Saturday, July 17, 2010
What You See Is What You Get
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~e.e. cummings
I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam. ~Popeye
I have learned, to my great sorrow, that the world is a place of duplicity. The Internet reeks of it. I remember, when I was younger, how I would try to be a chameleon, changing my own opinions and ideas with every wind that blew, trying to fit in with a friend or co-worker or someone else, just to be accepted and liked. That was back when I was judging my insides by everyone else's outsides. I obviously didn't like me, very much, back then.
I can still remember when I became genuine. The epiphany that I was no better or no worse than anyone else and that it was a good thing to be who I am was a joyful and exciting discovery. I didn't have to be perfect to be OK. I didn't have to change my opinions and ideas with every wind that blew. I could disagree agreeably and not be threatened if there were those who saw things differently. Better still, if I truly believed in something, I could fight for that idea or cause.
I've watched old friends settle comfortably into the mind-set of their parents, their upbringing and their culture. I'm the lonely little liberal in a conservative patch. While most have returned to Protestant churches and the Republican party, I remain firmly un-churched and doggedly left-winged. That's OK. They are doing what they feel is right for them and I am doing what I feel is right for me. I guess that is why I am grateful for new friends. I love my old crowd. Don't be mistaken on that. And I accept them for who they are. But I know that, for the most part, I don't fit in anymore and I will no longer wear masks to be accepted. Love me or hate me, what you see is what you get.
Much has been said about the fact that there are those of us from the BSE who are still fighting for recognition and redress. We want to start weakening that big, invasive tree called the adoption industry by chopping at its roots. It is with us that the government-sanctioned baby-trade began and we hope that we can be the beginning of its end. If some of us choose to take a different path, why worry about it? Who do we threaten?
I figure we must disturb some folks because there is an awful lot of sniping, vicious gossip and pointed, angry commentary going on, some from those who have forsworn anger as destructive and unhealthy. I've played the "live and let live" and the "agree to disagree" card a number of times and it just hasn't worked real well. Some folks won't be happy until everyone is wearing the same tee-shirt and chanting the same slogan. It reminds me of the fundamentalists in my home town. Most of them feel that their way is the only way. To accept that anyone sees it differently and to allow that difference and respect it is frightening because it might mean that they could be wrong. Thus is born intolerance. And, if there is anything I cannot tolerate, it is intolerance.
I guess I am wanting to put certain people on notice that nothing that can be said or spread online is going to destroy me or sway me. I am just mystified as to why these folks are even trying. I guess it takes all kinds. I wonder if they know that resentment and spite are as damaging to health as some think anger is?
I am not inflexible. I have realized that we never stop learning. But I do believe in what I am doing and saying. I wouldn't be doing it and saying it if I didn't. So what if I am a bit of a rebel? The people that truly matter love and accept me. They are the ones who support and uphold me. They are the family and friends that know me well and care. They are life's gift to me for growing up and being myself.
The others don't matter.