Day 198 Question 198:
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest “issues” in the world? Why?
Yesterday I chuckled to myself after reading an old college friend’s status on Facebook. He said: one would think that gay marriage is all people on Facebook are thinking about today. Glad to see Americans are able to focus on the big issues. I chuckled because (in my opinion) human rights IS a huge issue in this country. I consider this person a friend but we rarely see eye to eye on the issues. I do not know this because of conversations we have had…I know this strictly by his blunt, opinionated posts on Facebook every day. I respect his points of view as he does stay well-educated and does work on Capitol Hill. This is a man that (no joke) would run for President within the next 10 years…it would not shock me to see that at all. I guess I was just dumbfounded by his comment because equality for humans anywhere and everywhere is a MASSIVE issue. I understand that we have other issues at hand as well but what issues should take precedence???? This made me start to think about what issues I find to be of great importance. There are thousands and thousands but there are certain issues that seem to stand out in my mind.
I look at myself as a modest individual. I am well-educated but I try not to flaunt this and I admit to being ignorant on certain topics (religion, science, foreign affairs, etc.). I rarely speak my peace on these issues because of my lack of education and first-hand experiences. There are issues though that I have strong opinions on….issues that I have been well-versed in. I guess I would consider myself a humanitarian because I believe all people should be equal regardless of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation. I believe we are all human beings that just happen to look a little different. We all breathe the same air and for the most part we function the same ways (internally and externally). I believe that although traditions and customs may differ, this does not mean that one person or one culture is dominant to another. I see these “differences” as opportunities for knowledge and unity as opposed to conflict and the spread of hatred. I believe hatred and anger is learned. When I think about what is extremely important in the world, I always think about children and how they are raised and what they have to endure…whether it be by their parents or by their environments. People can disagree all day long, but it really does take a village to raise a child. Life is so different even from when I was a child.
As a human being I find it vital to teach children equality. I would never force my viewpoints down anyone’s throats but I do feel that there are certain topics that need to be addressed and I would love to have my voice heard. We have come a very long way in eliminating segregation (well mostly eliminating it) but we have not come far enough. Several groups of people have been looked down upon throughout history as lesser human/less important….blacks, Jews, Muslims, etc. We have seen our country grow and become more accepting of all groups but we do still segregate homosexuals. I have ALWAYS believed that people are born gay….with as many mean and spiteful people in the world, I do not believe that anyone would CHOOSE to be gay. Research has been done on this subject for many many years and several scientists have found that the brain chemistry of gay people is different. Regardless, we are all human beings and we live in this country that is always preaching freedom and equality but we are not allowing everyone the same opportunities. Love is love no matter what race, creed or gender that people are. This is a subject that I will stand behind until my last dying breath. I do not believe that marriage is only meant as a union between a man and a woman, no matter what the bible supposedly says (which I personally believe the Bible is continually misinterpreted and lost in translation all of the time). Marriage is a union of love….the joining of two PEOPLE that want to commit their lives to each other. So when my friend made the statement of us not focusing on the important issues, I felt a little disappointment. Every human being with a heart-beat and a pulse should have the same exact rights and privileges…unfortunately that is not the world we live in at the moment. Religion has been a constant cause of conflict…those that live by the words of the Bible believe one way while those of us that are unsure of our beliefs (or do not believe in God at all) believe another. I know I ruffle many feathers when I start talking about religion and how I do not attend church and am unsure of any higher power. I open doors for people to try to convince me and even more doors for others to tell me that I am selfish for not putting God first in my life. Every single day I treat people with kindness. I do not drink or party. I do not smoke or do drugs. I educate myself to better myself all of the time. I work extremely hard and believe so strongly in compassion and empathy. In a heartbeat I would rather do for others than for myself. Regardless of what my religious beliefs are, I know I am a good person that leads a very meaningful and positive life. I respect people that have strong convictions…I just don’t understand how anyone that believes in God and believes in this way of living is able to deny any group of people of (what I believe to be) human rights and the union of love. I am not trying to offend anyone (trust me), these are my opinions only…I just personally have a hard time living by the words of a book that was written so very long ago…words that can easily be taken completely out of context. If there is an existence of God, I believe he would accept ALL….the higher power that I hold any belief in…sees us all as equals.
We live in a world that is full of opportunity and full of beauty but we mask it by fighting over issues that are not necessary to fight over. I think the fighting we do as adults has a long-lasting impact on our children (remember it takes a village to raise a child). I have worked with young girls and women and it broke my heart to listen to how they viewed themselves….they view themselves as not thin enough, not pretty enough, or not good enough because society is teaching them that. How, as a nation, better yet as a world, have we not embraced a healthier way of thinking??? How have we gotten to the point of young women in America starving themselves to death (literally) to be thin but we have young women (people) in other countries that are starving because there is no food available? These are the things I think about all of the time and I believe being right or wrong is a matter of opinion….either of them being absolute is impossible. Everything I state here is simply my opinion, and I will continually back my opinions because I do believe they could be beneficial to society as a whole. I think we have become a nation obsessed with image and technology (and I do unfortunately have to include myself as part of the population) while there are other countries with young children being forced into being war soldiers and having their lives destroyed every single day. I am not saying we should not take advantage of advancements in technology, I guess I just see the world as a whole being unbalanced and I am unsure of what the solution is. From the mouth of my father, if there were just two people in the world…there would eventually be an argument.
I find that educating ourselves is what can help bring us together and allow us as people to better understand each other. I will admit that I have a hard time understanding other people that are so different from myself…but dammit I am trying….and even if I don’t agree, I choose not to use hateful words or actions against them. I choose to accept our differences and continue moving forward. Honestly (in a completely non-pompous way), I believe if more people were capable of doing this, we might find the world to be more of a peaceful place. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is not taught around the world….this way of thinking I had to teach to myself and I had to make it my lifestyle in order to achieve more inner peace. It may sound outrageous and quirky to some, but the difference it has made in my life alone has been tremendous….the love for myself now compared to the hatred of myself before is monumental. Every day is not easy and does not come with rainbows and unicorns but the acceptance of that is what makes me feel better both physically and mentally. Perfection is just a concept…not a reality. Not one soul on this earth has all of the answers or the solutions to the world’s problems.
I was unsure of what direction this entry would take when I started it and I am a little surprised to see the outcome. Through every sentence I write, I learn more and more about myself and I do expect criticism and backlash and that does make me nervous but I now have a greater acceptance of these things. I have fallen in love with the person I have become because I have let go of resentment and anger in my life (not every second of every day…but the majority). I have chosen to see the good over the bad and allow each day to just guide me accordingly. I have chosen not to speak in anger or annoyance but to voice my thoughts on paper to just get them out of my system….therapeutic for me with no harm being brought to anyone else. That is the reason I always promote writing and creativity….it is an outlet that allows people to express themselves and get out all of their thoughts (good or bad) and inner demons without bringing harm to others.