Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Veterans Day


I live in a place I might not easily fit into if I were to freely expressive my political leanings. So mostly I don’t.

Some election cycles I am more obvious in my support, but this year we were redistricted, and we lost the Congressional Representative for whom we had actively campaigned. She moved on to the newly formed District 7 that encompassed most of her previous district, but doesn’t include us.

I feel sad that we need to start over educating a new Representative. I don’t have huge hopes that she will listen to our issues, but I recognize that I’m making an assumption, and that makes me just like everyone else who jumps to political conclusions without research or data.

So, in the New Year, I will make an appointment to meet with her staff and introduce myself and the Truck Safety Coalition. I’m pretty sure she has not heard of us; I’ll do my best to give a good first impression.

But what bothers me the most during this Veterans Day weekend is that though our veterans fought to keep us free to speak about ideas important to us, it no longer feels safe to talk about issues at all. They didn’t fight so that only Republicans or only Democrats could express their views, yet where I live, and where many of us live, it feels unsafe to be different.

We used to be able to discuss our differences without being called unpatriotic. Without being accused of not supporting the Constitution. I’m certain most people in this country support the Constitution, regardless of political affiliation. I don’t think being patriotic is a trait found only in one party or the other.

I bet there are households on both sides of the aisle who proudly flew our flag in my neighborhood this week, who love our country unconditionally. Who have served to keep it free.

And I’m pretty sure there are both Democrats and Republicans and even some Independents buried in our National Cemeteries. They sacrificed so we could all speak.

It’s about time we all learned how to listen too.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

24 thoughts on “Veterans Day

  1. If the pendulum continues to swing, maybe we’ll get back there.


  2. There is such a lack of respect now. Heaven forbid one be allowed to discuss freely without fearing being attacked for having a different opinion. Calm and intelligent conversation seems to be a thing of the past, sadly.


    • I am somewhat reserved, and try to avoid conflict…so some of my reticence is just internal to me. I probably get hurt or offended too quickly…and I don’t like to risk a person shutting or putting me down. BUT…it does seem that it’s easier not to say anything these days to avoid the loss of relationships.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nothing wrong with that. Wish more people were more reserved, sometimes. And I am with you on not wanting to risk being shut down. I am at the point of not saying anything. And it sometimes angers me that I do.


  3. I think we need to make a distinction between unsafe and uncomfortable, Dawn. Disagreeing with those near to us can be very uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to stop with discomfort, Sometimes the right conversation, at the right time, can open hearts, even when it doesn’t change minds. I am reading a book I think is very important, a new edition of a book I missed the first time around: HOPE IN THE DARK: UNTOLD HISTORIES, WILD POSSIBILITIES, by Rebecca Solnit. The part I was just reading a few minutes ago has to do with being in love with despair, because it relieves the despairing of having to act. This is NOT the case with you: your activism with the Truck Safety Coalition is proof of that, and that is also evidence, for you, that you are not unsafe when you challenge those in power, no?’

    It’s easy to be discouraged. I get very discouraged at times. But life — living — requires hope, and I hope we Americans can learn to talk to each other more quietly and honestly and listen more respectfully. Actually, I know people who do that. It just doesn’t happen in street demonstrations or political rallies. More like around a kitchen table or sitting in a living room.


    • I agree…probably most of what I’m feeling is uncomfortable v.s. unsafe. But there IS a sense of not being safe out here in the country too. Not that I or neighbors have experienced anything…though one woman is convinced people are driving slowly past her house on a regular basis. Most of my neighbors are much more conservative than I am. We had a few Trump signs for a long time, though those have gone away now. I get along with all my neighbors, the connection being our dogs, and I don’t really want that to change. It’s a complicated thing. Maybe I’m just discouraged rather than afraid. Or maybe it all changes day to day depending on what I see on the news. I know once upon a time I posted that if people got together and cooked a meal while talking the world would be a better place. I still believe that.


  4. You know I so get it –
    We spoke of her quite glowingly – I didn’t realize redistricting had taken her from you –
    I have neighbors that had their yard decorated – or would that be ruined – by signs for the OTHERs – and each time I passed their house – minimally twice a day – I shook my head – wondering how and why –
    And when Tuesday night brought results, those signs were missing Wednesday morning –

    Yep – you know I get it –

    Willow’s Human

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dawn, great post. I live in a similar neighborhood except the roles are reversed – I typically vote conservative, but have a difficult time with the candidates they offered this time. There is ‘vote shaming’ going on here, too but it the other party that is doing the shouting down. It’s sad, the representative we had was a blue, but we redistricted, like you. He was elected in the blue wave of 2018 promising to be different, but he wasn’t. Just a blue version of the red. It is sad where we are today. It seems that the middle makes the decisions not the red or blue voters. I hope your new rep opens his or her ears and heart to your story. Change is hard, indeed.


    • Thank you, Clay. I wonder, isn’t it best if the middle makes the decisions v.s. the fringe of either party? I can’t say that I agree with the far left, though I am probably slightly left of middle. I just feel so lucky, almost privileged that I was born where I was to the parents I was, and that I had so much opportunity that I feel like people like me should be willing to foot the bill for some of the same advantages for people that weren’t born lucky. I don’t have a lot, but I have more than many, and I feel like I can afford to pay more for stuff if it helps the country in general…I don’t know what that makes me, pretty sure I’m not a bleeding heart liberal…but I’m some kind of liberal anyway. That doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the other side of the argument, that people have worked hard for what they have (so have I) and they think others should do the same (so do I). It’s just that many others don’t have the chance to do even that. Ah well…I’ll get off my soapbox now. For awhile.


  6. The first line of this post resonated with me. Isn’t that sad, that we feel that way? At the end of the day, both sides want the same: peace, freedom, friendships… I have no idea which party your district has, who you support. But I do hope your new representative can listen to both sides.


  7. You bet! So we’ll put. Good luck with your new representative.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well said Dawn.

    I feel like the atmosphere of our country shifted slightly this week for the better. Let’s hope we can learn to listen to each other better and find common ground more often.

    I spent veterans day out getting free meals with my veterans husband. It was nice to see veterans of all generations gathered at Dennys for their free breakfast. We all like pancakes so at least we can agree on that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I felt that shift too. I was afraid going into Tuesday…for our governor and for our state and for the country in general. Our governor kept her seat, and our state legislation went entirely Democratic! That’s a complete shift and such a surprise!

      I didn’t know you could get free meals at Dennys….hmmmmm I like pancakes too…and Bruce served…next year!


      • Yes, definitely go to Denny’s for breakfast. Free grand slam for veterans from 6am to noon. It was such a nice atmosphere, I almost got a little teary eyed.

        Jeff also got a free dinner at Chili’s, a free car wash and free starbucks coffee.


  9. Well said, Dawn! Illinois got a lot of newly-drawn districts as well, so I imagine there are plenty of new representatives facing a learning curve. Here’s hoping your elected official is responsive to your truck safety concerns. Like you, I wish we could get back some constructive dialog — attentive listening is something we need to bring back!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s always education to be done after the 2 year elections of House members. Frankly I don’t know how the House gets anything done with elections so frequent. They just start figuring stuff out and they have to start campaigning again.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I can’t pretend to understand the politics of the US, Dawn, but talking to each other was always the way to resolve problems. Not any more? That’s bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well said! All voices should be welcome here.


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