Posts Tagged ‘acceptance’

I turned this post into a video blog, here’s the link http://telly.com/AHJBM3

I think I have an analogy for the world, a comparison, a similarity….Okay, I don’t really know what it is so I’m going to begin with a bit a backstory. A setting up of the punch line if you may.

As some of you may know I am a nanny for triplets, all girls. I’ve been taking daily care of them for fours years now. As many of you may not know, caring for triplets and or raising them is quite different from raising a singleton, twins, or several kids of different ages. It comes with many disadvantages but also its fair share of positives. I love my job and have gained so much life experience by being able to submerge myself into the family mould both by becoming family member but also an observer. Everyday get to see the challenges a family/marriage must face from a relatively non-bias point of view. Is it a beautiful thing to witness but also somewhat tragic. I see how much the outside world affects who you are as a person. When I started watching the girls were barley speaking, they had such a limited vocabulary because they had developed their own language to talk amongst themselves, they spoke triplet. This quickly changed as I talk A LOT and was spending upwards of 10hrs a day with them. They were quick to learn from me.

As they grew older and their vocabulary grew larger I tried to teach them as best I could to be understanding of others. I love to see them standing up to anyone who uses a colour as an adjective to describe as person.

“People are not colours.”  They say.

“What?” Confused bystander.

“They’re just people.” They smile and continue on.

This is not a dramatization this has happened many times, they are expremely vocal to and about their surroundings.

I’ve Mentioned before in a post but I think it’s important to repeat that we have also discussed things like same-sex relationships, adoption, poverty, charity, amputations, metal disabilities, crime, recycling, aliens, religion, racism, and hate among a plethora of other things. Now I want you to understand we don’t sit down and say, “Today we are going to talk about same sex relationships.”
No, they always initiate it by asking a question about something that is abnormal or different to them. I answer them in the way I would have wanted to be answered when I was a child. They responded greatly to this. Now that they have begun school some of this teaching has been damaged by opinions of their peers and their peers personal family ideal, however I do still see more empathy and compassion in their souls then most adults and I hope the world doesn’t keep breaking it down.

I seem to have gotten a little off track but as I said this is the back story to this epic analogy to describe equality and the lack their of it (if you haven’t guessed yet, the triplets are involved ;p )

About 20 min ago I was telling my best friend about my day with the girls and how I painted all three of their nails. I told her how they always want to have the exact same colour and exact same pattern as their sisters have (this happens when we do crafts as well) Today I didn’t let the girls see each others nails until they were all completed and each had picked different patterns and colours. I had a realization that they all wanted to be the same because in their mind “same= equal”, “equal=same”. They always want the same amount of attention and praise, and if one receives an extra praise for her beautiful nails then they see that girl as somehow more important or better. AHA! So much of the fighting, arguing and frustration they have with their sisters makes sense now. That being said, I feel like it will be hard to break this habit, but I hope to stress to them that different doesn’t stand for better… or worse for that matter.

Now here’s the analogy, the comparison, the similarity. The triplets are really just a miniature version of our current world. People believe and most likely have always believed and may possibly continue to believe that difference creates inequality. That to have equality you must have sameness, that we Must all believe the same thing, perceive the same, see the same to be equal.

I would like to dispute this!

I believe the core quality of equality is acceptance. If there must be any sameness, let it be that we all treat everything in is world as if  all on the same level. Every single thing on this planet deserves respect and love from the smallest grain of sand to the last star in the Sky. It may seem like such a large, exaggerated, unimaginable expectation but that is how open my mind is.
Equality = acceptance of difference + love x compassion. Such a simple equation.

I want to leave you with this unwisdom challenge of the day, of the month, of your life.

Take a moment, now or later, tomorrow or ten years from now. Just take a moment and let go of every assumption you have about the world. i mean absolutely everything you ASSUME you know. You may be surprised to find that you know nothing at all. Freeing isn’t it?

Peace and love and equality
Lindsay

Am I an anomaly?

Standing up for what I believe.

Accepting that everything is a part of me

 -

Am I an aberration?

Living in my imagination.

Hoping for a free global nation

Reading a book series in which these words are used frequently, this sprung out of no where while I was reading a chapter yesterday. Thought I would share. I think I would rather be both an anomaly and an aberration than someone who goes along with the norm just to fit in and be safe. I’m an out-of-the-box kind of girl :)

(The series is Matched/Crossed/Reached by Ally Condie)

It’s Pride, my city, surrounding area and places across the world are flying the flag with what else Pride! This brings me to the topic of my entry today, Homosexuality(or as I like to call it sexuality!). I was born in the 20th century and maybe was I exposed to more open ideas than some born in other decades or other parts of the world, but I have always been unaffected by same-sex love. It has always been a part of my life and never bothered me. What does bother me is how much other people seem to be bothered by it.

My first memory of homosexuality is from the sitcom Ellen. I think I was about 7 when she came out on her show. For some reason I distinctly remember Ellen leaning over the microphone in an airport and saying “I’m Gay!” After that the show got cancelled and I remember my mom being disappointed because she loved the show and she didn’t seem to mind that Ellen was gay. I’m not even sure I knew what that really meant back then. When I was about 9 my parents sat my sister and I down and told us my Uncle had come out as gay I think my response to this news was something like “Okay, can I go back to playing now?” I knew at this time that being gay meant dating someone of the same sex, I don’t know how I knew this. I don’t remember my parents telling me what it meant to be homosexual, I wasn’t very sheltered as a child so I’m guessing I saw or heard about it from television. Having a family member who was gay didn’t really change anything for me personally. At some point I met a boyfriend of my Uncles and all I can remember thinking is they hug like my parents hug, they hold hands like my parents hold hands, they kiss like my parents kiss. In their entirety they loved like my parents loved, and I was content with that. My family seemed to continue on just like it had before, nothing changed. I don’t know if being exposed to the lifestyle as a child aided in my acceptance or it’s just who I am. I don’t care who you love as long as you treat them right. This seems logical to me. You dating a man or a woman has no affect on me personally so why would I care?

I know people who say “I accept homosexual people I just don’t want to see it,” What does that mean? You accept them but you don’t want to see them be affectionate? That is not acceptance. Some people say,  “I just wish they wouldn’t rub their sexuality in my face,” again to this I say what? Don’t heterosexual people flaunt their heterosexuality all the time, walking in public holding hands, kissing, touching? Heterosexual people don’t have to sit their family and friends down and say, “I have something to tell you, I’m straight!” So why should homosexuals. Why does homosexuality have to be something that has to be announced like it is automatic that you are supposed to be born straight and if you’re not you either have to hide or tell the whole world?

I don’t understand people who say that you choose to be gay. You choose to be gay as much as you choose to be straight, or as mush as you choose your hair, eye or skin color. My common argument to this topic is “Why would you choose to be ridiculed, taunted and bullied?” I also don’t get people who say there is no such thing as bisexuality, you must either like boys or girls, it’s impossible to like both. No one has the right to decide how you feel about any specific person except you.

Sexuality is on a spectrum, and any person can fall anywhere on that spectrum. People are so concerned about life being black and white, no grey, no in between. Here’s a fact people IT’S ALL IN BETWEEN. The truth is there is there no black and white, there is no right and wrong, there is no gay and straight, there just is.

In the end you are who you are and you love who you love and I’m okay with that. I wish more people would be okay with it too.

I am constantly surprised by how people I know and love think about the world and the people in it. I recently had a discussion with a friend about how much people generalize humans into specific groups, whether it be gender, sexual orientation, race, culture or career. Where I am from there is many misconceptions about First Nations/Native/Indian/Aboriginal people. Many people describe this race as being alcoholics/lazy/addicts/bums/dirty/homeless people. There is a terrible history between what you may classify settlers of Canada and the original people from the continent, the First Nations. I do not wish to get into the specifics but there was many wars and disagreements and conflicts that eventually ended in the signing of the Treaties. Sadly this did not end the hate and bigotry towards the race, in some ways it made the judgments and generalizations worse.

This brings me to a conversation I recently had with a friend. I was fighting my point that you just cannot generalize any group of people (on this day we were specifically talking about aboriginals) because not all people are the same not matter what “group” you may personally assign them to. This friend then gave me the example of two apple trees:

On one side you have an apple tree that produces mainly bright red, perfect apples, that appear to be the best apples out there however, this  tree produces a few apples that are misshapen, brown and mushy. On the other side you have the same kind of apple tree that appears to produce predominantly bad apples that aren’t as appealing as the others. But again on that same tree there is also bright red, crisp, perfect apples that look the same as the other attractive apples on the opposite tree. The friend then asked Which tree do you pick apples from, which tree to you water and keep alive? The tree with the abundance of “good” apples or the tree with mostly “bad” apples?

I answered honestly, in the fact that innately if it was for survival I would probably pick from the “good” apple tree and support its life. However, if I was being logical I would simply pick the “good” apples from both trees and support growth of both trees since neither tree was completely without flaw. I also implied that it was not realistic to use a metaphor about a plants and apply it to human behaviour.

This friend was not enthused by my answer and suggested that I, as well as everyone would choose the good tree because we live in a survival of the fittest world. I began to explain that I don’t believe we live in that kind of reality anymore (at least in the western world) I believe we don’t have to leave the sick/weak/suffering/struggling to die or rot in their own life just so we can keep on living. I believe (in this day) we have the power overcome what some may call our innate sense of selfishness, our ability to pick out peoples differences and avoid things that make us uncomfortable. I told this friend that I believed this because I live it. I work on breaking through my judgments and stereotypes because I meet people who break the ideals I or society have imposed upon them. This friend still believed that it was not possible for me to do what I am doing, and we ended the discussion at that.

The funny thing is if it wasn’t possible for me to break through my own misconceptions then I wouldn’t have been able to keep this person as a friend. Just because he/she had these stereotypes about these people I didn’t judge him/her. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, that is my opinion. There is a reason that I did not use a name in this blog, because this blog is not about attacking someone for their beliefs its about understanding that not all people have or rather choose to have an open mind. Sometimes people find that living inside the box is safer, easier and more fruitful. Being on the outside I can only reach my hand in and offer a possible way out.

I enjoy to having these kinds of discussions with people. I like to talk about things that may cause them discomfort or anxiety in an attempt to make them think or see things differently. I don’t know if this friend ever thought of our discussion again, but I know I think about it often. It just makes me wonder what other things people believe, what other things people think they know about the world. It also worries me that still in this day people are so consumed in their own ideas and opinions. When will we stop thinking of the world as billions of individuals with certain characteristics trying to survive and start thinking of it as one solid system of life, love and happiness?

I have read a few articles within the past year stating that Legalizing Gay Marriage would be America’s downfall and that accepting the gay rights movement could corrupt the world’s youth. Strewing morals of who people are supposed to love. This astonishes me!

Let me ask you this, was the Women’s Rights movement a downfall for humanity? Was the African-American Civil Rights movement a downfall to society? Of course not, these were not hindrances to the world these improved it. How can acceptance and recognition and equality hurt humanity?

What hurts us as a Global population are things like bombing/killing/blowing up other people and countries thinking that this is the only way to get a point across; Or letting whole countries and continents starve as others exceedingly prosper; Genocide, Xenophobia, Judgement, Stereotypes, Greed, Power. These are the things that cause hate, suffering and despair in the world.

I find it crazy that people are so outraged by two people loving each other and sharing their lives together more than they are outraged that thousands upon thousands of people starve to death everyday. Seems odd doesn’t  it?

I have realized lately how many people have generalizations about certain Races, Religions, Cultures, Sexual orientations, countries and genders. I find it sad that people still hold such strong assumptions about such silly things. You can’t help where you were born, you don’t choose your orientation or skin color. You don’t pick what religion your guardians posed upon you.

I hear people(even ppl I know and love) slapping labels on large groups of people suggesting that all people who are Muslim are terrorists , or that all gay people are flamboyant, or that all foreigners can’t speak English. These are just a few of the generalizations I hear daily.

It makes me sad to think that so many of us believe so strongly that certain groups of people are a certain way. The truth is there is no “groups of people” there is just “people” if we belong to any group at all it should be a global one, where we all accept each other regardless of our religion, opinions, culture, sexual orientation, race or gender. Equality is the only way to achieve peace!

As I was scrolling through “topics” I came across a blogger who had this thought the power of a positive idea is greater than the power of a negative idea.  In reaction I had this thought who is to say whether an idea is positive or negative. Can an idea not just be an idea? Why do so may things in our lives have to have a charge, a meaning, a description? Again I ask, can things not just be things? Why does the grass have to be green, is it impossible for us to see it as just grass?

I often here people say there is no love without hate, or you have to take the good with the bad. I don’t know if I want to believe that, I think I would rather not have either than have pain, suffering, oppression, anger and bouts of happiness, bliss and love. Would the world really be boring if every feeling, idea, thought felt the same way? Not to say the every thought, feeling or idea would be the same but would affect us in the same way.

I then have to ask you this, is peace boring? In a sense if global peace was achieved we would all accept every aspect of existence/life as we know it on this planet. We would have respect for everyone and everything. All things would be different but be accepted in the same way or is that an unfair assumption of peace? I guess that’s what my idea of peace is.