We can refuse to let society tell us what is beautiful.
We can make up our own minds, thank you very much.
We can refuse to let our aging bodies give up. We can decide to not give in—which means no excuses.
We can refuse to throw plastic or glass, or metal, or paper straight into a garbage can. Covering something in soil that will not degrade should make us feel sick.
We will not let other people’s agenda define our life. Their plan has nothing to do with us.
We will refuse hate whenever we see it or hear it. Hate, in any form, is not welcome in our world.
We can stop speaking over people. We can listen. And we can ask questions.
We can refuse to close our minds. We can venture to understand the circumstances of others, their history and points of view. This can be our religion.
We can refuse to allow hot topic news to dictate our moods. We will sift fact from fiction, and form our own opinions.
We will not stay holed up inside when outside is calling our names. We will forget about the time and just go. We will haul our asses up off our couches and get out. This will help us feel alive.
We will not entertain the idea that people are bad. People, most people, are innately good—and we will let them show us their goodness.
We can refuse to let commercials tell us what to buy and when to buy it. Corporations are not the bosses of our needs.
We can refuse to pay full retail price—for anything.
We can refuse to think of ourselves first. We are not the only people on the planet.
We will not let our past baggage weigh us down. We will not wallow in our regrets or our fears or our history.
We can refuse to stop learning. We can strive to always be students.
We can refuse to let the spin doctors spin without calling them out. We all know deceit and manipulation when we hear it.
We will not use up the Earth. Because science is telling us the truth.
We can refuse to believe that money and weapons and oil are the answers.
We can refuse to believe that kindness does not work. It’s free, it’s at the ready, and we will work to consider it first.
We will not eat crappy, genetically altered, or over-processed foods. Unless it’s Kraft macaroni and cheese. This is the one exception we will allow.
We will refuse to let others judge our bodies. Or our hair, or our eyes, or our face. And tell us to put a sock in it, please, if we forget this rule and denigrate ourselves.
We will not allow your religious freedom to infringe upon our secular freedom. And we will not ask you to believe what we believe. We’ll keep it cool.
We can refuse to be stagnant. We will keep moving, and running, and thinking, and helping.
And we can refuse to be afraid to stand up for what we believe.
Our refusal, our resistance is how we might save our humanity.
It’s how we might save ourselves during this trying time.
Author: Kimberly Valzania
Image: Alisdare Hickson/Flickr
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis