Friday, January 25, 2013

A Little On The Personal Side

This might be a long one.  However, I need a way to put this in the right words.  I know that I don't know everything.  But I have always been a huge supporter of equal rights in this country.  For someone that doesn't know this, they obviously don't know me well.  It's something that fuels me.  It's a topic that I find incredibly sensitive.  Today I had to delete a few posts from a supposed "friend" because of something they said that could have hurt a lot of other friends and people I know.  I know people don't like "dirty deletes" - but when it is something that is full of sarcasm and bigotry that is going to hurt people - I find deleting these are appropriate.  I don't want that on my profile. AT. ALL.

Honestly, politics are ridiculous.  I lost my cool this past election because all topics that were brought up involved equal rights.  I could not comprehend how people could be so cruel and narrowminded.  I could not understand why people were fighting AGAINST equal rights.  I lost it.  This past year, I've been so sensitive to the topics of equal rights - that I have gladly, without double thinking, unfriended Facebook friends and stopped talking to those who disagree with me completely on the topic.  I have even stopped contact with cousins because we cannot see eye to eye - so much so that it interferes with our relationship.  People may think I handle it immaturely, but I don't.  Why would I want to have people in my life that I feel do not agree with my morals, who do not support my beliefs (whether or not they agree with them), and who purposely say or do things that could hurt those I care about just out of spite?  I can't handle it.  Because I can't handle it, I cut it out of my life completely.

I will never apologize for sticking up for Gay Rights.  I will never apologize for speaking up about women's rights in areas I feel it is neglected.  And I will never tolerate someone making fun of my beliefs or gay individuals.  End of story.  If you expect an apology for that, then you won't find it here.

Growing up, I've had to talk 2 friends out of suicide because they were gay.  I stuck up for my friends when kids at school would make fun of them.  I remember long, late night talks about their fears about the day they tell their parents.  One important influence in my life was a Buddhist and he is gay.  I will always, for the rest of my life, stick up for gay rights and freedom of religion because I owe it to that important person.  He was a teacher who taught me a lot more from life than any hateful bigot I've met.  He was there when I needed someone most in my adolescence.  I owe it to him to make sure that he has the same rights in this country that I do.  He opened my eyes to a life I didn't know existed.  The least I could do for him is stick up for a life he deserves to have.

I don't care if I'm a Christian Episcopalian.  If you are a Buddhist (or any other religion), why would I have any reason to have hatred or unkindness to offer you?  Why would I not stick up for someone's rights for freedom to love who they want and receive the same benefits in this country as I do?  Why would I not stick up for someone's rights for freedom of religion if I want to protect my rights to worship how I choose?

Mock me all you want.  I've heard it a million times.  "Put your cape away."  "Quit pretending to be a hero." "You won't end up a martyr, so why are you trying so hard?"  I grew up sticking up for people.  When I see people ganging up on someone, being mean just because they can, or practicing straight up bigotry - YES, I will stick up for someone.  You better believe that if you aren't around, I'll stick up for you too.  I won't just sit back and let everyone have at it.  I don't think I'm some kind of hero.  I don't pretend to care.  But if I see someone getting BULLIED - you better believe I'll speak up.  Why?

Because sometimes, the person being bullied cannot!

I have known 2 people who have taken their lives because they felt people treated them unfairly.  They felt like they couldn't speak up.  They felt like they didn't matter.  I'll be damned if one more person I know suffers that without knowing that at least I stood up for them - no matter how big or small it is.

I don't care what color you are.  I don't care where you grew up.  I don't care who your family are.  I don't care if you are straight, bi, gay, or trans.  I don't care if you are Atheist.  I don't care if you are a little more sensitive to people's comments.  Some of us don't naturally carry thick skin and a backbone.  I have witnessed sweet, quiet people looking for belonging get trampled on because that's all they want:   A sense of belonging.  If you want to fit in, you aren't going to have that thick skin and backbone until someone shows you what thick skin and backbones even are!  You aren't going to have any idea what it is like if everyone is beating you while you are down.

I will not apologize for sticking up for people.

I will not tolerate people saying hateful things without me having a say.  Guarantee, I will be the lone ranger in a hateful crowd.  I will not let it slide.  In my eyes, there's too much to lose if I do.

Most importantly, I will not apologize for sticking up for myself.  If you are nice to me, I am nice to you.  But if you want to call me and cuss me out - I'm not going to listen to it.  If you want to send me mean messages, I'm going to delete them.  And if you are going to attack me, I'll defend myself.  I will never apologize for that, either.

If you don't like it - then move along.

EDITED:  My former teacher, Marc, posted this tonight.  It was fitting for this post.  I'm quick on the defense and I get emotional.  It's something I need to work on.  It doesn't do me any justice to flip out.  Anyways, I wanted to share this with you all.

“When a simpleton abused him, Lord Buddha listened to him in silence, 
but when the man had finished, the Buddha asked him, ‘Son, if a man 
declined to accept a present offered to him, to whom would it belong?’ 
The man answered ‘To him who offered it.’ ‘My son’, Buddha said, ‘I 
decline to accept your abuse. Keep it for yourself.’”

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