This week as I was passing a local nursery, I saw this written on the marquee':
“Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.”
I smiled as I drove home, since I have become a much more conscious gardener in the past few years. There was a time when my thoughts would grow wild, choking out the beautiful buds that were popping out of the fertile soil. They sounded like “Let’s go, let’s move faster, get more done.” Even now, my self and other judging thoughts run rampant. I was speaking with a client today about the ways we believe that ‘our way’ is the ‘right way’ and when we act as if that is so, then we miss out on learning from the folks who come into our lives. From their vantage point, their perception equals reality.
Tonight, a dear friend was hurting because of obnoxiously toxic weeds he encounters on a daily basis for one reason…he is a Gay man in love with his partner of 14 years. Imagine a life in which you feel you need to watch your back in case some homophobic hater, hurls their poisons in your direction. What would it be like to fear holding hands with your Beloved as you walk down the street so as to avoid the comments meant to disparage? How about comments that have become part of the vernacular, referring to things or behaviors as “Gay” or “queer”? What gives anyone the right to do that or even worse, take it to the next level and do bodily harm to the target of their disdain? I told him that I can only imagine how dark and frightening it must be in the minds of those who hate. I wouldn’t want to see the slime ooze from it. I know that it is sometimes generational and born of fear of differences. I offered support for the courage that it takes every day to be who he is and love as he does.
Regardless of your orientation, I encourage you to stand up and speak out about hatred in any form.
One of my favorite quotes about what happens when people don’t stand up and speak out:
I DID NOT SPEAK OUT:
In Germany the Nazis first came for the homosexuals, and I
did not speak out because I was not a homosexual.
Then they came for the Communists, but I was not a
Communist so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists,
but I was neither, so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not
Then they came for the Catholics, but I was a Protestant so I
did not speak out.
And when they came for me, by that time there was no one
left to speak out for anyone.
Pastor Martin Niemuller
(adapted from the original)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBrtgRn_dGk – Don’t Laugh At Me-Peter, Paul and Mary