Times, They are a Changing

My Dear Miss Bennett:

Two very important decisions were made in this country last week, and those decisions have inspired passionate debates, to say the least. I struggle with my feelings about these decisions and expressing them correctly. I posted on Facebook that the people who were against one of the decisions were small minded. Just because they are wrong doesn’t mean they are small minded, does it? 🙂
It was wrong of me to say that, and I do sincerely apologize. I find it difficult sometimes to share my opinion without the passion that usually accompany’s it. Just ask your older brothers. I can talk and talk and talk, quite passionately, about everything I want to teach you. I can talk so long I can make a glass eye water. And I usually have very good points to make. However, sometimes I can go too far with my opinions, as I did a few days ago.
What happened last week is that same sex couples were granted, by law, the right to marriage. In my, hopefully worded appropriately, opinion they were granted basic human rights. However, there are people that I dearly love that don’t share my opinion, and I had no right to belittle them. In my Christian opinion, Jesus loves everyone. No matter what. And I will leave it at that.

The second thing that happened last week was that the decision was made to remove the Confederate flag from state capitols and, I believe, other seats of government, to include counties and cities. I believe that no matter how long ago the practice of owning other humans was, any form of representation of that era should be in a museum. Slavery, as you know, was, and still is, perhaps the worst form of denial of human rights; to include owners raping men, women, children; people having to stand naked while they were/are physically inspected like a horse or a dog, and then sold – possibly taken away from their parents or children, whichever scenario applies; and many, many, many more transgressions that I couldn’t even begin to list. To have a symbol of that flying atop state capitols, no matter how many times that symbol has been revised, is appalling to me.
I am confused, seriously confused, as to why anyone would be upset that such a symbol is taken down. It should be in a museum and remembered appropriately, but not celebrated. And yes, no matter which way you slice it, flying a flag is a symbol of pride. Slavery is not something that makes me proud when I think about it. It sickens me. However, there are people who are near to me that I am sure think otherwise, about the flag I mean, and I have to be careful how I share my opinion on this because I do not want to hurt their feelings. They are already wrong, I don’t want to rub it in!:) (Please know I am only trying to keep a little lightness in this letter.)
The thing I really struggle with, as I stated before, is how to share my opinions, or if I should even share them at all. On facebook there are pictures and posts being shared that basically say, “Mind your own business!” or “Be kind, let’s all be respectful and play nice.” And while both of these can be true statements, sometimes it is really difficult for me to play nice when it is something I am passionate about. So, maybe I shouldn’t share my opinions if I can’t play nice. However, if no one who is passionate about a subject ever shares their opinions, then how can we grow as people? As a society? As a nation?
Somebody, somewhere, got pissed off enough, and probably a few hundred or thousand people had to die, before it was mandatory for blinkers to be put on cars. Whole buildings on fire with people trapped inside had to burn to the ground before someone got pissed off enough to say, “Hey, why don’t we make it so all exterior doors push open, rather than pull, from the inside!” Brilliant!
Some woman, some where, got pissed off enough, because she was so freaking intelligent, and she said, “Hey, why in the hell don’t I get to vote? Why doesn’t my opinion matter?” I guarantee you that some male Christian thought that was preposterous and couldn’t believe that women should be allowed to vote, and fought it every step of the way. Thank God that woman, and thousands more like her, fought and fought and fought. And there are countless more unsung heroes that brought about change in this country, and I thank them all.
If we don’t share our opinions and fight for what we believe is right, as long as we are keeping basic human rights in the forefront, I don’t believe that we can ever grow as a country.
I am confused by a post going around on Facebook about how people who are against same-sex marriage are now afraid that pedophiles will get legal rights to have sex with children. How did we transition from adults getting basic human rights to now believing that we, as a country, would allow people to hurt our children legally?
I think fear and anxiety has taken over common sense. Maybe it needs to, I don’t know. I am sure that my parents would have probably thought people were paranoid if they actually used the seat belts on their children in their cars. Maybe fear is okay, rationally speaking anyway.
It will be an amazing thing to watch, our country progressing. Right or wrong, we are in it together. I will do my best to be respectful. I hope that I teach you the same thing, as well as making a glass eye water!
I love you, my dear, sweet, Elizabeth. I wish you a country of progress, full of amazingly different people. And I will be around for many, many years to answer your questions, have passionate debates with you about sensitive topics, and hold your hand through all the change you experience…until you get really, really, really old!
I love you, I honor you,
Love, Mom

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