I Don’t Talk Politics

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Guest Writer Jhas Williams-Wood, Eagle 97.7

During my entire life, I have only ever felt passionate about one thing- people. Initially, it began that I was passionate about making them laugh, making them smile and keeping them entertained. Cracking jokes, discussing celeb gossip and movie trivia. (I am EXCELLENT at movie trivia!) Now that I am older, that fire has by no means diminished; but it certainly has morphed into TWO things: people AND change. What once represented a superficial love of others by keeping them “entertained”, one that gave me a return on my investment- where a laugh felt much like a personal affirmation, no longer seems to be enough. I now long for the kind of relationships that reach more than the surface. The kind of relationships and dialogue that change someone’s circumstances and create hope. The kind that improves quality of life for the future generations that I know nothing about; and the ones that I know now but truly do not understand.

I often hear people say things along the lines of, “I don’t get involved in politics.” or “I stay out of politics.” and I think to myself: What a privilege it must be to live in a world of isolation where no outside factors have an effect on you or the ones you love. I, on the other hand, don’t know what this is like. I suspect it began when I watched my mother go from a five figure job, to then being left crippled by a devastating divorce; Where a husband who once promised her the world snatched everything away leaving her what is considered “working class poor”. It was then that social policy began to interest me like nothing else.
I’ve become not only drawn to it, but consumed by it.

People matter. I am invested in people. I love people. And given how I was raised, as a woman of faith, my personal conviction no longer allows me to live for myself with no regard to how others are fairing or being treated. And really, should it? Should I EVER be okay with mistreatment or poverty as long as it doesn’t directly affect me? The most human answer would be- no. I have come to an understanding that loving God and loving others MUST coincide. And now that I realize this, I’m more invested in people than ever. Both people AND change.

That’s why I urge people to get involved in politics. Get involved in them! Be open to learning. Be open to listening. Have a conversation with a person that you might otherwise have NOTHING in common with. See things from a perspective that in no way, shape or form relate to your life AT all. It is much easier to make decisions when you are informed. And it is much easier to be informed when you are INTERESTED in the subject matter. In this case… the only subject matter you need develop an interest in: is love. Loving people who can only do something for you is not real love. Learn to love those who have nothing to give in return.

“Talking Politics” can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re not sure where to begin, begin with your ears and with your heart.

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