If you know me at all, or at least have read my blog... you know I tend to keep my political opinions to myself. It's an easy out. I don't offend anyone. I don't upset anyone. I just avoid it like the plague - just to keep the peace.
There's a number of reasons why I tend to keep my blog "politically friendly".
One: I know a lot of people that read my blog - in real life. Meaning I see them and speak to them outside of cyber world. Keeping my opinions to myself avoids judgement of me..and avoids any awkward situations when I know darned well that someone has a different opinion of what I have to say.
Two: The political rants and raves I often have opinions about just don't interest me enough to weigh in publicly on my blog. I have way more interesting things to talk about than that.
But, I decided that this morning... I was going to take a leap of faith and write about what I'm feeling.
So, let's start with a little buttering up, shall we?
I don't care how egotistical this sounds, but I am one of the most loving, accepting, caring people I know. I just am.
I was raised in a country where race wasn't an issue. I went to a school where I had three white children in my class. The rest of the class was made up of a variety of races and colors. That was the norm. It wasn't weird, or uncomfortable, or even an issue that was spoken about. Nearly all of my friends were black or Indian (from India).
I heard the "N word" used on a daily basis... but never from the lips of a white child. It was a customary greeting exchanged between my black friends. In fact, their term of endearment... it seemed. The white kids who were good friends with the black kids earned their own term of endearment... the same word but with a W at the beginning. It meant white kids that hung out with black kids.
And then, when I was 12, I moved to this country. And the cultural change was ENORMOUS. In fact, I still saw signs hanging at store windows that read "No blacks after dark". That was 1994.. not the 60s or the 70s. THE NINETIES!
I couldn't believe it. I often went home from school just in shock and awe at the racism and hate I encountered on a daily basis. Just being from a different county caused a lot of bullying to come my way... and my skin was the same color as everyone else's at my school.
I just wasn't raised to think that way about anyone.
There was, however, one person that was really nice to me from the very first day of my entering that very different school. He was much older than me, but took it upon himself to kinda take me under his wing...tried to offer comfort and support from the nastiness that I came in to contact with my first couple of months of being in the school.
He was an openly gay sophomore.
And to be gay in that type of town, in that type of school district was WAY worse than what crazy differences I was bringing to the table.
And, I bet you thought I was going to start talking about the Paula Deen thing, didn't you? HA!
I'll admit, he was my first encounter with a gay person. My only interaction, in fact, for many years after that. Even though I thought it was kinda weird...I learned that it wasn't something that anyone did to him. It wasn't something he decided to be one morning while picking out his clothes for the day. He told me it was something he'd alway been...and I was fascinated.
Even though I've never really told anyone this, he was the one that made me have the courage to stand up in front of the entire school and sing. Knowing the taunts and teasing I'd receive...he gave me strength, hope, and realization that it didn't matter what anyone said about me - if it's what I wanted to do, I should do it.
As the years passed by, I realized that I'm the kind of person that just doesn't give a flying hoot what religion, ethnicity, race, or sexual preference someone is. As a person that's always been a little socially unaccepted, I found refuge in others that were judged and treated differently. How on earth could I judge a person when I hated being judged so much myself?
My adult years have always led me to accept and love everyone. Unless there was a specific reason given to me by a specific person, I never looked at someone and disliked them or judged them based on anything but the person they were... on the inside.
I know in my heart of hearts that I am the teacher I am because of that quality I have. I tend to hone in on students that have issues...of any form...and provide them with as much love and support that I can give. Because at the end of the day, who doesn't have some kind of issue, right?
I am blessed to have a heart that loves everyone. Every race different to mine. Every religion different to mine. So, why on earth wouldn't I love someone who has a different sexual orientation than me?
Which is why, I am thrilled for the DOMA ruling that was handed down yesterday.
There, I said it.
Thrilled. Ecstatic. Over the moon.
Just as I was shocked and disgusted with being confronted with signs that read "No blacks after dark", I have been equally disgusted with Facebook posts and verbal comments about gay people.
Yet, I've kept those thoughts to myself.
I don't judge a person based on their feelings. They have the right to feel differently than me, and my feelings for that person doesn't change because of it. It just saddens me, to the core, that acceptance of gay relationships is still so new...and still unaccepted. But, I guess it's my generation's version of civil rights.
I know that I will shock many people that I know with my thoughts. Well, maybe. If anyone really, truly knows me... they won't be surprised in the least. They know my heart. They know the love that I have. They know that acceptance of all is second nature to me.
But, I know there will be a few people that read this blog today and feel a little surprised or sadness in their hearts that I feel the way I do.
Maybe they believe that it's against my religion to be OK with gay people getting married. And maybe it is.
But, I also know that religion has taught me not to judge others. There is only one who can cast judgement...and I was never handed that position. Religion has taught me to love all beings... and I do. I don't ever remember a lesson that said I should only love those that believe the same way I do.
And, really, it has nothing to do with religion.
That's the sad part.
We spread the word in this country that we are the land of the free. Freedom to practice any religion we so choose. If that's the case, why should religion stand in the way of couples that want to get married? Marriage is not a Christian sanction... it is recognized and practiced in all religions and by those who have no religion.
I don't remember an issue of atheists being told they couldn't get married. If marriage is the religious sanctity and union of a man and woman...then why on earth are atheists getting married?
But, that's neither here nor there.
I am proud and happy that I can be someone that loves all people. It makes me a great mother. It makes me a great teacher. It makes me a great person.
Life is just too short to have any amount of hate in your heart. Well, mine is anyway. I want to know that when I leave this earth, I have been the best representation of myself. That I have done everything in my power to live a happy, successful life. And I couldn't do that knowing that there was a group of people that I couldn't love because of their beliefs or because of who they love.
And that's what I just needed to say today.
OK, I'm out...