Citizen Isner

November 11, 2016

Posted by Ran Isner

 

On October 31st I passed my citizenship test and am waiting for the swearing in letter to arrive. I must admit that I am very excited about becoming a citizen and I am really looking forward to the ceremony.

I missed voting in this election because I started the process a little late in the year and I have to blame myself for that. I dragged my feet getting the process started because I was still grappling with the idea of becoming a citizen of a country I wasn’t born in and all the guilt I felt about seemingly abandoning my Israeli identity for a new one. I realize now that it doesn’t have to be that way. I will always be an Israeli because I was born there and that’s never going to change, but I also feel such a deep connection to this country. I am raising a family here, I have created a life for myself and my family here and this country is what I call home now.

I am very much involved in the political conversation and the reason i decided to become a citizen was so I can vote in the election because I believe that since I intend to live the rest of my life here I am required to exercise the right to vote and make my voice heard. I have very strong opinions about the path this country should take and what kind of country I would want my children to live it, so even though I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to vote, I was still very much involved in the conversation and was invested in the outcome.

The past couple of days have been very emotional. I won’t lie to you, I felt like I was sucker punched. I was supposed to become a citizen in a time when love was going to win over hate and acceptance was going to win over bigotry, yet somehow the world turned upside down and certainty turned into doubt.

This was how I felt for most of the past two days. How could people be so stupid? How could we have been so wrong and how did we let them win? I felt so much hate and disdain and then I reminded myself that this is not what I stand for. I stand for love and acceptance. I stand for possibility and opportunity. I stand for each and every one on this planet having their own opinion, I may not agree with it but I will respect the person and their right to their opinion. One can’t be against hate when things are going their way and once they don’t, become a hate spewing machine, that’s hypocritical.

I can only bring about change when I become the change myself especially when hate and negativity have such low vibration in the universe. I could sit back, play the victim and complain or actually be a cute in the matter and take action. We don’t live in a bubble where everybody thinks the way we do, there are many different people with many different opinions and our opinions are not more valuable than theirs. We must learn to communicate in a way that promotes a healthy discussion rather than divisive rhetoric.

Many people dream of becoming a citizen of this great nation and I believe that we have a responsibility to be active and willing participants so that we live in a country we can be proud of and also be critical of it when we feel that it is veering of the path. We have a duty and a responsibility to future generation to hand over a country that sets them up for success where its people are able to continue a dialog of peace and acceptance.

Being sworn in and singing the Star Spangled Banner will be one of the proudest moments of my life and I will not take the responsibility of citizenship lightly.

Bless you all and bless these United States!

Advertisements

Posted by Ran Isner 

Last night I graduated to a white-blue belt in my Kickboxing practice. As part of the graduation process I was required to write an essay and do one hour of community service.
In the essay I was asked to write about what I have gained since beginning my practice and if I have noticed a change in myself. What came out were honest words of gratitude and acceptance. 

I am grateful because this practice has allowed me to join a community that embraces everyone with no judgement, a community that supports one another and not expects something in return and a community that reminds you that it’s not about the result, but about the process. 

The professor said something that even though I’ve heard it before, it resonated with me in that moment. He said that the week after earning the belt is very important. It is important because that is when people take their foot of the gas and decide that it’s time for a break and that’s why one should push even more. 

The work doesn’t stop just because you went up a belt (insert whatever accomplishment that suits your situation) if anything it becomes more intense and every level becomes more meaningful because it means that you are taking one step closer to where you want to be. Even after you are a black belt, the work always continues because we never stop learning.

Another thing I wrote about in my essay is how much this school is in alignment with who I am and who I am striving to become. I want to surround myself with people who share the same values as I do and are committed to creating a culture of empowerment and positivity. Building people up is so much more fun than tearing them down.

I am grateful every time I get on that mat and am looking forward to the journey ahead.

%d bloggers like this: