Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Love them Anyway

I have been taking part in an online discussion that followed an article about the local Gay pride rally that was recently held here in Spartanburg. As was reported the event was a peaceful one, and protesters were civil and restrained, as were the marchers.

Where things got heated was in this particular discussion.

I found it quite interesting how some people, who claim to be people of honor and integrity will throw those ideals right out the window when the encounter people who's views differ from theirs.

I really shouldn't be surprised, as I have been part of discussion boards for years and have even taken a stint as a chat room monitor (yeah I am a glutton for punishment)

As was the case with this discussion there were a variety of views on the subject surrounding the march and gay rights in particular. Most people were very respectful about the topic, even those that were not supporters. I for one was very happy that the event was a peaceful one, and that hopefully people would realize that, although one may not agree with someone's lifestyle, respect for each other as individuals, friends, co-workers, family members etc. could be had. One doesn't have to agree with the lifestyle of a person to recognize the value they hold as members of our community, that really has little to do with that lifestyle.

One individual in this discussion took a totally different approach. He or she was strongly anti-gay rights, in fact very anti-gay people. I can understand his views, as it is a life choice that still doesn't make me all that comfortable, despite knowing and befriending people who have chosen that way of life. However I couldn't begin to agree with him on any level at all. Where this individual and I sharply parted ways is his refusal to accept these folks as people, and of having any value whatsoever.

I found that quite tragic. To him having a relative, or a friend who just happened to be gay was just as bad as being gay...Huh?? As I have both and respect these folks highly for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with their sexual orientation, I couldn't fathom the vehemence thrown. I believe what my pastor is fond of saying. "To God, everyone matters." I just couldn't understand why this person couldn't see that. I believe that God loves everyone utterly and completely, its some of the decisions we make that he is much less then fond of.

As I said before, I shouldn't be surprised that there are people out there who's view of the world simply won't allow for people that don't line up to what they want. Bigotry and hatred have been around a very long time, and unfortunately it ain't going away soon. My views on gay rights will remain private for the most part as I prefer trying to find common ground with the people I encounter. Personal lifestyle choices are often very personal and private. I try not to let those choices get in the way of trying to treat other with kindness and dignity.

I have learned that often God places people and situations before us to teach us. One of these vital lessons, I believe is how to be a better lover of people. There are lot of things that people do that I feel they shouldn't, or that I believe are harmful or foolish, and I am sure that others may find the same in me. But it shouldn't matter. Scripture commands me to love my neighbor, period. It ain't easy, but it so worthwhile. If a former Jewish carpenter could love a planet full of people enough to give up his life for us, then why should I think I'm too good to at least try to accomplish a fraction of the love he exuded?

A favorite poem comes to mind with these thoughts. Mother Theresa is credited with these words, and they are words I try and often fail at yet keep trying to live by.

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Be good anyway.

Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People need help, but may attack you if you try to help them.
Help them anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My weekend with some politics tossed in

Well usually my weekend is fairly boring. Work on Saturday, Church Sunday morning then having the kids over for laziness and food, and on Monday catching up on chores and laundry preparing for my work week.

This weekend was a bit different. I took Saturday off. Something rare. Caught up around the house then headed to Brevard NC for a planning dinner with my husband's classmates. We went to The Twin Dragon. Its about the best Chinese Buffet in the south. The dinner was for preliminary planning for Bill's and his classmates 30th high school reunion.

Then we went to his folks for the night.

Sunday we got up and went to church with them, and got to see people I hadn't seen since I moved away three years ago. Then back to the in laws for too much awesome Mom-in-law cooking and relaxing on the front porch.

In the back of my mind were thoughts political. On the way up to NC I had been discussing with Bill about the local political scene and how I just wanted to do something to help make things better. I blurted out, "heck, I've even considered running for local office." To which Bill replied, "well you should." The more I think about it, the scarier that concept seems.

I know nothing of the process of running for office or what it would take to have that responsibility. Or even if I would make for a good school board or county commissioner member. It's just a thought. My talents may be better served elsewhere, but I am certain that I want to work, however I can, to help make my home and my community a better one. If it ultimately means tossing my hat in the ring, so be it.

I will have to give it some consideration, research and a whole heap of prayer. In the meantime. I will be burning up my keyboard sharing my opinions on local matters over at http://www.spartanburgspark.com.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

a new writing venture

As some of you know I do a bit of writing outside the occasional blog. I have even been paid minuscule amounts for my work, and I do have about five fans who follow my weekly column over at the Spartanburg Spark. Recently I delved into the realm of playwright.

Every year my church puts on an event for the kids. It's kind of like VBS with slime and slippy slides. We do a stage production with music and drama, some lesson time then the kids go outside to play games involving getting wet and dirty. I have been part of the drama team for four years now.

Usually we buy scripts from a place for this. IT is the same company we use for our children's services during the school year. However it was decided to use more original material. All well and good as the concepts were sound. What was lacking as we neared the event was actual scripts for several of the segments. That is where yours truly came in.

I've been editing existing scripts for over a year, making them work with our cast and individual audience needs. This was the first time that I had ever attempted to write a skit from scratch. I ended up writing three in just over a week, with a little editing help from a friend who has a theater background. I must say it was quite the experience seeing what I had envisioned and put to paper being demonstrated for all to see. No one booed at the end, or had fallen asleep so I guess my playwriting skills are ok, of course the actors did quite well too.

I just may have to try writing an original drama again some day soon

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

busy busy busy

Yes, once again, I have a bad case of the busies. I got a lot to do and not enough time to get to it all. What I'd like to do is run away with a stack of books from the library and not come up for air for about a week. Of course that isn't possible right now, I got too much to do.