Friday, April 21, 2006

To say `gay`or not to say `gay`...

I'm visiting with my best friend, who, like me, is living in France right now. She has gone to get a baguette and some fruit so I have a little time to write, which is good, because I miss writing. However, I'lm using a French keyboard, which is very different than an American one, so I can not type my thoughts as fluently. Please excuse any terrible typos - I will do my best to be clear anyway.

My friend, an intelligent, thoughtful, and social girl - like myself - believes in chastising people who say things like, "That's so gay" in a negative way. I do not.

I personally don't use the phrase. I don't think that it is descriptive enough to suit my purposes - and in the end, I try not to be disdainful of things in the first place - most things fulfill an important role for someone, somewhere, as long as it is not something harmful to people, than whatever. There is always a more effective way to say something.

Anyway, I'm not going to go into all the reasoning here. I don't believe it's a good thing to say. Nonetheless, I'd rather lead by example.

But I think the more important point is that we are all people. We all deserve respect. If we are honest, and I believe in looking at things honestly and clearly as a function of loving truly, we all have things that are different or wierd about ourselves that someone's not approving of. If we want to truly love and take care of other people, it will happen when we are careful with all people - not just certain groups. Many people in this world feel ostracized, beat down, unable to cope, unable to progress, discriminated against in one way or another. We need to be careful to people, not to groups. I think we leave a lot of people out and contribute to the stereotyping even just by being careful of that group, instead of careful of the individual.

We are all so politically correct - and on the surface we believe in being 'tolerant' or whatever of people. But, deep down, do we actually treat everyone based on who they are? Many people are especially careful to gay people because we must be careful to certain groups. But are they real to that person for themselves? Are they really seeing the gay person? Are they showing more real compassion or empathy or love or just pussy footing around?

I'm not sure that it's helpful to pretend to be nice to anyone. If you hate them, that's your perogative, and also your loss. Don't get me wrong I'm for laws to make sure that no one is discriminated against for a group they are a part of in the workplace etc. But changing other people's phrases? I don't know about that.

My other best friend is gay. I don't love him because he is gay or not gay but because he is my wonderful friend who has really meant a lot to me over the years. So these are my thoughts.

What do you think? Most people I know disagree. But I'd love to hear both points of view.

Much love

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!! and Love Each Other!!

Off to Paris...

Much love to everyone today. Whether you are alone (as I am for the day, at least) or with family or friends or a lover - know that you are very important in this world. You have already made your mark - someone, somewhere, has grown because of you. You may never know, but it is an indisputable truth.

So... Love Yourselves and Love Each Other...

One day, when everyone learns his own self-worth, perhaps then the world would be as we wish it. Until then, instead of "saving the world," let's concentrate on what we can do and what we all need to work on - loving those around us as well as we can. Loving them without conditions - without saying they need to be a certain weight, age, level of accomplishment, wealth, level of education. Let's just take those we love and say, "I love you for exactly who you are. I learn from being with you every day. I'm so glad you are in my life."

I urge you - if you want this world to be a better place - the next time you move to criticize someone (maybe their hair is sloppy or they've not done the dishes or they lost their job) realize the ways that this hardship for you will encourage your own growth (which is a good thing) and the ways that they do give to you everyday. Instead, express your love and faith and respect for that person, at least to yourself.

Some might say that telling someone the truth if they look terrible (for an instance of possibly loving criticism) is loving. Perhaps. It is important, in a very loving way, to tell someone something critical if they may not have realized that there was something wrong. Yes, then I agree. But if you're just getting on someone's case about something they know about - I don't believe that is ever loving. It is telling them that they are wrong - which tears down a person's sense of self-worth (whether it should or not). More importantly, it says, "when I see you, I don't see the person I love, I only see a person with messy hair" or whatever. I nag too but it does not promote growth.

And if you've ever worked with autistic children with any success - you know this. They respond to love - not criticism. Sometimes people CANNOT do better at the moment. Austistic children cannot just do what you would like them to most times - and, believe it or not, they WANT to please you. This is why they so often throw fits and the more highly functional ones go on about how they are 'bad boys' or 'bad girls.' They know they're not living up and they so badly want to, because they want to please you, and they want to be loved. Who doesn't?

People will grow - if you trust that they will grow. If you give them the right nutrients - the support, the unconditional love, the understanding: they will grow. But, like this the growth will be for THEM because they want to - not for you. We can always do better - but we need to see that some people start out at different places than others. Everyone has different abilities, aptitudes, talents, passions, drives. This means that everyone struggles with different things - and sometimes it's hard to live up - but learn to appreciate the baby steps. And please love us anyway!

I believe, I'm not incredibly religious, but I believe that God made us each as we are supposed to be. I also believe that we each have a path to follow - and it is never straight, but meandering. We have to let everyone follow their own path, learn their own way - if we want them to truly understand what they've learned. Anyway, we don't really know much ourselves, in the end, do we? There's lots of things we do wrong every single day.

So, love each other, please. Every time you choose to love, you've added that much love to the world. I know that each one of us has something beautiful in us. Why don't we show it, use it, act on it, express it? Because we don't believe in it. We need others to help us believe. Love each other and foster that belief.

Comments? Questions? Differing experiences? Please leave a comment...