It is indeed. A wonderful life. This week I have been enjoying the wonderful life. The life of being with our oldest son. Soaking up the sunshine. Eating at great restaurants. (If you want to know which ones here is the list—Kickbacks Gastropub, Caps On the Water, Matthew’s and TacoLu) . Meeting his friends and getting to know them a bit. Having lunch with a friend that I met during our Navy days years ago. It is indeed a wonderful life. But two separate conversations have led me to realize that I have not experienced life at all. Not in the way that many do.
I have not experienced discrimination. I have not gone into a store and been slighted because of the way I look. I have not been looked at —no —stared at—-because I am not the same as others around me. I have not stood out as different. I have not been refused service because the color of my skin is white. I have not felt the sting of the glare of a stranger because I dress in ethnic attire. I have not been denied benefits because I am gay. Let’s face it—I have not experienced any of this but those around me have. It makes my heart weep. I just want to wave the magic wand to make all the hatred and discrimination disappear. I just want us to “play nice with others”. All others. Why can’t we seem to do that?
My heart hurt when I had conversations with and about those who have felt the pain of discrimination. I was amazed that supposedly “educated ” people do not have the capability of looking at the real person instead of at the physical being. For some reason this is laid on my heart deeply today. I am sure there is a reason.
I am so grateful that I have the circle of friends that I have. Being able to be with a friend from 20 + years ago has reinforced in my mind how precious those friendships are and how much they need to be nurtured. (Thank you, Virginia!) I strive to accept everyone right where they are at—not who they were yesterday or 10 years ago—but who they are at this moment in time. Every person has worth and value—-skin tone and sexual orientation have absolutely nothing to do with a person’s value. I thought we had come farther than it appears we have come in our world. Time to get off my soapbox. Thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes today. I pray that you lead me to help make a difference in breaking down these barriers in some small way.
Have you experienced discrimination of any kind? How did you respond?