I’ve been trying to stay informed about the shit-show that is my country’s government while also trying to avoid said shit-show. It ain’t easy. When I do give in and binge news coverage, I end up in a fetal position, crying and hiding in a dark corner.

For a while, I thought it all to be shameful. That we – the United States – were an embarrassment to ourselves. Those things are true, sure. But I cannot deny the level of heartbreak being carried by myself and other decent Americans. That ache is overwhelming. And I don’t know what to do about it.

While talking over these thoughts with my sweet friend Betro, we wondered why our country is hell-bent on devolving instead of growing. Why we embrace hate so freely and fight against love with such ferocity. Why we turn to ignorance and lies instead of honoring intelligence and truth. We found no answers. The highlight of the conversation was Betro saying, about our country, “We can’t have anything nice.” It was funny and sad. And apparently true.

While Betro and I didn’t solve any of the world’s problems that day, I did come away with some personal resolutions. I’m going to do my very best to honor those thoughts, in the interest of self-preservation. Here’s what I’m planning… From now on, when someone offends me in my presence, I’m going to follow my friend Yeni’s lead and say, “I have a call – gotta take this” and walk away from the offending person. So if you say something racist – be it overt or veiled – I’m gonna take a call. If you tell me how dirty my house is – I’m gonna take a call. If you say something sexist – I’m gonna take a call. If you denigrate and tear down a person’s appearance – I’m gonna take a call. If you criticize me pursuing my dreams – I’m gonna take a call. If you speak of your allegiance to ignorance and hate – I’m gonna take a call. In short, if you insist on being someone ugly while in my presence, I’m gonna take a call and walk away.

I wish I could tell you these scenarios are made-up, but they’re not. This shit happens with people I know, grown people, and it’s always, always, always ugly. And though I would love to tell the offending parties to shut the hell up when they’re acting like snot-nosed children, that isn’t always an option. So for now, I’m gonna give fake phone calls a try.

I’m well aware that this isn’t going to sit well with some folks, that they may recognize themselves in what I’ve written and that they are not going to take kindly to my method. Well – as someone with more yesterdays than tomorrows, I just don’t care. I don’t have time for this shit. And honestly, neither do you.

My country should be more honorable. Its citizens should be more honorable. I should be more honorable. Don’t we deserve nice things? As in – don’t we deserve a nice country? Damn. God knows, I’m trying. And in that trying I am choosing to honor my soul, my heart. There’s no room for hate. There’s no room for meanness. There’s no room for cruelty or abuse. So if you insist on spending whatever life you have left being less than your best self, well, that’s up to you. Good luck with that. As for me, I’m gonna take a call.

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