Recently , I spent some time listening to discussions at an interesting conference about technology, privacy and interesting facts about our changing society. Some things change for good, some things need to change, and we need to get a new understanding of the consequences. Times change, and so do people, I guess.
For a long time I have wondered about the value of privacy. I think we give up too much privacy too easily. However, if we are going to embrace the new technology of the future , you have to weigh the information you are willing to share. I doubt that too many people are really interested in my family and most times I’d rather write about decorating, or sports, or art, or science, or politics, anything else but them. However, I cannot talk about the recent views of politics unless I take the time to tell you how relieved I am that the whole controversy about the Chick- A -Flack episode finally solved a rift that has been in our family for years. It took a personal turn when I spoke my views after a couple of my ultra religious relatives chose to live their views and decide religion gave them a reason to be bigots. I cannot even begin to say how ashamed I am of them.
We all make mistakes in life . We are all jealous from time to time. We all think we known more. We all pontificate. We all try to make ourselves feel good. That is what the pattern of days on end does to us. The real power of life is how we decide to present the importance of those moments. The outside stimulus of ourselves that measure us , because admit it, we all want the best grades or ratings, are discussions. If you only discuss with like-minded people you become nothing more than you are at that moment. You go nowhere. If you take the really hard challenge and try to discuss fairly and functionally with someone who sees things from a different perspective you start to advance in understanding and begin to grasp greater meaning of your moments of life. I have not told you anything you did not know.
What I built with that last paragraph is a way to describe how I came to a conclusion to a problem that I had been struggling with for some time. I sat quietly by all these years and let my relatives dictate our families relationship. Out of some sort of innate born connection that we must accept our family including your in-laws, who you did not choose yet feel obligated to include, I accepted the superior attitude they chose to stand on in front of the rest of us. I should have known better. Others in my life have proved to be of waste of that respect. Why had I not seen that these people were just as lacking? Because I wanted to believe they had goodness. I wanted to believe that they understood the good parts of religion and could see the pitfalls of indoctrination and, if not, they had the ability to change. I thought that if I could be strong enough and kind enough and patient enough , I would change their hearts and they could change their minds on subjects that varied but would show their weaknesses at times. But with this public discussion about the hypocrisy of the religious to pontificate and try to take the messages of acceptance and turn it to a discussion of exceptions, it made me tired and sad. So I spoke out, I called the perceived holiest members of my family out. I told them they were bigots. Either you are or you are not. You do not get a pass because you are accepting of one minority yet turn your back on another.
Believe what ever religious tenet you feel comfortable accepting. But be able to question the motivation and teachings when it discriminates or is harmful against others. If religion starts to make you think you are the only one that is correct, then run. If religion makes you give up your families resources of money and that is all it harps about, then run. If religion makes you think it is ok the hate, run for the hills and don’t look back. As I told them , ‘Let people who commit to love each other marry and you can scream and shout all you want. They get to exercise their Civil Rights and you get to use your First Amendment rights. Churches can define marriage anyway they want but those people that disagree get to call them bigoted. Simple. Problem solved.’ This simple declaration caused them to react in their ugliest form. To pronounce yet again, they were superior to me. Hardly.
The logic in my stand made too much sense and so my relatives chose to end the discussion. For that I am eternally grateful because I have for years tried to have a Norman Rockwell family with these folks and it has left me unsatisfied, over and over. Now I am done and I can thank Chick-A- Flack. Who knew that all it took was some crazy public display at a fried chicken eatery to solve my problem? I cannot help but laugh when I think that in 40 years the images of the women in their Honda minivans , sticking out their head to be interview by TV news for explaining their resistance to same-sex marriage will be just like the images of the people who snarled their ugly hated to cameras during the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s. Hate is Hate folks, you can’t define it away.
On one account, I was wrong. My attempt to have a Norman Rockwell family failed. My great experiment to get to know my ultra religious relatives was a mistake. They are doomed to their beliefs. They do not question themselves , they only question others. It took me all these years to figure out that jealousy was not warranted. No longer am I jealous of my ultra religious relatives parenting skills that I once thought created smart, successful, super-achieving, well-traveled kids, because, instead it turns out they raised Bad adults. Zero sum gain of their end. A cautious tale for the rest of us for sure. Sad.
Now with all that all put out there, I can get back to other interesting topics. I am ready for some outrageous humor. I have been serious too long. College football practice has started and the season is soon to start. Politics presents humorous episodes everyday. I have got some interesting technological information from that seminar I mentioned to share, and …Life is Good.
Oh, yeah, remind me to get our Wills and Estate changed….like two weeks ago. We are gladly dumping those folks. Boy, does that declaration feel good. Simple, Problem solved. I tried to warn them I was going to win that lottery. I am sure the winning ticket is crumpled up stairs, right now, in the bottom of my carry-on luggage. Oh, well. They are probably against gambling, anyway. They are against everything but their own self conceit. Did I just write that? Boy, I am feeling rather free. HAHAHA!
It feels good,