Growth is a good thing, right? When your child is born, you watch for signs of growth. There are even “milestones” that a child is supposed to reach by certain ages to be on track for normal development. You go to school to grow your knowledge and learn new things. You want to grow your in your career and, let’s face it, your bank account. You want personal growth too. You want to grow in your skills and your beliefs of how to be a better human being.
But what about when growth is painful? Those who know my daughter, Molly, you know that she is very tall. There was a time when she was growing so fast, her legs hurt. Yes, she had “growing pains”. We had a maple tree at our home in Fishers that grew so fast, the trunk split. We didn’t know if it would survive, but it did and became a beautiful tree. Sometimes growth that hurts is what makes us stronger, sometimes it breaks us.
When Kevin and I moved to Hickory, I went through great personal growth. The kind that hurts-a lot. I was away from “home” for the first time and I knew no one but Kevin in our new town. Luckily, we met wonderful people who helped me through this time of personal growth and I am a better person for it.
When we moved to Fishers, there were only 7500 residents. When we moved away last year, there were 100,00 residents, Talk about growth! Some of this growth was wonderful and some was painful. I am proud of the way that Fishers came through its growth. Fishers has a wide range of housing pricing, some of the best schools in the country and high average incomes.
Now we are in Oceanside and it is going through growing pains, the very painful kind. Oceanside is the last coastal town in San Diego County to be developed into a “tourist” town. One of the things that attracted us to Oceanside, was its ‘sleepy beach” town vibe. That vibe is starting to change and people are taking sides. There are the developers who have $$ in their eyes and there are the long time residents that want to keep that sleepy beach town vibe. There are many special interests groups and some of those are on Facebook. Thursday a comment was posted on one of these Facebook pages complaining that Oceanside still has housing under $399K and that is why it has a hard time attracting people who care. I found this comment ludicrous and I made a post stating my opinion. You see, the average income in Oceanside is less than in Fishers, but the inflation here is completely out of hand. Imagine my surprise when my post was attacked, not by the person who made the original post, but by a retired teacher who claimed that if you “sacrificed” you could make it as a teacher in Oceanside. My point, why should teachers, nurses, and social workers or any professional who makes the world a better place have to sacrifice to get by? Fishers was able to solve their housing issues with huge growth, why can’t Oceanside have a plan for housing for all? This woman went on ranting at me all day until I finally gave up and stop replying to her. It made me realize that this is going to be an ugly and drawn out fight between different interest groups in Oceanside. It is going to be painful.
The same day, we found out that the school district in Fishes that we so loved while our daughter attended there, voted down an anti-discrimination policy concerning students. LBGQT students in particular. Indiana conservative politics was one of the many reasons for us leaving Indiana and this is particularly disturbing because good friends of ours child just came out as Trans last year. We have many gay friends who we love dearly. I am proud to say our friends our not taking this sitting down. They have created a group called HSEquals and they are fighting this school board vote. The Mayor of Fishers and many state government officials have come forward in favor of the anti-discrimination policy. If you are a reading this and are a resident of Fishers, I urge you to get involved and stand up for what is right-equal treatment for all students. This growth will be painful for Fishers, but it is the right growth.
That brings us to today, Just miles from our new home, in a town called Poway, a 19-year-old male went to a synagogue and opened fire. He killed one person; I am not sure how many were injured. My heart aches for the people who were at their synagogue worshiping on the last day of Passover and experienced this act of hate and violence. This after the world is just learning all the terror that happened earlier in the week in Sri Lanka where Christians were attacked by Muslim extremists. I have one question, “Have we not learned anything from our history”?
This country (and world) is so divided right now, that we are not growing; we are failing to thrive as human beings. Social media makes it so easy to attack each other behind the mask of the Internet. Children start watching You Tube videos at an early age and want to BE those kids in the video, instead of leading their own lives. Parents are spending thousands of dollars to illegally gain entrance for their children in elite universities. Hate is everywhere-it wears on me and makes me extremely sad. My beloved father fought in WWII against hate and fascism. Sadly, both seem to be alive and well in our current society.
So, what’s a person to do? For me, I am just trying to make my part of the world a little nicer. I try to respect other people’s opinions, even if I don’t agree with them. I try to voice my opinions with kindness and love. I am trying to grow as a person. We, not only as a nation but also as the human race; seem to have forgotten the virtue of compromise and compassion. We seemed to have lost the ability to agree to disagree and still be friendly. The current fad seems to be hate anyone who isn’t exactly like us or wants the same things, or heaven forbid; has more than us. What ever happen to judging one other by how we treat each other? To innocent before proven guilty? To the pursuit of life and liberty for all? I hope we find it soon, I pray for us all that we do.