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Saturday, June 21, 2008

love me, love me not

I knew it would happen. Not exactly "hate mail", but something along the lines of non-fan mail. My decision to bring politics into my business wasn't a difficult one. At nearly 51 years old, I'm in that wonderful part of my life where pleasing everyone is no longer a goal, and speaking up for what I believe in is as necessary as breathing. My work, my play, my beads, my business, are all part of the whole that is my life. Extending that further, my one little life is part of the whole that is all life, that is all of us.

Since I posted my plans to make Obama Beads, in support of his campaign, I've had some really nice and supportive comments left here on my blog. The not so nice comments have all been sent directly to me by email. I suppose it's easier to scold me in private, where the world can't read what they say. But since I'm pretty much out there in the open about most things, I'm going to respond to all of them here...

I feel an ethical obligation, and a right as an American citizen, to make use of my business as a way of supporting what I believe in. I believe in light, and love, and peace. I believe we can all get along even if we don't agree on every little thing. I believe that most things are really very little. I believe that George Bush has spent eight years doing his best.... his best to destroy the Constitution, take away our personal rights, fatten the wallets of himself and his pals, and to ruin our reputation as a decent, caring nation. I believe we have a lot of repair work to do, and I believe Obama has what it takes to turn things around and take this country, and the world, in a positive direction.

I get to say that, here, or anywhere else I choose. Freedom of speech is something we still have. In fact, it's downright patriotic to speak up for what we believe in. If what I think and what I say offends some people, I'm sorry, but I still think it, and will still say it. There are some who think I should hush up, make nice, and just pump pretty beads out into the world. Others have suggested that if I don't believe what they believe, they will be "forced" to stop buying my beads. I have to wonder if they go to the trouble of checking out each and every store or service they spend money on, to be sure they only deal with people who are Just Like Them.

I can't please everyone. I don't even want to try. Unfortunately, religion and politics still divide people. Like John Lennon, I imagine a world where we no longer need either one. Until then, I'd like to suggest that we all respect each other's beliefs and differences. I don't mind that not everyone wants to see Obama become president. I'm not here to offend or to convince anyone. I'm just doing my job, and the job description continues to change and grow as I do. Take it or leave it, but enough of the outraged, finger-wagging lectures. Like me or not, like my beads or not, you get to choose how you spend your time and your money. I trust that there are enough open-minded, wide awake people in the world to keep me going for a very long time.

So yes, I will be making the Obama Beads. Soon. I have a long list of people who want them already. Yay! The beads will cost $45, same as my other Talking Beads. $5 from the sale of each will be donated to Obama's campaign fund. I'm not sure exactly how that translates into "percentage of profit", but it's generous. The shipping charge in the US is $5 for Priority Mail. If you buy two beads, US shipping is free. I'm working on a couple of other designs too, so there will be a three to choose from. Probably something in blue and white, and another blingier, clear & CZ version, that can be worn with almost anything. (And no, I will not make McCain beads. That will be someone else's calling.)

I'll begin by posting these on my website, making it easy to click and buy. I think that will be the easiest for me, but I won't know for sure until I see how great the demand is. I'm also making a list of names of people who want these beads. Drop me an email if you'd like to be on that list. I'll try to keep up!

Many thanks to all of you who stand here with me. I know there's a fence dividing us from others. Little by little we can tear down that fence. I need to remind myself every day to "shine the light", and not to take others people's stuff personally.

Still want to yell at me? Well, take those wagging fingers and aim them at the lazy non-voters in your life. Part of my goal here is to get people excited about the process, and to get them to participate. There's no point in arguing. Do something constructive instead. Get some excitement going.

We have work to do. Let's get on with it!


Anonymous said...

Kim, I couldn't have said it better!! Does everyone forget the foundation on which this country was built?? Perhaps some need to pull out their old history books and take a look. We are talking about FREEDOM here. And, big O lives in my backyard - a no brainer vote. PS - luv the beads, too!!

Jean said...

One of the best things you ever wrote! Proud to know you, KIM! xoxox!


Francoise said...

Kim: 1 Small-minded people: 0
My friendly advice to them would be to go and do something productive instead of bashing/threatening those who do not happen to think the same way they do. Why is it so complicated to accept differing opinions? This is the mark of small minds.The most useful things we humans were given are a brain and the ability to use it. Takes a little effort, sure, but most people survive... Do I sound mad? You bet. Life is too short to waste it taking crap.
Go Kim go, I love you! ;+)

Anonymous said...

The last 7.5 years have cost this country dearly. One of our greatest qualities was tolerance of our fellow man. As a child of the 60's, I grew up believing that anything was possible for this country if we respected one another. In your honor, Kim, I'm donating $1000 to the Obama campaign today. If we allow those who want to silence us succeed, then we have truly lost our way.Please put me on your Obama bead list.


Anonymous said...

Let us also be reminded that in this country we can change our leadership every four years, i.e. have a bloodless revolution. Part of democracy is respect of differing opinions. It's ironic, but such bad leadership during the past administration may have jolted a few people awake - let us hope. And as you said, let us vote. Norine

Tink Martin said...


As a previous comment (Carolyn) said: "If we allow those who want to silence us succeed, then we have truly lost our way."

I'm always amazed that some people feel we should hide behind silence to avoid offending those who might purchase our work. I never have, and never will, hide who I am just for the sake of a sale. Ever. And I certainly wouldn't be swayed by emails threatening withdrawal of support if I don't stop voicing my opinion.

Maybe it's because I'm at that magical age myself (I'm 51). LOL!

Gaela said...

Kim, I was so happy to see those beads and you are a Brave Soul to exercise your right to freedom of speech. I admire Obama so so much. It is going to take a very strong and committed and even Brave Human being to take on the task of merely beginning to get our Country out of the insane mess that George Bush has spent the last 7 years creating. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. I'm so happy that I am an artist and can work at home.

Gaela said...

Hey, One more thing, Kim, I saw your interview with Jean at the Artist Bead Scene. Very Nice, Good job Girls! It's always nice to read about nice people!

Kim Miles - Beadist said...

I want to thank you all for your own eloquent words here. I'm humbled by the warm support, and proud to know you, even if I don't really know you. No new blog today. I'm exhausted by all this! But I do want to thank you, and Carolyn, will you please drop me an email? I'm not sure which Carolyn you are!
Carry on!
xo Kim

SandyQ said...

Hi Kim,

One of the things I have always admired about you is that you are a lady with CLASS. You are able to voice your opinions without sounding like you are ready to rip the face of someone who does not agree with you. The world is full of various different opinions. This does not mean that one is more righter than the other or one is more wronger than the other. The beauty of being a human being in this sometimes crazy world is that it is okay to have more than one outlook or view on the same subject. Kim, you keep on keepin' on with what you do because it works for you as well as the rest of us who love you no matter what! I also want an Obama bead but it will have to wait till after I get back from vacation (woo hooo Mackinaw here we come!) :)

diane hawkey said...

well said Kim!

torchsong said...

Kim, as usual you rawk!

Anonymous said...

>Well, take those wagging fingers and aim them at the >lazy non-voters in your life.


Personally, I'm guessing things would improve all around if people would take the time to get informed and decide to vote for somebody-or-other rather than sit around and whine about being too uninspired to vote at all.

While I don't agree with absolutely everything you say, you always come across as a smart, level headed, kind woman who constantly makes fabulous beads. Thanks!

Raleigh, NC

Linda in MI said...

Regardless of anyone's politics, you are so right to remind the finger waggers that we have the right of free speech and free thought and oh yeah, this is your blog!! I'm curious how many of the McCain supporters that chastised you buy Chinese products?? For goodness sake, each of those sales supports a Communist country. They have a problem supporting a small business woman who happens to be a Democrat, but have no problem supporting a repressive Communist regime like China? We have been so conditioned not to think for ouselves or speak out because we are afraid of offending someone. So I say to everyone, speak your mind, and then listen carefully and respectfully as others speak theirs.

Anonymous said...

Kim, thank you for being a beautiful person who stands up for what she believes in.

I love your spirit and I'm getting in line for an Obama bead. Sign me up!
Kate McKinnon

Joshie-boy said...

Good for you, Kim! Stand up and speak out for what you believe in. If you lose a few right-wing neocons, who cares. There's plenty of us out there that will buy ALL the Obama beads you can make. Love you, love your blog, love your beads. You're a beautiful spirit (refreshing now-a-days)with the courage of your convictions,which I happen to agree with 100%, and I'm one of those cranky, old white female EX-Republicans, who LOVES Obama. So, keep right on speaking your mind...we love to hear your thoughts and wish we could write the way you do. Joshie-Boy

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

You Go Girl! As you can see by your big long list of positive comments, it is always the right thing to do what you believe in!