Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Love and Hate

I found myself in a sort of reflective mood. Maybe it is because I am very tired, having spent a lot of time and energy, on work, college and how exactly am I going to solve a transportation issue on my tiny budget. Add what I think an asthma related flareup which has left me feeling rather less than perky, and I discover myself still in my jammies, with socks because I’m cold, and dreading having to work on a Sunday. Oh yeah attending church was so not happening  as well.

So in this somewhat negative, yet reflective setting I find myself in, I thought I would engage in a little self therapy. I am going to play the hate/love game. I invite you to play along.

hate having health issues like asthma. It often shows up without warning, is starting to worsen, and combined with other issues like allergies, and no sense of smell, so I can avoid some possible attack triggers, asthma can take the fun right out of my day.

love however that I have medical professionals who are helping me manage my asthma. I have medications that I take either daily or as needed to keep things under control. Plus I have friends who are understanding of my situation and will get me coffee or my inhaler in case I get a sudden flare-up. I am also very thankful that being aggressive about treatment is allowing me to live this crazy whirlwind of a life with only occasional needs to stop and spend a day in bed.

hate having just enough bills to use up all my paycheck. Luxuries for me these days is take out from one of my favorite restaurants like Monsoon Noodle house, and those luxuries I try to space out. The life changes I made this past year have made my financial situation somewhat worrisome, and I tend to fret that a surprise expense is going to show up to toss me over the proverbial edge.

love however, that I also tend to be frugal. Every month all the bills get paid, every last one. Yeah I am making only partial payments on some of the medical ones, but I get them something every month. I am thankful that I have a job, and it is one I enjoy. And I am also knowing that I am taking a major step, because of the mentioned major life change to work towards a brighter financial future.

hate knowing that there are children in my community, my state, my nation, my planet who don’t have enough to eat, or have a safe place to play, or sleep, or who live in fear of someone they know, or of strangers who’s intention is only to harm. To hear or read about yet another person who has been arrested for treating a child in any way other than they should be treated deeply saddens and angers me. To see photos of children in crises often brings me to tears and I wish I had the room and the money to bring every last one home with me. To know that statistics say that this is more common than we’d like to realize just saddens and angers me more. To know that so many simply don’t care and that I am so incapable of doing much more than pointing out that we need to help these little ones is very disheartening.

I love children. My own three make me extraordinarily proud, and my two grandbabies make my heart melt every time I see them. I love that there are other parents who feel as I do about their own kids who sacrifice and work hard to try to give their kids a bright future. I love that many parents also extend the love for their own kids to other kids they come into contact with. Those kids remember years later how a friend’s Mom always made them feel special and loved, even when things were tough at their own homes. I love that there are people who willingly go out of their way to open their hearts to reach out and help kids in need. People like social workers, guardian ad lid ems, people who foster children, teachers, child care workers, nurses, doctors, and a host of other people many who are parents or grandparents, aunts or uncles, sisters, brothers or cousins, who themselves work quietly and diligently to nurture give assistant to children and their care-givers.

hate bigotry. I hate it even more that it is becoming more common, not less, all it seems to have done is shifted focus to some new groups I hate that I find bigotry is even quite common amongst my faith and feel strongly that it should never have been allowed to take hold within Christianity. I hate that bigotry keeps people apart, preventing them from actually getting to know each other’s values and worth. I hate that it instead separates; the anglo and the hispanic, the liberal and the conservative, the gay and the straight, the people of any other faith and your own, the pro life and the pro choice, the poor and the wealthy. I hate that bigotry is often fed from fear and ignorance and mindset that the other person or people group is inferior or a threat to livelihood, social status, economic stability or cultural acceptance of another. I wish I could eradicate bigotry forever from the human psyche.

love however, the fact that there are people who are willing to challenge bigotry and harmful prejudices. They are willing to ask tough questions and to take the heat for asking them. They invite discourse, challenge the reasons for certain beliefs when it comes to the discrimination of others and welcome willingly the opportunity for people of varied views and backgrounds to come together to see how alike we really are. They are willing to accept and respect the differences that shape us, deciding its ok to disagree on a principle, but still value and willingly interact with the person they differ with. I love the journey of perception that challenging bigotry has set me on, and the people I have been fortunate to encounter along the way. I also love the fact that I can choose not to go the way of divvying up people into supposedly little neat and totally separate categories. I believe in the beauty of diversity, that diversity is intentional, having been made that way by the God I worship.

Putting things into the “yucks and the yays” can help us get a better perspective on how we feel. Life isn’t all bad, and it isn’t all good. Some things we can change, others we cannot. My list is of course the greatly condensed version of my hate vs. love things in life.

So what about you? What is it that you hate that you can counter with the concept of love? Do you hate American politics but love your community enough to get involved? Do you hate that people don’t really care that we still keep polluting our planet and ourselves, but love finding new ways to live greener? Do you hate the choices that are on television but you love the fact that turning the TV off has given your family opportunities to interact that you hadn’t thought of? Sharing those things can actually help us to check our own perspectives and maybe work together to get rid of some of those hateful things.

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