It’s A Wonderful Life


It is indeed.  A wonderful life.  This week I have been enjoying the wonderful life.  The life of being with our oldest son.  Soaking up the sunshine.  Eating at great restaurants. (If you want to know which ones here is the list—Kickbacks Gastropub, Caps On the Water, Matthew’s and TacoLu) .   Meeting his friends and getting to know them a bit.  Having lunch with a friend that I met during our Navy days years ago.  It is indeed a wonderful life.  But two separate conversations have led me to realize that I have not experienced life at all.  Not in the way that many do.

I have not experienced discrimination.  I have not gone into a store and been slighted because of the way I look. I have not been looked at —no —stared at—-because I am not the same as others around me.  I have not stood out as different.  I have not been refused service because the color of my skin is white.  I have not felt the sting of the glare of a stranger because I dress in ethnic attire.  I have not been denied benefits because I am gay.  Let’s face it—I have not experienced any of this but those around me have.  It makes my heart weep.  I just want to wave the magic wand to make all the hatred and discrimination disappear.  I just want us to “play nice with others”.  All others.  Why can’t we seem to do that?

My heart hurt when I had conversations with and about those who have felt the pain of discrimination.  I was amazed that supposedly “educated ” people do not have the capability of looking at the real person instead of at the physical being.  For some reason this is laid on my heart deeply today.  I am sure there is a reason.

I am so grateful that I have the circle of friends that I have.  Being able to be with a friend from 20 + years ago has reinforced in my mind how precious those friendships are and how much they need to be nurtured. (Thank you, Virginia!)   I strive to accept everyone right where they are at—not who they were yesterday or 10 years ago—but who they are at this moment in time.  Every person has worth and value—-skin tone and sexual orientation have absolutely nothing to do with a person’s value.  I thought we had come farther than it appears we have come in our world.  Time to get off my soapbox.  Thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes today.  I pray that you lead me to help make a difference in breaking down these barriers in some small way.

Have you experienced discrimination of any kind?  How did you respond? 

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Comments

  1. Virginia says:

    Oh so well put! I feel the same way that you do and wish we could do away with so much judgment! I loved our time together too and I told my girls how you and I just picked right up where we left off. Can’t wait for the next time!

    • Our conversation really helped spark this and it just amazes me how uneducated folks still are. You, my friend, are definitely making a difference and I am so proud to be your friend! It was so wonderful being with you and yes—picking up right where we left off. Love it and love you!!! Thanks again for working me into your schedule. It was just what I needed!

  2. There are many discriminations… and the ones that I’ve experienced are much milder than many have to face. I’m short, I’m middle aged and rounder than I’d like and a woman. I have tried to use my moments of discrimination as teaching opportunities.. planting a seedling comment or two. Words are powerful when used to teach, just as they can be when used to discriminate.

    • But it is STILL discrimination, right? And it sounds as if you have been able to use your words to educate instead of use them as hurtful tools. Good for you! More people need to learn that skill! Thanks for the comment. Hope all is well with you!!!

  3. I’ve experienced discrimination both because of my sexual orientation and because of my bipolar disorder. But this is getting better and better–there is less and less discrimination. People who discriminate need information. They act out of ignorance. That’s why it’s so important that we tell our stories.
    Great post, Beth Ann. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • I thought of you when I wrote this because I suspected that you have felt the sting of discrimination. I am glad to hear that from your perspective it is getting some better and you are totally right—ignorance is the reason most times. I just found out that a town near where I lived in NC is having a KKK rally—-sigh. I dont’ get the hate. Glad you are telling YOUR story. I think if the disorder or life has a face and a name and a story to it it makes a difference. Keep telling it! Hugs!

  4. I have not exactly been discriminated against but I have had a few run ins over the years. Once people hear my accent they automatically ask where I’m from. Sometimes, telling them that I’m from Germany does not have a good outcome. Words can be so hurtful. And I know I have it good, other people have to endure so much more. It is sad and it’s still a long way before we reach full acceptance… if ever! 😦

    • Oh I bet you have felt that!!! And once again…..lack of education and understanding is most likely the culprit! I am sure I have been guilty also but it just got me to thinking the other day when there were two totally unrelated conversations about it! Thanks for sharing.

  5. How wonderful that you recognize your blessings and the fact that others have felt the sting. I think change will only happen when those of us who are blessed speak up. Thanks for the reminder!

    • You are welcome!!! I am by nowhere perfect in this area but this past week I became much more aware which is a very good thing!!! Awareness and education are the key, right? Thanks for the comment!

  6. Heartfelt as usual, thank you for sharing your feelings with us..

  7. Helen Brown says:

    I don’t think I have ever been in a situation where I felt I was discriminated vocally but I have felt the unsaid feelings that I do not belong there.

  8. Well, that is certainly heartfelt 🙂
    I’ve not experienced discrimination head on, but yes, there have been times when people tend to ‘make things clear’, you know.
    But then, as it turns out, for all these short-sighted people, there’s a populace of thoughtful ones too, to whom the color of your skin is just that… a color. To whom, the one you love is someone dearly close, man or woman. To whom, you’re human, even with all your quirks. 🙂

    • Thank you for those great words!!! You are so right—while there are those who judge and discriminate there are those who fight for the rights of all and those are the folks to be commended. Thanks for the sweet comment and the follow.

  9. Hi Beth Ann – like others here I have felt some of the sting of discrimination because I’m a woman, a good looking woman, but nowhere near what others have felt. The other day I was reading a few posts on Facebook & one lady had posted that if you support abortion you were the best candidate for it. It was tucked into some other hateful remarks & I couldn’t help myself – I posted a comment & said I believe in abortion & I think I am a pretty worthwhile person. I felt like if I didn’t say something it would be a case of letting evil perpetuate by one good person not speaking up. I didn’t continue to follow the rest of this conversation because I didn’t want to see more hateful remarks.

    • What an absolutely horrible thing for someone to say!!! I think that everyone is entitled to their opinions, yes, but the respect thing and common sense thing needs to come into play. I also think that when something touches your life like discrimination you view things differently. Kind of like people who are so anti – gay and then one of their family members comes out. When it becomes personal attitudes have a tendency to change. I just wish we could all get along. And yes—I am sure there were some hateful comments that were directed your way—you were wise to not follow the thread! Thanks for sharing! It means a lot.

  10. I got a small taste of discrimination when I worked in a male-dominated field. Customers would want to talk to “a man.” It got old, hearing it frequently. This is nothing like receiving the hatred that others must deal with, and yes, I agree, I thought we had come much farther than we have as a society.

    • I know!! Just when I think we have made headway I see that we haven’t. And it isn’t just in one small area—-it is prevalent all over. Makes me sad.

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