Sunday, November 06, 2005

We Are Intertwined

My life, my happiness and my future are intertwined with your life, your happiness and your future..

I was raised to be prejudiced against blacks. As a young child I was confused by comments I heard about Jews. I got the message that they were bad people but didn’t understand why. Once, while passing a Holiness church, I saw the religious fervor and being young and ignorant said to my cousin “I wonder if they are some of those weird Catholics that you hear about.”

About ten years ago I was making small talk with an older non-WASP contractor while working on some equipment. I mentioned that I was planning a trip to Santa Fe on the following weekend. His response surprised me: “I don’t like Santa Fe. There are too many weirdos.” That was the day that I realized I was a weirdo. I enjoyed Santa Fe because of the diversity. I fit in. In Santa Fe I felt the freedom to be myself without the need to conform. I enjoyed meeting and watching people who were different. I thrived on the experience.

How did I lose my prejudice? I had a father who was compassionate and rational and I learned from his example. I experienced prejudice myself. I lived and worked with people who were different and learned to appreciate the differences. I was fortunate because Life gave me the lessons I needed.

If I would care for myself then I must care for you. Your freedom is my freedom. You enrich my life. Be as weird as you chose and I’ll celebrate your weirdness and dance with you.


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's cold and rainy here today. Santa Fe sounds good to me.

11/06/2005 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Trée said...

Never been to Santa Fe but sounds like I need to make a trip. Very nice post.

11/06/2005 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

I don't know about all that caring and dancing stuff but I will go along with the your freedom is my freedom.

Considering the time and the place I was reared with remarkably few prejudices. Mom wasn't fond of Catholics and surely didn't believe in mixing racial or ethnic groups. Dad didn't much care one way or another. He knew enough to keep his mouth shut when the boss talked.

I'm thinking weirdness is a lot like kinky sex. It is always the other guy. I'm perfectly normal.

11/06/2005 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Bonita said...

I really like this post, most especially your comment about appreciating 'differences'...initially, we group ourselves similarly looking for comfortable patterns. As we get older, we advocate what we like. As we age, at least as I do, I find that it is the odd person, the unique culture that has me stopping in my tracks. I want to listen to someone who thinks differently, lives differently, feels differently - because they are now like a teacher, and I'm fascinated.

11/06/2005 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Thank you for that.

11/07/2005 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger swamp4me said...

That last paragraph is the best thing I have read in a long time. Thanks.

11/07/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger George Breed said...

They say weird was once spelled wyrd. Wyrd means "in the web of life." Wyrd means to be in right relationship with all that is.

They say the Romans came along with a divisive view of the universe and a desire for slaves and outlawed the Old Way of seeing. Wyrd was changed to weird (different, strange, peculiar).

I'm of the Old Way. Whenever someone says weird, I hear wyrd.

Thank you for your wyrdness, Paul.

11/07/2005 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

I like Wyrd! :)

11/08/2005 04:36:00 PM  

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