My mom came over to spend the night last night and we stayed up until almost midnight talking about all the politics and conflict happening in America. It seems like the people who are perplexed and wondering how our world could come to it’s current state are the very same people who are perpetuating the problem. Those people are my friends and family, you and I. They are all of us. They are the people who casually oppose anything that slightly threatens their lifestyle while defending their disapproval in a half assed diplomatic response that was already bias to begin with. They are the people who think it’s irresponsible to have five children, and the people who think it is a disgrace not to have children at all. They are the people who assume that a woman must be miserably unhappy, dominated and suppressed if she is a wife and mother who chooses to stay home. They are the people who think a woman is neglectful and selfish if she has any desire to work outside the home and build a career. They are the people who live in the city and think the people in the suburbs are ignorant and consumeristic. They are the people who think the people in the city are heathens, prideful and arrogant. They are the people who roll their eyes when they see someone driving a really nice expensive car. They are the drivers who look down on the people standing at the bus stop. The list could just keep going on. And sadly enough it does. Thankfully I didn’t even open up the can of worms that is our spirituality. This would go on indefinitely.
I am just hearing everyone I know talk, talk, talk, myself included. I am seeing so clearly that our inability to put ourselves in someone else's shoes, our inability to accept that someone else might still be living a good and beautiful life, but come to completely different conclusion, is an epidemic. This is the problem. We are all a little part of the problem. The man that passed judgment on me at the grocery store today when Bijou went A- Wall is the same man who looks down on a woman for tying her self worth and identify into motherhood. And yet, he tied my identity and self worth up in one solid look and word(s) of confident disapproval. Without my consent, my child’s behavior was a direct reflection of who I am as a person. I wasn’t even mad about it because I know that I’m probably a lot more like him than I would like to admit. I have those same instincts that fuel my fire and beg me to pride myself on all the ways I am right or smart or in tune, or… fill in the blank. Those instincts aren’t all bad, they are a sign that one feels pretty passionately about who they are and what they stand for, or in some cases a sign that someone is incredibly insecure and unsure and overcompensating. But, I will bet on the first. I just want us to recognize that we all do the same thing, and that we are all a little part of the problem, even if we are simultaneously a big part of the cure. I can't help but wonder why a different lifestyle has to become such a tragic threat to our own. And that good old saying that (hopefully) your mama told you could stand to become a little more fashionable. It's still really simple, treat other people the way you want to be treated.