Recent events have really made me wonder how we all can still be so intolerant of others in this day and age. Before I opened my eyes to the world not 7 years ago I was also of the school of thought that being homosexual was a choice. My ignorance on the matter I quickly rectified as in truly analyzing what I had thought was the truth turned out to be no more than me regurgitating rhetoric I had been taught from childhood.
Now realizing that all of us misdirect our own shortcomings by swiftly pointing them out in others without first taking care to look within ourselves for similar faults, character flaws or what I previously referred to as “sins”; I am lifted by knowing that there are things within each of us that we can not change.
Some of these things I had previously given no thought to as being rational, normal, abnormal, good or bad. Life was fairly dull, things were either black or white, good or bad. I am ever grateful for knowing the world that way first because I can now enjoy colors never before seen in people’s character. My perspective has deeply changed, much like our President’s has changed over the course of his presidency.
It really does make me wonder why people focus on maintaining the same point of view throughout a political career which tends to be a lifetime. To continue believing the same things even in the face of changing times, demographics and popular perception, Einstein’s definition of insanity comes to mind. The truth as I know it now really does make me believe that we are truly afraid of change although we beg and plead for it, when faced with it, we resist it until the theory is no longer supported by the world around us. It is what can only be explained as the hundredth monkey effect.
This is what I’ve found in myself which I constantly struggle with, that is my unwillingness to accept change readily, a kick of stubbornness which is always rears its head when presented with a challenging thought or new approach. It is almost a defensive reflex which I can only characterize as a self-preservation technique. An attempt to maintain my individuality and not simply accept a new view readily.
It is one of my flaws which I accept as my own and struggle to maintain in balance with change. My brain doesn’t like change it’s difficult to change perspective, but I crave change constantly, so I must shut that part down and move forward with the change as fast as I can muster the courage to do so, because in reality what it truly means to accept change is to first accept that you are wrong. Your perception is wrong. That’s the hardest pill to swallow when dealing with change. First admitting that what you were doing before you were introduced to change was and now is wrong remains the biggest hurdle. But it does not end there, the change will only last until it is disproven and you are once again challenged.
I believe this is what’s happening with a lot of people now that the issue of gay marriage has been raised by our President. Their beliefs are being challenged, something so core to someone’s existence has been pointed out as being wrong.
The reality is, however, that it has not been proven wrong, but that someone else’s view has come into conflict with your own. This makes me wonder often times why that becomes such a fracturing and volatile thing, even when nothing has been effected. Whereas I can understand this, and it makes sense for things which affect our own lives, why are we so quick to subjugate others? Berate, embarrass or bully others because they are different? Even more so when they are a minority of any kind.
The belief that slaves were animals perpetuated the subjugation of an entire race. Simply because they were born of a different color. A part of them they could not change. And although it is not all that surprising that there are blacks today are opposed to gay marriage due to their religion. It shows to some degree a lack of introspection and reflection not only on behalf of individuals but in the church itself.
I believe, after knowing and meeting some remarkable homosexuals that it is not a choice. It is a part of who they are and they are and cannot change that fact just as someone can not change their skin color.
Realizing this now, I can take a step back and look at some things I had previously believed in as more of theories than actual beliefs. A belief is very personal it is a part of you, a theory is more scientific, colder less personal and more belonging to someone else or a hypothesis still waiting to be proven.
Change becomes easier when a theory is disproven than when a belief is taken away from you. This is not to say that we should not believe in anything because there are things that give heart, that make us do extraordinary things we’d not normally do for a theory or hypothesis.
I for example believe in family, supporting family and forgiveness. These are things very personal to me so they need to be a part of who I am. My beliefs define me, and when those beliefs change I will be redefined and hopefully for the better.
This is what our President has done, he has redefined himself, changed a core belief, challenged it, analyzed it and came to his own conclusion in the end. Independent of what he has previously learned, been indoctrinated with raised believing.
I challenge us all to do the same in our daily lives.