PC: Instagram @till_wurner_art

This morning I woke up with a woman’s body and a champion’s mind, thankful that I have never known what it must feel like to be punished or discriminated against just because I’m female. I have never felt anything but equal, and respected, and often times I’ve felt empowered, too, especially being a woman. I love who I am now, at this age, much more than the woman I was ten years ago and so much more, a million times more than who I was twenty years ago. I also remind myself that not everyone feels equal. Not even close.

I woke up this morning after a good, peaceful night’s rest, knowing that I live in a country where I am allowed to arm and defend myself against anyone who threatens me or my family, and I am capable of doing it if I had to. But I remind myself that, to some people, guns are very scary, and I have a duty to respect that.

I woke up this morning the same way I hope you did…happy that I have people who love me. Millions of other people woke up that way too, perhaps alongside the person they love most in the whole world, maybe even of the same sex. And you know what? It didn’t hurt anybody. Love is still the greatest thing in the whole world, no matter who feels it. #samelove

I woke up today thankful that police officers were on watch for me last night, making sure I can rest easy in my own home. And every day that I walk the earth, I try not to forget that there are American soldiers who don’t know me at all, who would still give their lives defending mine.

PC: Instagram @klarareginaart @klararegina

I respect a person’s right to privacy, their right to choose their favorite size soft drink, their own guilty pleasures, their own sinful vices. It is not my job to make others good, or honorable, or nice. I don’t want to smoke marijuana, but I don’t care if you do. I don’t think it’s possible to force others to make good choices, because sometimes I don’t make good choices either. You certainly can’t make people make your choices. You can be whoever you want and I will like you anyway, probably. Don’t we have enough to worry about just remembering our parents’ birthdays and scheduling time to see our friends? How about if we just mind our own business for a change?

PC: Instagram @_ayeh

I woke up today with money I earned, making a living at a job I work so hard at in a public school system that (sadly) does not value me, but still by utilizing an education I paid for all by myself. It means so much more to me that I did this alone. There is value in hard work and nobody, least of all my government, owes me anything. If I’m honest, I don’t want people wanting to take for themselves any part of what I have earned all by myself. Don’t ask me to condone punishing the rich. I won’t. They are my heroes.

I woke up in a democratic nation who finds herself in the midst of great debate and conflict. My country both idolizes and detests confrontation but I crave the fruit of a healthy discussion in a free country where the right to speak your mind was first born. A nation born of progressivism, by the way.

Rights do not come from God. Rights come from your government. This is true in every nation on earth. The bible doesn’t change that. My Bible is not everyone’s gospel. I remind myself of this everyday and it makes many things make much more sense.

I am a Republican, and a good bit liberal, too. There is no rule in the world that says you can’t be both. I am conservative in my heart but there are things the opposition does better, period. I tolerate and respect almost everyone. I enjoy learning from those who want to learn from me, too. The world needs fewer bullies, especially the ones who hurt others with their fancy vocabulary and their condescending sarcasm.

I tried really hard today not to spread one word of gossip and I will challenge myself to do it again tomorrow. It feels good to say nothing; it feels satisfying to let hurtful, pointless ugliness end on my ears.

I didn’t call my parents today and I regret that. Tomorrow, I will do better.

If I can recall, I think I told my son I loved him four times today. It still wasn’t enough.

My dog needs a bath and right now that’s about the worst problem I have in the whole world. Thank you, God, for the blessing that is my life. Yes, that was a prayer and I meant every word.

Reevaluate every thing, every day. Never stop learning or growing. Or changing.

Perspective is everything.




About Dawn Quarles

Dawn Quarles is a high school political science and American history teacher who moonlights as a blogger and writer. She lives on Pensacola Beach, Florida.


4 Responses to “Perspective”

  1. Liz Wilson says:

    I am so happy I got to hear your interview on PBS. I am a retired teacher/librarian/ writer and I love it on the
    Florida panhandle. I love the Gulf of Mexico and everything about the beach. I love to visit the beach every week and listen to the waves. I am so happy to know that there are teachers like you teaching here in Florida. I have a husband of 45 years, and two sons. I have tried to raise my sons to be good men. I believe we have a responsibility to teach our sons to be good husbands and good fathers. I think this so important in our world today. Thanks for sharing your stories.

  2. Dianne says:

    As for me I’m thankful I woke up and the love of my life woke up right there beside me

  3. Tina Lovett says:

    This is probably one my absolute favorites. Its kind of like when you are under conviction in a church pew as you feel every word spoken from the pulpit, is directed towards you.
    This was perfect timing for this imperfect individual…..thanks my friend!

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