Sometimes It Just Needs To Be Said
Sometimes it just needs to be said. I am going to express my opinion in this blog, and I’m doing so without it being solicited. I’m going to talk politics, I’m going to slam the media, I’m going to ask some hard questions, and make some statements many of you will take offense to. So, if you don’t want to know what I think, please move on.
There are three topics in the media right now that are being chewed to bits by uncompromising and self-rightous individuals bent on forcing a city and nation of free people to bend to their beliefs, rather than providing leadership and compassion. Two, of course, deal with the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) citizens of our country. It is no secret that I am supportive of this minority group. The third topic is Attachment Parenting International (API), and the corresponding picture of the woman standing next to a bench nursing her three year old child.
I believe we are living through a crisis of caring. I am not a radical left-wing liberal, nor am I a right-wing conservative. I live my values based on my beliefs, just like everyone else. The difference, I think, is that I base my values on the Golden Rule – “Do Not Do Anything to Someone Else You Would Not Have Done To You”. This “rule” exists in all religions, it pervades all spirituality, including pagan, Wiccan, and New Age beliefs. This alone tells me that it is quite possibly the truest “rule” to live by. Will I go to heaven by speaking this blasphemy? I guess that depends on who’s heaven I’m trying to get into.
So, I know you are guessing about the topics I am talking about, and I wouldn’t want to disappoint you. I will throw in a fourth just for good measure, just to get your juices flowing.
1) Same sex marriage. I have deep respect for President Obama for recognizing the evolution in his thinking. He is seeking truth rather than relying on what everyone around him is telling him is absolute right. He listens to all sides, and makes up HIS OWN MIND, weighing what he, in his heart, knows is right for him – not his church, not a book, not his political party, nor his opponents.
My question for you – how does what is right for him affect his ability to lead this country? I would look more to his ability to seek truth, and listen to all sides.
2) Locally, here in Lincoln, the city council is voting on Monday on the Fairness Ordinance. This ordinance adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the city’s non-discrimination law, prohibiting discrimination against gays and transgender people in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations. One of our senate candidates believes the ordinance to be unconstitutional.
My question for you – what century do we live in? Following this logic, we should toss out the Bill of Rights, and the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. In addition, while we have the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, the Equal Rights Amendment, first proposed in 1923 to affirm that women and men have equal rights under the law, and passed out of congress in 1972, is still NOT part of the U. S. Constitution. It has only been affirmed by 35 of the 38 states needed to make it the 28th amendment. What does that say about us as a nation, founded on the notion that all people are created equal, but aren’t ? What does that say about Jon Bruning, and his leadership capabilities, including open-mindedness, and representation of all of his constituents?
Besides this pronouncement of unconstitutionality for the Fairness Ordinance, I was astonished at the lack of respect, compassion and downright hate being spewed by people who profess to be Christians living the Ten Commandments, and more importantly The Golden Rule, “You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself, Mark 12:31.
What is truth? Are we seeking it for ourselves, or are we simply regurgitating someone else’s beliefs without giving it any thought, and striving to make ourselves right by imposing those beliefs on others? Do we reject any attempts to educate ourselves by paying attention to physical and scientific findings that pull the rug from underneath our time-honored religious and familial beliefs? Are we so narrow-minded that we refuse to consider that our higher power created contrast in our world to provide us with the opportunity to rejoice in the many facets of our lives?
3) Interestingly enough, though not political in any sense of the word (yet), TIME Magazine published the picture of a mother breastfeeding her toddler on the cover. The uproar over this is somewhat understandable, given the exploitation by the mother, the photographer, and the magazine of a natural, and VERY personal, choice.
However, I refuse to state a position on how long a child should be nursed, sleep in the same room, be allowed to cry in the middle of the night, or be cuddled and loved. I have three grandchildren, being raised differently by two sets of parents – one family following API, and one following a somewhat modified version. It is not my choice, or place, to tell them or anyone else how to parent. What I think is none of their business – nor is it my business to share what I think with them. These are choices that should be made by the parents, taking into consideration what is right for them, and for the children. Both sets of children are happy, well adjusted, delightful children – and it is my choice is to love them all, enjoy them for who they are, and not stick my nose into their business.
The key for me in all this uproar is the deliberate hype generated by the media, designed to create sales of their newspapers and magazines, gain advertising dollars, and create a hue and cry between those who condemn (for any reason) nursing of children beyond one year of age, and those who believe children should be allowed to nurse until they wean themselves. Again, we each need to seek our truth, and not impose that upon any others.
My question for you: Why do you participate? It is one thing to go about getting educated, but it is another to get drawn into the intensely emotional and personal nature of the conversation.
Find your truth. Live your truth. Treat others respectfully, and with compassion, by allowing them to make their own choices, and live their truth, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone else. And, love doesn’t hurt.
Finally, the last story I wanted to share with you was a little story in the local newspaper about someone with beauty in their heart, choosing to share it with others who see cracks in the sidewalk as something to complain about. I’m not saying that the city shouldn’t fix the sidewalks – that is why I pay taxes and it is an expectation I have of my fair town – but we have run out of money to do so. So – let’s plant flowers in the cracks to create a bright and lovely sign to watch out for the crack so you don’t hurt yourself, and enjoy the beauty of life itself!
Sometimes it just needs to be said. I hope you find your truth, and grow beyond following the rules of your tribe. As a leader. I hope you can practice respect for all, generosity of spirit, open-mindedness, and experience the beauty of all humanity. There is a simple four letter word for truth – and that is LOVE.