Monday, October 29, 2018
IT'S ALL ABOUT ME
The devil you know
For the past days I've struggled with the horrific
national events unfolding on a daily basis. The
fact of bombs being mailed nationwide by some
zealot was obviously disturbing. Yet Saturday's
shooting in a synagogue in Pittsburgh has left
me beyond unnerved. It would be easy to hate
such haters. Or to point a finger at those who
have fostered such a climate of anger, derision,
and disdain. But doing so simply increases the
great divide ripping America in two. Instead
I'm focused on the one electoral factor within
my control. Which is me, myself, and I. And
so I'm holding myself personably responsible,
On Tuesday November 6th we all must make
several choices. First, whether to participate
in the election itself. Second, what candidates
on the local and state fronts to support. Finally
on what kind of example to set for our family,
friends, and neighbors. The electoral choices
we make will impact not only each of us but
all who we know. However just one day out
of three hundred and sixty five isn't enough.
For any of us to be change agents we must
be willing to do more than just drop a ballot
in some box. The only way to foster change
is by nurturing and driving EVOLUTION.
The best way to change our world is to make
things personal. It's all too easy to hate others
if those we disagree with are nothing except
strangers. Enemies we don't understand and
naturally distrust. Yet once we put the other
side in context - all pre-conceived notions are
challenged. Causing errors in judgement to
transition to a more moderate stance. Which
is why Frank and I simply live our lives. And
in the process of not trying to prove anything,
prove that being gay is quite ordinary. That
the only difference between our "alternative
lifestyle" and yours is who we choose to love.
Obviously there are some who must go to the
extreme. They purposefully label people in an
effort to disparage the diversity that has fueled
mankind's success from day one. If I've gained
any wisdom thus far it's that such stereotypical
prejudice has one goal. Which is to expand the
power base of some by damaging the dignity
of others. Our challenge is battling those who
maintain a purposeful unfair advantage, And
in my opinion the best defense is being true to
yourself. Showing others that the difference
between you and me are very subtle nuances.
And that we all want to be loved... not hated.
Don't think I'm naive. Nor assume combatting
blind aggression is risk free. Being different
and proud of it is a risky proposition. Such an
open approach isn't guaranteed to change our
world. However it might be the only way to
make it better. Hence haters are going to hate.
Extremists will continue to wrench power from
easy targets. However they are the exception
to the rule. Their hatred is abnormal. Even if
these disturbed individuals are not like us, it's
up to ordinary folks like us to lead by example.
Day by day, step by step, word by word. And
that's the way to make America great again.
It's easy to blame this mess on anybody except
ourselves. However each of us can and should
make a difference. Instead of waiting for others
to do something, we must rise to the occasion.
What that involves isn't necessarily grandiose.
It could be as simple as a neighborly chat over
the fence. Or some random act of unexpected
kindness. What's important is that we all step
out of our comfort zone and make it personal.
In our me#too world - it's finally time to share
our stories. And when needed, talk about our
differences. Revealing your truth just might
help change other's minds for the better...