Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Walk a Mile

This morning I had the opportunity to practice deep breathing, to stop and pray and think. What I wanted to do was write a scathing comment, but that wouldn't have stopped my hands from shaking...with hurt and fury.

I was feeling indignant, self-righteous and my inner Mama Grizzly came out.

Instead, I prayed for wisdom and understanding. Usually when people say ignorant things, it's because, well, they're ignorant about whatever it is they're speaking. They just don't know any better.

This morning as I was pondering what was on my heart to write about (pre-Mama Grizzly), I thought about something I read in a text about complex cognitive function. (Not in one of those "cookie" books.) You see, some people can only see one right way. They are simply unable to look at things as having multiple good answers.

I read this and thought, "I know people like that!"

These are the people that will try to "educate" you about the one best way to live, like them. And if you're not doing it their way, then clearly you are lacking in faith or wisdom or understanding.

So how does my little rant about ignorance play in? Sometimes people want acceptance for the way they live their life, even if it's outside the norm. However, sometimes the same people are unable to give the same respect and level of understanding to others who might be different in other ways, or on the other side of the issue.

For instance, I live outside the norm because I have more kids than most choose to. I do not, however, think everyone should be like me. (The zero population growth people just cheered. ;) ) It's a personal choice. We like kids, we wanted a large family. It is where our heart led us.

I chose to live this way and I know people will judge and make assumptions, especially if they have a "one way street" kind of thought process. Even if they do have a more accepting thought process, they may sometimes think it's humorous to joke about someone else who looks differently or speaks differently or lives a lifestyle that isn't in keeping with their norms.

Newsflash..just because it doesn't impact you, it doesn't make it right and there is NO absolutely zero zilch nada NO way that it is right or even very funny..unless you're ignorant to their situation and give no thought to what it's like to walk in their shoes. AND since no one can ever walk in another person's shoes, really...just don't think it's OK to ever, and I do mean ever, joke about another person's differences.

I try very hard not to judge people. I accept people where they are and I do understand that most of the time people have no idea their jokes are offensive. I am suggesting that before you joke about another person's "stuff" you think about what their stuff might feel like. Even if you don't know them.

If you walked a mile in their shoes, think about how sore your feet might get. And think about how much their Mama's heart might ache that she isn't able to carry the burden for them. (That's why my inner Mama Grizzly growled this morning.)

Lord, I pray that we may live in love and acceptance today and every day. If we can love as you first loved us, the world will be a beautiful place.


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