Saturday, September 17, 2016

Doing The Right Thing Isn't Easy: Walking Through Judgement With Your Head Held High

You are going to face challenges. If you read my posts regularly then you know I'm in a particularly bigoted place. Lots of challenges. Many people today can count on one hand the number of times they have experienced hate in their lifetimes. As LGBTI people we don't count that way anymore. We count the good days because they are the rare ones. 
Solving our problems can sometimes be the most important decision we make. Often times we look back to old habits or comfort zones that don't allow for growth or opportunity. 

For some its drugs. For others its eating or isolation. For some its violence. Insert your vice here. Were trained that when we feel wronged we must react to satisfy our emotion rather then our true need. Instant gratification might be the appropriate terminology.

In some situations doing the right thing is the only option that fulfills our emotion. Like returning a wallet, with the money in it still. (I assume cash is still used). Whereas other situations are more difficult. If you are black and have a white supremist calling you racist names in your face while screaming at you in a public space, what do you do then? The easy response looking outside the box is 'walk away'. What if he follows? What if you have to work with him? What then? Some might say 'don't let it bother you' or perhaps even the occasional 'quote scripture'. But your anger is flared and your feelings are hurt and the instinct is to beat the hell out of him, just get him to shut up. 

The right thing isn't so easy in that case. Perhaps its happened to you before? I've heard people say 'I feel sorry for them because they are the ones who are really hurting'. I get it, I really do. But they aren't the ones being called derogatory names in front of all them people, its not happening to them right now. 

So often we must swallow our egos and our pride and be someone else's whipping post and it hurts. It hurts alot, in fact, its traumatic.

Each and every day this happens to me. I don't say this so you feel sorry for me, don't be condescending. I say this so you get it loud and clear that you have someone standing with you. Your not the only one being yelled at, its me to, and the next guy and the next lady. Were all standing here, it just seems like were alone. Were really not though. There may be some really loud bigots out here, but that's all they are is loud. If you take the time to focus on who is standing next to you as opposed to across from you, you'll see that there are way more of us then them. Take solace in that because when you really and truly think about it, they really are the ones who are hurting the most.

Instead of listening to them, focus on a friend. Sure they may keep on yelling, but you don't have to hear them. Tomorrow when I face a bully again, and I will, I'm going to think about all of you. That's going to help me smile while I'm hated because together were strong.

Your not alone, I know its hard sometimes, but your not alone.

With Love
Jeff Utnage

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