life

Other…

I was talking to a friend. She called herself “other”, meaning “different”…

It occurs to me that we are all other. I mean, even the people we think are “same” aren’t. How could we be? As far as I know, there are no cloned humans with exactly the same experiences. We might share a gender, political views, religious views, and sexual orientation but, even then, we came to those spots inside our own skins…

So, why did this idea of Other stick in my head?

It is because of this…We need to protect other. We need to appreciate the Otherness of those that are other. Gaaaaack, this seems so obvious to me. We will never be able to fully understand any human. Hell, we don’t even understand ourselves. Anyway, *sigh* to not protect Other, we fail to protect ourselves.

There’s nothing wrong with not being the same.

Current society thinks Other equals Dangerous. If your political views differ, that person must be a threat… I suppose I could go down the list but, y’all get the point…Jumpin’ Jimmeny Christmas and The Easter Bunny, being different doesn’t present an existential threat.

The next part of this thought is, how do we develop and mature our own views if we are so hidebound that we refuse to listen to difference? If am so unwilling to listen to dissent and become so defensive of my own views that I refuse to admit the possibility that I could be in error, odds are that MY views are less valid than I think. Perhaps it’s just me but, I do make mistakes and continually look for holes in what I think and my personal philosophies…and adapt when some Other shows me error or invalidity…

*****

Other is also a trap when you apply it to yourself…

“I am Other and they’re all the Same so, they couldn’t possibly understand me…” That’s what a kid says to their parents and a 20-something says to someone in their 50’s…Not realizing the oldsters survived what they are living. I know I used the section up there to point out how we’re all different but, which in this case doesn’t mean “please disregard”, in quite a few ways we are the same. We all started out pooping our pants. We all want whatever form of “success” we deem. We all want to love and be loved. We will all face the same end…

…and not to drop into “politics” because I have avoided making any indication of any “political” view I might have…

…Our parents survived the Cold War. *I was born in 1963*. Their childhood was filled with above ground Atom Bomb testing. Their parents were the generation of WWII. The parents of kids today, are children of the Viet Nam Era. The World has been filled with “threats” to us since before the Dawn of History…

We, humanity, will survive and adapt. It is our nature to do that…

*****

Other, hunh? Celebrate it.

Other, hunh? Protect it.

Other, hunh? Ignore it.

Other, hunh? Learn from it.

Other, hunh? Yeah, and Same…

Advertisements

Sitting on the Fence

I’m pondering on the nature of fences. Specifically, what does it take to stop sitting on one ? I’m not sure that there’s a conclusion for every case.

I know that there are issues that I will always remain apathetic about or will have decided that there are enough voices. Politics have worn me down. *editorial, I have no intent of going into party politics or debating the merits of either political party* I also think that there are some issues that have enough voices that mine is lost in the crowd. I may have a view there and might vote that way but, it really doesn’t mean I’m going to be vocal. 

Some times, I just don’t care. There are Issues that are not personal enough, will not affect me, or do not have a solution that makes enough sense to use. Other issues are really “non-issues” that have convinced people that they exist. Then there are issues that I have decided to not spend “emotional energy” on. Aj warns me about that quite a bit. She’s kind of my “emotional energy police”, in a good way. *editorial, Aj is my “best friend that is not my wife” and she tries her best to protect me from myself. She does a good job when I actually listen to her*

I think it comes down to when it becomes personal. When I decided that the issue was one that hit home. When I found a reason to WANT to spend my energy on it. I very rarely react publicly from an emotional point of view. My views are, usually, well pondered and thought out. Not to say that I’m unemotional but, I don’t let them make my decisions for me. It is, for me, counterproductive to get to a point where I’m slamming down the keys as I type. 

For me, faith and love are the same sides of the coin. *editorial, I’ve said that before, just don’t remember if I did here or not* That’s where it became personal. I first learned I had faith in something greater than myself. Then I realized that I was capable of love. I believe that love is also something “greater than myself”.

I met my wife. Learned that I loved her. Married her. Maybe not as simply as that but, that was the progression.

If you have read any of these, you know about Aj and Z. I’ll spare the details of how much I care for these ladies but, I’ll hit the high points. Aj is a person of strong faith. It happens to be Pagan. Z is also a person of strong faith, Christian, who happens to be gay. Because I had known them as people before I found out that either had an aspect of their life that I didn’t know, I didn’t really have a chance to apply any of my preconceived notions. Funny how that works. Neither wears a name tag that says “Hi my name is (blank) and I’m in a group that you are not.” They just go about their lives and let you make your decisions about them based on who they are. 

That was what pushed me off of the fence. Sure, there are a bunch of voices advocating religious freedom. *editorial, my Pagan friends might debate my choice of the word “religion”. It’s what I have so, it’s what I use*

Sure there a bunch of groups advocating “gay rights”. *editorial, please don’t get upset if I didn’t quite phrase that one to your liking either. Again, it’s what I have*

There is one group advocating Aj and Z. *waves*. I’m it. It became personal. I got nudged off of the fence. I hope that my voice and my words might sway someone else to change their views. I hope that my views of my friends might persuade someone else to see them as I see them and, by seeing them the way that I do, decide that they are not to be feared or scorned. I hope that my views might help someone, anyone else to overcome their apathy. I hope that by trying to show my friends as people, that they might gain additional support of their rights to live and love. I also know, that for Aj and Z to have the rights that they deserve that it’s going to mean the same for a bunch, millions, of others. For me, the millions are incidental to the two and those others that I know that fit either demographic. 

It is, and will always be, personal. I think that is where we always decide to get off of the fence. I think that when we do, we are able to speak with passion. I hope that my passion comes through. I believe that change will come when we can use that passion to persuade. I’m glad I’ve gotten off of the fence and spoken out. I’m glad that I was allowed into the yard. I remember, as a kid, sitting on the fence and watching the game. I wished I could play.  Life is not a game but, it is not worth living if you sit on the fence and watch it being played out.