that people who are different than me offer new and interesting perspectives on life that make me a better person.
Because I have experienced it firsthand, I wholeheartedly believe that this is still the land of opportunity, and that despite what you see on TV, that there are still a ton of good people in this country with good intentions, who believe in equality and freedom for everyone regardless of their skin color, age, gender, where they were born or who their parents are.
Yes. You get it. I love America.
But I cannot say that I am proud to be an American right now.
Right now, America needs to wake. up.
Don’t just “pray for Vegas.” Stop just “sending positive thoughts” and “hoping for change.” In the time it took you to craft that Instagram post to show your solidarity, you could’ve actually done something that can help evoke a real step in the right direction. A step that might just save your kid or my kid someday.
Thoughts don’t initiate change, and prayers don’t save lives–but action does.
Let’s talk about that word, “action”–that sounds kind of daunting, right? Whenever I heard this phrase before, I equated it to, say, flying to D.C. to participate in a protest, or volunteering with an organization that was going to take 15 hours out of my week. That’s a lot to chew on, you know?
Furthermore, it’s really easy to get caught up in feeling like just another number. You’re one little person. How is anything you can do going to make a difference? How can your one voice possibly scream louder any one else’s?
But here’s what I’ve realized–making a difference doesn’t have to mean uprooting your life to dedicate to a cause. You don’t have to post anything publicly if you don’t want to. And there isn’t a minimum time commitment on what constitutes “taking an action.”
Something is better than nothing. Here are a few places to start:
You can help those directly affected in the Vegas shootings by donating to this GoFundMe page to help cover victims’ medical bills.
You can sign this petition asking for–in so many words–stricter gun laws in general, and adding a lot more assault weapons to the “banned” list. Two days ago it had 500 supporters. Today it has 150,977 and counting. (It’s easy to feel like your one voice doesn’t matter, but this is proof that it does!)
Or, to take two minutes to to text “RESIST” to 50409. Type out any message you’d like to send to your representatives–about anything! The service looks up who your representatives are for you, and converts your text into a fax. The process takes just minutes. You can do the same thing on this page. As does resistbot! Isn’t technology awesome, guys?!
(And for the record, no, I am not simply assuming that the tragedy in Las Vegas would’ve been prevented by stricter gun laws. I am aware that we don’t yet have all the facts. But would tightened gun regulations have prevented a significant chunk of the 521 (five hundred and twenty one) mass shootings that happened in America over the past year? It’s highly likely. I think we can all probably say that with confidence–regardless of which party you belong to.)
Here’s something else you can do–stop arguing for the sake of arguing. There are people on both sides of gun control, and they both have valid arguments. Honestly, there is a lot we can agree on, but people are shouting so loudly that they can’t hear how much they have in common.
YES. It is actually possible to support the second amendment and tightened gun restrictions at the same time.
YES. We are all aware that “limiting access to guns won’t stop all the bad guys.” Of course not. But making it harder for certain assault style weapons to fall into the hands of the wrong people, or limiting the number of guns one person can legally obtain will certainly be a good start.
Let’s unite on something that we can all agree on: We all want our children to be safe. Let’s work together to get there. We are ALL on the same team.
Whatever you do, I hope this post motivates you to take action–on this–or anything that you care about, today.