Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day-to-day differences.

An old college friend of mine stated it best when she recently posted on facebook "I am completely appalled at the state of discourse on this topic. When a U. S. Representative heckles the U.S President we have reached a new Rubicon...."

I couldn't have stated it better myself. I have been watching over the past year in pure shock and horror at the amount of hate talk I have seen/heard. I listen to remarks from the children I serve..children..(as in still like everyone they meet, children) who are learning from adults in their lives to have nothing but disgust for anyone who is not Christian, hetero-sexual, a U.S. citizen of several generations, and of the right political party. Everyone else is deemed (in the eloquent post of my friend Carol ) "they". This is truly frightening.

I wonder do you counter such hate? Such reactionary, fearful, uninformed hate? For our nation is not exempt from the laws of history. And if you follow the steps to genocide throughout history, as a nation,we are climbing this ladder swiftly. We simply haven't seemed to have agreed on who the ultimate evil is yet. I wonder how others can not put this together.

I become overwhelmed.

Then? I keep seeing the needs of people around me. I decide to start here. In small day-to-day differences.

I continue building relationships, one person at a time..relationships that say..."Hey. It doesn't have to be this way." We can work together..and trust eachother. We can have mutual respect for one another and help eachother grow into the people we were meant to be.

I do this in small ways.

I continue letting my children have as much freedom in their own learning as possible. This is a very conscious choice. I want them to be able to draw their own conclusions in times when many are easily manipulated. I want them to develop into leaders who have an attitude of servant leadership. This only comes through service, listening and example.

I continue working at the Club where I work with kids who still enjoy being children..who are still learning to think for themselves..and I encourage them to do so in a community that often says, "It's dangerous to let them think for themselves." (really? I wonder what the alternative would look like..)

We start community dining..a few nights a week.

We host a homeschool co-op 2 days a week.

We open our doors to families/individuals needing temporary boosts before moving on in their lives. We call it community housing...and in exchange?

We receive numerous gifts of friendship, shared experiences, humility and (currently) a bi-lingual household.

Most of all we learn to share.

I think that is the bottom line here..there are those in society willing to listen and share..and those who feel the need to protect what is. I encourage matter what your political stance is on social or economic please..remember the differences we can make by keeping things real. By truly sharing our lives with others...and remembering to enjoy (not fear) ideas that differ from ours.

Let's face it..Resorting to heckling, name-calling, etc. is ineffective for everyone.

Teaching children to be intolerant of differences..not good for any society.


So please share with me..what are you guys doing in daily life to counter this type of growing hatred?

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