Make the Connection

I got a big lesson in connectedness today. Part of my own faith is that we’re all connected and we impact each other in ways we may never know. Kinda like the butterfly flapping his wings that makes the elephant sneeze.

I was having a conversation with a friend who is very committed to his Christian faith. He shared with me how people’s comments on facebook really hurt his feelings. Although I’m not one for subtleties, I knew I was included in the “people” he was referring to. I apologized and we had a really great conversation about all that has happened in the world of oppression this week.

Here’s what I learned. People have done so much damage to each other throughout this election process. The proponents of Amendment 1 double stripped away the rights of the LGBT and unwed heterosexual communities. The proponents of the LGBT community lashed out in anger, disappointment, sadness, hopelessness. I know, I was there. You know, you’ve seen my facebook. In the end, everyone is left with a lot of hurt feelings. I don’t know anyone who is walking away from this election feeling good. Maybe oblivious, but not good.

How easy it is to forget our connectedness. How easy it is to forget that I can do nothing without affecting someone else. How easy it is to forget to be mindful of my effect on other people when I just want to make myself feel better. How easy is it to forget the consequences of my actions (or votes) when I am just trying to be true to my beliefs (religion or social justice).

We have to take care of each other. It is just another reason why we have to continue the fight against oppression.

When have you seen connectedness demonstrated in your life?

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2 Responses to Make the Connection

  1. maddyfacepants says:

    I am 1) loving the blog and 2) responding to your question. I have been outcast from friends from both sides of this argument for being silent. Friends on the conservative side believe I am not conservative enough and friends on the progressive side think I am not progressive enough. The reality is, we all have our opinions and our beliefs. They are influenced by a number of things, but our core values are just that, ours. And it’s wrong to to say that because someone’s values are not congruent with yours that they are a bad person. Obviously, that’s not true because people like you and I are good friends! But there’s a moment when our understanding of where oppression and where someone’s opinions comes from where we forget that we all start in essentially the same place. Not just that, we’re all human. And humans sometimes get it wrong. But we are all connected by that ultimate overarching thing – we’re all the same at the very beginning. Human. We should all be tolerant and accepting of others for a large number of reasons but our love for HUMANITY is where it should start. And that is a pretty Christian idea, too, btw. I’ve just gotten hurt so many times from people assuming I believe one thing or another because of my faith, my party, my sex, or my occupation. It’s SO frustrating to “lose” friends (on facebook or in real life) because of something they don’t even KNOW to be true. And even if they do know what my personal and private opinion is, they should just be glad that I even shared it with them. Not ridicule me for having it. I think ultimately, though, the idea of oppression and connectedness is completely forgotten by a large majority of those on the right. I should know. It’s hard, even in my own home sometimes, to explain and to remember that their scope of the subject is very limited. The worst part of this vote, is that issues like LGBT rights never came into the spotlight. Did you see one commercial about LGBT equality? I didn’t. I saw commercials based on fear from both sides. I wish that the true issue headlined and not domestic violence or children’s healthcare. These things are important, too, but the major problem in this state is that LGBT issues have never headlined to this level. If they did, maybe the vote would have been different. When you look at the numbers, it probably wouldn’t have been TOO different, but we would have at least had a true and open discussion about the crux of the issue.

    I did way more than answer your question, but I haven’t said enough about this and felt like I needed to. By the way, government shouldn’t have anything to do with ANYONE’S marriage, anyways!!

  2. sharilea17 says:

    Yay! The first comment engaging in conversation. Thank you!

    I started to write you a message on Facebook about the position you are in and how difficult it must be. You have two backgrounds where you’ve met people from complete opposite ends of the spectrum: student affairs and republican politics. You can’t win. And to be honest I made assumptions about what you had to do for your current job and relationship. I’m sorry about that. I think you can make a huge impact on oppression in your current position. It’ll be hard to figure out what risks to take, but we get nowhere without taking risks. People can benefit from your perspective and I hope you find more places to have your voice be heard. Your comments here were great. Stop the silence! You have too much good stuff to share. Thanks for sharing here and come back often!

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