Moms Across America is a 501c3, and therefore not a political advocacy organization. We have supporters from many different political views because we all, no matter what our political party, eat food, and want our families to be healthy. We encourage unity and embrace the good intentions from our supporters of all political parties in order to fulfill our mission; to educate and empower mothers and others with actions and solutions to create healthy communities.
We are deeply disturbed by the events of the past week, as well as the past few years, including the growing chasm of the political divide, the vitriol, and vigor of attacks by both sides on mainstream, alternative and social media. This wide gap in the difference of opinions and anger expressed, which divides families and friends, creates isolated, depressed, and unhealthy communities. This outcome is more concerning to us than which president holds office, or what their policies are. Because society cannot function and be healthy when it’s members are angry, divided, and/or isolated from their loved ones.
Therefore today, we ask our friends to take a deep breath, pause, and consider how you can be a part of creating healthy communities, ones that listen to each other, speak with compassion, inquire with authentic curiosity and care for each other.
Jayde Adams on the comedy show “Serious Black Jumper” made a good point about politics and electing certain leaders: “We don’t need more leaders, we just need a load of people working together to make sure everyone else is alright.”
Taking care of each other is what moms do best. But we must also take care of ourselves. Get outside and enjoy nature. If you are going to review the news, we suggest the following ways to take care of yourself, your mental state, and your health before you converse, post, call, or share political information with others.
Gather information from a variety of news sources. We have some supporters that only watch mainstream media, others who only watch alternative media. Neither one is likely to be fully informed of the current situation, the facts, and the response of our fellow Americans. Although I do not trust many sources from either side I often watch news from both just to see what their rhetoric is, their angle, and how we, as an organization can utilize that angle to educate people with the truth. Watching the news from all sides gives you a more well-rounded perspective.
Listen and consider. Generic denial and mistrust do not make anyone more “woke.” Remember the scene from the Six Feet Under series where the red-haired Aunt notices her sullen niece becoming more disdainful and depressed? She told her, “Generic apathy is not cool. It is cool to care.” Well, the same applies to making blanket statements about certain news sources, issues, and events. Complete denial of validity and overall mistrust of everything does not make a person better informed and superior in knowledge. Too many people are dismissing all news from mainstream media or an alternative news source just because of the station or individual. This puts them in a position to be missing out on important points, true or not, which could lead to resolution.
Don’t spread the hype. Reacting to and sharing drama creates more drama, which is unhelpful and unhealthy. As you review news information from both sides, look for news sources that also provide balance and professionalism with moderators who are conservative and liberal, at the same table. Consider that news stories that we get from all sides have the intention of getting better ratings and/or more ad click-throughs. Fearful headings, doomsday predictions, and urgent drama doesn't mean that they are just exposing the truth...they often mean more money. They want drama, they want to report on the drama, and they want you to share the drama. Don’t do it. This is challenging on social media, but try to share only professionally presented news pieces with credible sources.
Look for the sources, evidence, and science. If a news piece has a theory, it must be clearly stated so, and keep in mind that it is not news. It is an opinion, a possible prediction of the future, it is not a fact. It is not something to allow yourself to get riled up with fear and spread it like wildfire. We understand sharing predictions about certain issues, like the math that shows that 1 out of 2 of our children will be diagnosed with autism in 2032 if we do not act now (accompanied by actions you can take to resolve the issue) ...and this prediction has actual math behind it. We ask you to look for news sources’ math, scientific references, funding sources, and evidence. Keep in mind that conjecture, speculation, opinions, hearsay, even scientific studies paid for or conducted by industry players, and stand-alone signed statements are not valid evidence.
- Practice critical thinking. Whether this is true or not, who benefits from me believing either side of the story? Take time to consider, if you were to believe one side of the story versus the other, how would your behavior change, and who would benefit from those actions? Consider: does one side want you to continue with the status quo (buying GMOs, toxic products, voting party lines)? Does that side involve large corporations or individuals who make money off you continuing to participate in the status quo? Does one side want to create fear and have you share a scintillating story? The result is that the issue divides the public. We have many enemies, both foreign and domestic that would like to see Americans divided, and our societies sick with illness and hate because it benefits them in their narrow view of global power.
Most of us feel pretty confident about our abilities to learn about a situation and judge what is true or not to form an opinion. I realized that I often make quick judgments of news items, and try to pause before sharing because it takes time to assess a situation, more than a 2-second review of only the title of an article, or even a scan of an article. The reason why people get PhDs and often seem arrogant in their handling of certain issues is that they have studied many perspectives of one issue for over 8 or 12 years, sometimes decades. It doesn’t make them right on every issue, but there is validity in the act of taking time to assess the information.
As I assess an issue, even if I do not know what the truth is, I strive to take action based on what is most safe, most healthy, for me, my family, and my community, not what is most convenient. I suggest using the Precautionary Principle and avoid that food, product, action or inaction, and even news story...until shown to be safe or valid. If one must make a choice, make a choice based on which provides the most safety or chance of safety. No matter what we believe, even if we don’t know what to believe, we can still take actions which increase the safety and health of our families and communities.
It's time for us all to become active participants in creating healthy families and healthy communities.
When communicating with others about any issue, considering our reactions is crucial.
Rather than contributing to the collective rage, we have an opportunity to be a part of creating collective compassion. My mother and I spoke last night and she wondered aloud about the current unrest, “What can we do?”
As we spoke, she answered her own question, “I have started praying to the universal intelligence every night for people to have peace in their hearts and to heal. Because I think they are so angry and hurting so much. Right now, that is all I think I can do...that and if someone wants to talk I listen.” I ventured to add...”And I am guessing you are not judgmental of them Mom, right? You listen and you are curious as to how they feel and just let them know you hear them?”
“Oh, yes,” she responded. “I try to listen and not judge.”
I said,“Yeah, I find you can listen to someone and let them know that you get how frustrating it is for them, how sad they are or how committed they are to their family, without agreeing with them...but then they feel heard and understood.”
“Oh yes, that’s what we need right now, is for people just to feel understood.”
Seek to understand and have people feel understood. The ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes (without agreeing) is a function of the brain’s prefrontal cortex which is also the part of the brain that is responsible for critical thinking. It also expands empathy and connection.
In understanding people’s feelings, hurts, anger, fears, and needs...we create a bridge in our conversations which can lead to actions of support and healing. We do not need to agree, but we do need to come together and support each other in order to have healthy communities.
As a mother, the moment in parenting that I compare this to is the Time Out. In our house, the time out was a moment (or twenty minutes) to be quiet, think about what is actually happening, and then, when ready talk about how you feel with the intention of resolving the issue. As a parent, I would strive to listen, hear my child, get how they felt, have them feel heard and understood, and then...ask them what do they want to do to better the situation? How can they take responsibility for their actions, for their own happiness and the happiness of others? How would that make a difference for our family?
What if every American, every politician, every manufacturer was taking responsibility for their actions, for their own happiness and the happiness of others? How would that make a difference for our national community? We would have a healthy America.