Monday, June 27, 2016

But First Let Me Rant.☝

First and foremost, this will be a rant. I apologize for it not being inspirational as many other posts are but feel free to check out some other uplifting content up above.

Earlier today, I was riding the local bus home when I overheard a conversation being held behind me. I didn't immediately turn around; just imagine how awkward that would've been. But I continued to listen for a minute or so and it was downright disgusting.

The conversation was held between two middle-aged white women. Not the most attractive individuals to look at but who am I to say. They were talking about a lady that was sitting diagonally from us on the opposite side of the bus. She was African-American, appeared to be middle-aged herself, and was completely oblivious to the conversation being held about her. Thankfully. She was sporting a pixie cut that for some odd reason, made the white women uncomfortable. 

"She may as well shave the rest of it off...."

"The least you can do is use a hair spray to add volume to it..."

"'s bad enough it's spiky already.."

Just a few snippets I heard from the exchange. I tried to ignore it for a second or so but it was alarming to me that they had the audacity to speak about this lady openly. As if she were disrespecting them simply by being there. It was a self-righteous attitude they both evoked and that's what bothered me the most. 

Granted, I didn't speak up. I honestly didn't know what to say and I'm a non-confrontational person. But I wrestled with what-if's the entire ride home after they stepped off the bus. 

This self-righteous attitude is not new; we're all too familiar with it. It lives and breathes with us every day in different manners. In some ways it can be less obvious, in others it's very blatant. Even though I'm a native of the South, I've never encountered blatant self-righteousness on behalf of a white individual. It's always been subtle. Call it southern hospitality if you'd like. 

Since moving to Kentucky, I have noticed that attitudes here appear to be much different. Perhaps it's just been a matter of the types of people I encounter or the areas I venture into. But whatever the case may be, it has consistently put me on edge. And after overhearing that conversation today, I was pushed off it. The fact that some individuals feel entitled to belittle others who don't look or live like them still baffles me. In many ways, I feel it's due to the culture of Louisville. Many people do not ever have the opportunity to venture beyond Kentucky; this is all that they know. I firmly believe that isolation breeds ignorance. When isolated in this area for years at a time, their perspective is so narrowed that anything beyond it is odd/disrespectiful/disgraceful/ugly/unprofessional, etc. People don't accept what they do not understand and clearly these women don't understand Black hair. 

In order to prevent myself from taking things so personally, I always attempt to understand the motives behind a person's behavior or thinking. Not that they are justified by it, but doing so helps me realize situations from the perspective of other people. Ignorance is pervasive nowadays so you can only imagine how difficult of a job this is. However, I see the value in it. I would rather try to understand someone's point of view (even if I disagree) rather than getting upset over it. Otherwise, I'm only modeling their behavior. And that's just not what I do. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

#PrayforOrlando ♥

Anytime that a large number of people are killed or murdered, it impacts me in some way. It doesn't matter whether the incident occurred in the States or abroad. My spirit is just affected by the sudden loss of innocent lives, as I'm sure that yours is as well.

When I initially received news of the shooting at Pulse in Orlando, I knew it was tragic but the devastation of it did not hit me right away. It wasn't until the victims' identities were revealed that I truly was heartbroken. There were some victims that were middle aged, but a great majority of them were fairly young. Some even younger than I am. And that deeply disturbed me.

I imagined how they must have set out that night, not imagining that it would be their last evening alive. I imagined the passions they had, the aspirations, and dreams. I imagined their families and how their loved ones would attempt to continue on without them. And it was very frustrating to reflect on because in a matter of minutes, all of that was unjustly stripped away from them.

I was recently engaging in a conversation with someone about the incident and we brought up the idea of how much better the world would be if no one felt the need to police the lives of others. What if we had no desire to monitor and control the lifestyles that other people choose? Of course the lifestyles shouldn't involve direct harm to anyone; nothing that can interfere with the livelihood of other human beings. But I'm sure you understand the gist of my perspective. Life would be much more peaceful if we all were content with allowing others to just live as they pleased. Although we may not agree with the sexual orientations or identities that other individuals choose, it is ultimately beyond our control. Or, it ought to be.

Although I do not consider myself a member of LGBTQIA, I do believe that everyone has the right to live and love as they please. In no manner was the perpetrator justified in the act he committed. More Christians should realize that to advocate for the civil rights of a people does not necessarily mean you advocate for their sexuality.

In other words, to admit your grief over the lost lives does not mean you must identify as gay, lesbian, queer, etc. It is possible to be in support of equal treatment of a people while disagreeing with the things they do.

It is my hope that nothing of this caliber will occur again, in any respect. My heartfelt prayers go out to the families mourning the loss of their sons, daughters, uncles, and fathers. As a Believer, I feel that although there any many things in life we do not understand, we have a divine connection to the One who understands all. Through this connection, we can find the strength we need to move forward with love and bring along all of our sisters and brothers, including those still fighting to love who they choose.