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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Once Upon A Time

I was a girl who believed in unicorns and rainbows. Things were happy if I believed them to be. I was raised by a non-practicing Catholic family to treat others the way I wanted to be treated. If people are good to you, you be good to them. I learned all this without the help of any Catholic school, bible school or commandments. It was just who my parents wanted me to be. And they did that on their own.

For years, I struggled with the idea that -isms could exist in a world I believed was all about equality. Why should it matter that people were a different color. It was merely a physical characteristic. It was not indicative of their character. Why should it matter if they have a different idea of “God” in their religion? Why should I care about who is in their bed at night? If an artist paints particularly graphic images, I have the right not to attend the gallery show, or boycott, or speak out against it. But that doesn’t mean that he is a monster or a heathen or whatever else some may call him. If people choose to carry guns legally, that is their right, just as it is my right not to carry a weapon. Some people treat their pets better than they treat people, but that isn’t hurting me in the least. I don’t have tattoos. I don’t smoke weed. I don’t sky dive. But if you want to, be my guest. NONE of these things have any influence on me or my happiness if YOU choose to do them. Why can't everyone understand that?

The problem with being raised to treat people like people? It isn’t reality. It pains me to think that I am blinding my own children with the same ill-gotten sense of humanity as was instilled in me. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.