Opinions and Rants

Do We Change The World Or Let The World Change Us?

 

I am beyond myself today. Smiling from ear to ear. Extra peppy and exuberant to almost annoyingly chipper. And ever so often a tear falls from my eyes from the simple sweet victory that we as a country experienced yesterday. Not only in re-electing President Obama, but also the result of having Tammy Baldwin being the first LGBT senator in our nation’s Congressional Congress. AND three, THREE states (Maine, Maryland, and Washington) passed laws allowing same sex marriage along with Minnesota slamming down a measure that would outlaw equality.

It’s an amazing victory for the LGBT community and for our great nation. Though due to my never-ceasing inner monologue thoughts about the future begin to seep in and I ponder. See, I’m a relentless worrier. Not for our victories in the past 24 hours but where we as a country go from here. There’s still a lot of hate and vitriol for the LGBT community and it remains to be seen on whether that is from a vicious bigoted filled campaign by the extremist GOP or if there’s just still an unimaginable amount of anti-gay rhetoric. I sincerely hope it’s attributed to the former rather than the latter. But there’s some hope even in this (there’s always hope).

I read the tweets by Meghan McCain, daughter of the 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain, issued a series of tweets over the past few days that spoke of her disappointment in her party. Even though she is a republican, she knows that marriage is a right and should we as a nation should treat everyone with respect. And though as a Democrat I vehemently disagree with many of her party’s stances on how we should run our country, I respect that so much that she stands up against her own party for equality in these series of tweets:

Also very happy to hear marriage equality passing in Maine, Maryland, and Washington.

I don’t need to do any soul searching about what the GOP is doing wrong, I knew what was wrong four years ago when my father lost.#evolve

It may not seem like much to some,  but it is a start or could be a start. Where potential leaders like Meghan see that equality comes first. This is what all political parties should aspire to constituents and of themselves. Regardless, I will continue to show respect my republican friends. But I won’t lie and say it has been easy for our relationship. This campaign has been rough on just about everyone and friendships have been strained, sadly resulting in some friendships being irrevocably severed. We are all still hurt by those we love that supported candidates that not only did not support us, but treated us horribly. Treated us as less than equal, treated us like we were less than human.

And we have every right to be angry. Hurt. But we have to ask ourselves, not today but at some point very soon, how we change the world and not let the world change us. That even though we as the LGBT community will never accept anything other than full equality in our country, we can do more to promote understanding. We can still show kindness to those that have been cruel. We can promote forgiveness when we’ve been seen as unforgivable. That we can love to those that hate.

Yes, it’s my hippie nature in full affect, but throughout my life I have realized that there is not one simple answer to any worthwhile question. That any real solution that comes from great challenges is met with cooperation. We as a community, regardless of political affiliation, have always been that way. Accepting our differences and finding our common goals. I hope we never lose sight of that. Because we can always grow and learn. And love.

I’ve never been a sore winner or loser. I will not rub our victory in the faces of our adversaries nor will I say what they did wrong. But what I have and will continue to do is listen. Listen to different open minded suggestions/perceptions/assertions on where we are and how we can make this world better in achieving true equality. Our world is changing. We’ve got a long way to go but yesterday was the beginning of change, change that we can all believe in.

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Sly

Sly Merritt has a BA in psychology/sociology. MA in clinical psychology. He's a flip flop wearing hippy with a peaceloving mindset. Even pacifists like him know when it's time to do all we can for LGBTQ equality. Sly's views are all opinions not advice.

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