|Nov 15 2010|
I started just to write a brief hug to a beautiful friend, and it turned into a rant about something that bothered me horribly all through the Veteran's Day weekend, so I decided to copy it to my diary. It will probably make a lot of people here at the Junction hate me, but they will never make me hate them back, and that's the point. Anyway, this, as much as anything else, is who I am and what I believe. If you talk to me, this is the person you are choosing to talk to, and there are some among you, I'm sure, who would rather not.
There is some editing, to make this my diary entry instead of a private message.
Ophelia, I saw the picture-message you posted, that ends in "Everybody, Not Just Us." You may have chosen one of the hardest messages to espouse, and you may find that unconditional love can put you in real danger.
When I was a little girl, about 7 years old, I wanted to tell the little girls in Russia not to be afraid, because we would never hurt them. Now I can't say that. I was truly proud of America and the flag looked like a symbol of love and peace and strength for good. Now I can't say that. Now patriotism seems to fuel hatred and to cause suffering for others. There are so many things to be said about this, and I won't say them loudly, with hatred in my voice, but I won't whisper them or keep them secret to keep myself safe. I no longer say I'm proud to be an American, I say I'm lucky. I am lucky because, when I say them, nobody knocks on my door at night and kills my family. I am lucky for lots of reasons, and I believe that's why I am in a place where I CAN say them, that's why I believe there is still hope.
I ask people if, when they prayed for the soldiers and the veterans, and their families, they also prayed for those of the other side, and they say it never occurred to them. We look at each other with surprise.
If my love depends on where you were born, it's not worth much. If I would kill you and not mourn your losses because you are born in the wrong place, my love isn't love, it's warped fear. Why do we think it's good to kill people, to throw their families into hopeless grief, to inspire more hatered, to destroy their homes, if they are not one of us?
My friend put up her message. We say we believe in peace and love, and people nod and agree easily, but in reality these are no longer things that are easy to believe in our society. If you push the envelope only the least bit, you will find that people no longer agree with you, and that their anger may turn against you (and me) because we are much easier targets.
My friend's avatar photo is delicate. I am happy to be her friend because I know how hard it is to stand up when you feel that you are weaker than what you want to fight. I definitely know what it is to call a large, accepted belief "evil" and to face anger from everyone. When I say EVERYONE, you may start with my mother. Someday I'll write in my diary about her.
The way we are perceived by others is their reality. If you see me as misguided and evil and dangerous, then in your world, I am. You needn't forgive me, but I am sorry to be a disturbing factor to you. I just hope that, whatever the outcome, I am also an awakening factor, and that you will think before you say the things you have heard a thousand times from others.
The stress of loving, being hated, throwing myself repeatedly against the wall of preconception and into the moat of fear of those who are different, is more than likely part of why I'm sitting here this morning with cymbalta and other medications in my system, and a fibromyalgia spot burning on my shoulder.
And, by the way, I'm a veteran of the United States Military.
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