Tuesday, September 01, 2009

"...As We All Are Part Of Each Other."

"With my intellect I see cause for nothing but pessimism and even despair. But I can't settle for what my intellect tells me. That's not all of it. There are still stars which move in ordered and beautiful rhythm. There are still people in this world who keep promises..."
~ A Wind In The Door,
by Madeleine L'Engle

Pardon me, whilst I meander.

It's a thing I've noticed lately, how far apart we all seem from each other. I do not mean physically, but in our souls, in our zeal for identity through defining ideals, in our desire to put our own convictions above anyone else's, we've all lost touch with our fellow man. It seems to me that society on the whole has been pushing harder and harder to make us not only disagree with anyone who's ideas are different than our own, but also to disdain them. It's not enough to dislike someone with right-wing ideals, they have to seem crazy. It's not enough to disagree with a tree-hugging hippy liberal, they must be demonized, else you will not feel safe. It's frankly quiet wearying, the whole lot of you.

Of course, we all fall victim to this thinking. But it is not how the world is supposed to be. Should you stand for something? Of course, everyone should, everyone should look in their heart, or to their God, and find who they are. Find what is important to them, what is worth standing up for, as it defines you yourself in the end. But ideas and convictions should never be more important than your fellow man. Your firm belief should never be one that gives you leave to dismiss a fellow human being. You can disagree with someone. You can have lively debate. But my Lord, the sea of hatred that boils back home in my own country...I get frustrated. And then I am just sad, really sad.

I will tell you a story.When I was a little girl, I attended a church that, from good intentions and innocent beginnings, became something Different. I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say, the change was slow and subtle, until it came to a point when, after some disagreements between Godly men, we were urged by our leader to "shun" a certain group who'd left the congregation. My parents of course had none of this drivel, and not too much later we left that community. But before they ever uttered a word in response to this "strong suggestion", my nine-year-old soul rebelled violently. They believed in the same Jesus I did. They believed in the same salvation I believed I had. I grew up believing in God. God is Love. God might tell me not to do certain things that may hurt me, but he'd never tell me to shun anyone, to harbor hate for anyone in my heart. I was only a child, but I KNEW then, and though I can be judgmental too, as all of us can be, I still know that it is poison straight to the heart.

Whether you believe in a deity, an afterlife, or you do not, we can all agree on one thing: When we go, we take only ourselves. Our material possessions will rot and decay, and all that will be left behind was how we treated our fellow man. Did you hide in a church all your life? Did you only surround yourself with people who thought and acted as you did? Did you disdain a church-goer, simply because you didn't believe in God and disliked what you believed religion did to society as a whole? Did you stop going to lunch with your co-worker when you found out she was a lesbian, because heaven forbid you be seen with THAT kind of person? Did you judge the girl who had an abortion? Did you curse out the protester outside the clinic?

All we have is each other. And while everyone should stand by their own convictions, to use your convictions as a license to hate, to avoid, to make snap judgments, is the surest way to aid in the decay of your own soul. Ideas will change and fall away. Countries will rise and fall and rise again. But the only way society will truly end, is when we are all too isolated to even speak to each other. Every single person, on their own little island, in their own little head telling themselves how right they are, and how wrong everyone else is.

Faith, Hope, & Love,
and of these,
The Greatest is Love.

I may be scarce in the days to come,
many loverly things will be going on here at home ;)

But I will try to keep things updated!
Expect a picture or five soon,
of my newly-blue hair.

Until then, I leave you in the good hands
of Heathcliff & Cathy :D

Til Next We Meet,
~ Amy


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You posted Wuthering Heights! I will forever be grateful...

As for the post, it means so much to me on a personal level. Thank you for writing it. Your insight into these common problems are so refreshing, I wish everyone could think this way.

My biggest issue with judging people based on their beliefs and on the decisions that they make is something that always agitated me. It agitated me because people are making judgements without really getting to know someone. Recently my sister who I only see about once a year called my father in a panic. She had recently read one of my short stories that happened to fall more on the darker side of my fiction. there was a lot of violence. My sister is a born again Christian and she called my father fearing for my soul and telling him that I needed help, etc. Now my dad, who had already read the story, tried to explain to her that I was a writer and it wasn't as if I acted on these thoughts. He said that when he read the story he didn't see anything wrong with it because he knew it was fiction, and he was actually impressed with my bravery to write those things down.

The thing was, my father--whom I talk to everyday, did not think to judge me because he KNEW me. As for my sister, who has never really established a strong relationship with me or made any effort to, chose to judge me based on an a story I wrote that she did not agree with because of her fate.

Anyway, long reply--but yes. I am very sick of people and their judgments. Why does everyone have to be against everyone else?

8:17 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Your post was really timely, for me. I've been trying to practice more compassion in my life, especially for people I don't agree with, or don't especially like.

It hard, harder than being compassionate toward a friend or family member. Your post was a great reminder of why it's important to treat people with respect, even if their opinions differ from mine. Thank you.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Melissa Dominic said...

wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Ava-May Hemme said...

I totally agree with every word. He without sin as the good book says, and you don't have to be Christian to accept that the sentiment is right, as with most of the Bible.
Thank you so much for writing this.

5:09 AM  
Blogger purchasewoods said...

Provocative,Amy. And sadly, so true that we judge others so cruely. I will pause the next time I am tempted to be judgemental. Thanks so much for posting this. Things like this go through my mind but I never seem to discuss them.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Oh seester, "Thee speaks the truest words!" :D
Thanx, it's perfect :)

10:00 PM  

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