Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. It was a bold statement and yet an aspirational one, since slavery was very common, women could not vote, and the vast indigenous tribes of North America were not granted citizenship, let alone the freedom to enjoy their happiness on their own land.

We have struggled with inequality all through our history, even as we have tried to make progress and bring Jefferson’s words to reality. So when repeating the words how accurate our they and how sincere is their belief in them. We need to be reminded of the continuing need to fight for the rights of all and to advocate for recognition of those who are often forgotten.

I was reminded of this by a sign that I saw posted in a neighborhood yard not far from my home. It is one that I have seen many times and I give a thumbs-up whenever I see it. The statements are strong and valid, yet many in our country today would, unfortunately, take issue with them. I have posted it above as a reminder and this week I would like to talk about some of the points this week so that we can both advocate for continued progress and celebrate the gains that have been made.

Love is love and kindness is everything. We see many forms of love today, many relationships of caring people. There are many forms of family and all are valid. This has changed over time and some are threatened by it. They are stuck in tradition and can’t fathom that children would be okay raised by two fathers or two mothers. These same people in the past scorned and condemned kids being raised by single parents due to divorce, yet the kids grew up to be responsible adults anyway. Where love is kids will grow, even if their household doesn’t meet your view. These people would rather the kids be shipped around from one foster household to another. Shame on them.

Love is love and that is what we need to recognize and applaud. Love involves recognizing each individual as human, seeking to accept their journey and coming to terms with who they are, and endeavoring to be a help and not a hindrance to their growth. It also means not judging them and trying to fit them into our mold of expected behavior and relationships.

And as some wise person said, “in a world where you can be anything, be kind”. It is never wrong to be kind. It never hurts anyone, shortchanges anyone, doesn’t cost anything, and it is how you would want to be treated. Let’s not be so caught up in debate or discussion over petty things that we forget to be kind.

Ask yourself, if you had a sign outside your house declaring what you believe, what would it say and why? Your feedback as always is very much appreciated.