Twitter microblogging (@KimHNorris) has distracted me from macroblogging, but yesterday a cool cat reminded me that both are important if I am going to keep my 2012 New Year’s Resolution of writing more. Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, I found myself tweeting the following: For Lent, I am giving up staying silent when I could speak up and be a force for positive change. Equality, tolerance and kindness for all!
Now that I have put it out there, my challenge is to mean what I said.
I first will admit that this will not be the greatest thing I have ever given up for Lent. I’m pretty mouthy, a fact that has not been missed by any school teacher I ever had. I would much rather give a speech than burn to death in a fire, which puts me in a minority statistically. I am reasonably opinionated, but I am a staunch believer in Live and Let Live and a committed follower of the Golden Rule, so I like to think my opinions are inoffensive. (In truth, I believe my opinions do offend bigots, racists, and intolerant a**holes, but they hate everything, so I don’t feel like I am special.) So it’s really not a huge leap to say that I will speak up rather than stay silent. But there is still a question of what to speak up about?It’s an election year in the U.S.A. Finding ways for positive change is challenging in these times. Being a force for positive change is all the more so. Even as we find ourselves in a country potentially enlightened enough to re-elect a POTUS of color, the dark forces of intolerance and bigotry continue to appear at every level of local, state and national politics. Let’s take my home commonwealth, Virginia, as an example. Somehow, while my attention was elsewhere, those who wish to impose their own belief system onto the entire population have proposed and PASSED legislation that discriminates against LGBT people who wish to adopt a child. Adoption agencies that disapprove of homosexuality may now refuse to allow LGBT couples to adopt. Think of all the children missing out on quality forever homes because hate was more important than love. Virginia has already squashed any hope for marriage equality. Apparently that inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness is only for a select few. I think that is wrong, and I am going to try to find ways to open minds to tolerance. I will say, “Let love be your guide. It’s what Jesus (or Buddha or Allah) would do.” And I will mean it.