This Above All: To Thine Own Self Be True

This Above All: To Thine Own Self Be True

I wasn’t going to write this post. I thought of twenty reasons why I shouldn’t, why I couldn’t, and that I didn’t have to, especially since it deals with a bit of controversy. In the end, my heart, speaking ever so quietly as it ofttimes does, reminded me that for change to happen, even those with small, quiet voices have to speak up. So, I thought about it, and have decided to be true to my heart. Before I begin my post, I’d like to give a huge shout-out to Lizzi for this post. Please go read it. It’s a gorgeous, heart-felt article, and made me very glad I’d participated in OctPoWriMo if only so I could meet someone as wonderful as her. I can’t wait for her trip to the States because I will  knock down brick walls just to meet her. She’s incredible. Lizzi, you make me very proud to know you!

Now, on to my post. First, what led me to where I ended up. It involves Facebook, which I do not use as much anymore. I use Twitter, and prefer it over Facebook because too many people use FB as a forum to air their grievances and drama. After making the decision last year to lose as much negativity as possible I realized that Facebook was one of those negative aspects. So, while I did not delete my account, I did dramatically decrease my presence there. I have a lot of family on it and knew they would still want to receive updates about me and my kids. But I was done with the soap boxing and dirty laundry.

BatmanChristmas

Yesterday, I got on it to see what my friend, Michelle, had tagged my name for. While I was waiting for it to load, I noticed a comment from someone who is disgruntled about Christmas being ‘sold’ early. (This is sort of a controversial subject but not the one I am intending to address, although, I guess I am now. ~wink) The status update ended up with a lot of ‘likes’ and comments, all were people complaining about Christmas decorations being out before Halloween and Thanksgiving. It was enough to make me want to say “Bah, humbug, Grinches!” I love Christmas, and I have no problem with stores putting out their Christmas merchandise months before it actually gets here. One of my favorite stores is a Christmas warehouse that’s open year-round. I love it! I love going in there and feeling the Christmas spirit fill me the moment I walk through the doors. It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’m having. Once I see the decorations and the trees, I feel happy. So, when I saw this person’s status update, especially this particular person who, during the holiday season, touts wanting the Christmas spirit to last through the year, I couldn’t help but think what hypocrites people are. And then, I felt bad because they are entitled to their own opinions, just like I am. But why is someone like me ridiculed and made to feel bad because I enjoy seeing the decorations out and about, but they get liked and a majority of people supporting them? Then, I scrolled down and saw something truly heartbreaking that made my little indignation shrink to nothing. And yet, it applied as well.

There was another status update from a different person. This particular person has some very strong opinions and has let it be known that if you don’t agree with their views you should not be friends with them. Also, if your views are different from theirs and you support the ‘other side’ they will unfriend you and call you out for it. For the most part I admire them for standing up for their opinions even though my own differs from their’s like night to day. They have a right to their views and opinions, and to believe however they want. But how far are they allowed to take that right? The status update this person posted was airing their views on a particular subject. I am not going to say what this subject was. It is not actually pertinent information and will only promote more negative than postive energy, and that is not my intent. What I want is to make you think about how you are seen by others when you post negative statements on social media or in public in general. The person posted an article that they had read on a controversial subject and then made a statement about it, saying the people the article concerned had lost their marbles. The comment made by this person could have been seen as harmless, but it was that very fact that made it stand out to me. I’ve seen this person post up similar articles and call them abominations, that these people should have no rights, and that they are abhorred by God. This person is a devout Christian by the way.

Do not call me out about Christians. I am not attacking them. I was raised in a Christian family and I knew the Bible inside and out by the time I was a teen. But, I’ve also developed my own views, and I’ve changed a mindset I was in serious danger of adopting forced onto me by people who meant well. In the end, I came to the conclusion that I’d rather be a good person than a good Christian. And that’s the wonderful thing about this world we live in, especially if you live in a country where you have the right to worship whatever religion you want. I ended up with the view that hypocrisy is one of the worst sins you can practice. I do not like it when people have one set of rules for others and one for themselves but say they don’t. I practice the Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. But too many people use it when they are being mistreated, and I don’t get that. It is true for the situation yesterday. And so, after questioning myself and how I want to live my life, I decided to unfriend the person. This doesn’t mean that I think this person is a bad person or evil in any way. It’s that their views are too negative for me to accept anymore. I’d rather be true to myself than go on ignoring the rather obvious fact that this person cannot be my friend. I have no doubt that were I to air my views they would unfriend me in a heart beat and without any remorse in doing so, unlike me.

That brings me to the end and point of my story. Because of what I read, I began thinking about how people are persecuted for being different. If you are: fat, black, gay, have a lisp, have a disability, wear glasses, have a big nose, have any disfigurement, have different views, don’t dress “right”, and are different in ANY way, you are bullied and made to feel that you don’t have the right to live. Hate crimes, cyber bullying, persecuting minorities…where does it stop? I’ll tell you where. It stops here. It stops when people stop getting upset at anything different. It stops when people change their mindset and see that what they are doing is allowing negativity in to rule their lives. That is where evil lives, in the negative actions and thoughts we allow in. It is inherrent in them. We are NOT born evil. I have held each one of my children in my arms after they were born. I looked into their faces and there was nothing evil in them. Each one was born innocent and holds a glorious burden. But, we can all do and speak evil things. It’s all in the choices we make. We all have the right to a life, and to live our lives the way we see fit, without anyone’s permission. And don’t use something positive to extend and support your negativity. That is not what it was created for. There is a reason Light was created. Ghandi, Jesus, Mother Theresa, Mandela…points of Light and Love in the darkness. Instead of regurgitating things they said, maybe we should look at their actions and copy those. Repeat as often as necessary until our lives become points of Light for others.

I am leaving you with two poems I wrote yesterday after spending the day ruminating on this person’s statement. In my head, I view the second one being read by someone representing each line or adjective. Do feel free to comment. We are all entitled to our opinions and we have the right to speak those opinions when invited to do so. I am not one of those people who is unaccepting of opposite points of view. I welcome them because they challenge my own and make me see another side that I might not be able to view from the side I’m standing on. Sometimes they change my opinions, and sometimes they strengthen my own beliefs. But I do ask that you be respectful. Name calling and mud slinging accomplish nothing. Bees like honey.

xo Jesi

 

scarlet-letter

 

 

The Scarlet Letter of the Disgraced

By Jessica Scott

 

 

I wonder what would happen

If you could see yourself through the eyes

Of the ones you brand with your

Scarlet injustice and hate.

 

You censure those like me

With different ideas, different ways of thinking,

Different choices in lifestyles,

Those who you, with your limited understanding,

Have no compassion for in your heart.

 

You judge us, label us,

Paint your vulgar sobriquets on us

For everyone to see,

We the abominations,

Contemporary Hester Prynne’s in modern society,

And say we should be judged

Before God, before Man,

Before You,

As if you have the exclusionary right

To decide our fate.

 

Then you sit in your fortress

Of self-righteous morality,

Congratulating yourself on

Your high standards of principle,

Plotting the next persecution.

 

Until that one day you

Find yourself stigmatized by someone’s hate.

You, with your faultless rectitude,

Crying out “Do not judge me! You have no right!”

 

Let those who are without sin

Throw the first stone,

But I’d move out of that glass house

If I were you.

 

PB-being-different

I Am Different

By Jessica Scott

 

 

I may not be tall or thin.

I may not be beautiful in that supermodel way.

I may not have mountains for breasts,

And my legs may not work,

In fact, I may not have legs or arms at all.

 

 

My face might be disfigured,

And I might have to wear glasses.

My teeth could be crooked,

And my hair might be missing.

My nose might be too

Large, wide, pointy, bumpy, short…

I might not speak correctly.

 

 

I may be

Big-boned,

Big-headed,

Big-footed,

Just plain big.

I may be too round,

Too soft,

Too sharp,

Too weak,

Too strong,

Too black,

Too white,

Too colorful,

Too dumb,

Too smart,

Too feminine,

Too masculine,

Too much of something that goes against your standards of beauty.

But do not underestimate me.

What you view as flaws

Are my greatest strengths,

And who are you to judge me?

You have no idea who I am…

 

 

I am

Eccentric, edgy, easy-going,

Natural, noble, nonpareil,

Optimistic, open-minded, original,

Unadulterated, unequalled, undaunted,

Gifted, gentle, gallant,

Heterosexual, homosexual, happy.

 

I am so much more than you will ever see

If you only look at my appearance.

 

12 Replies to “This Above All: To Thine Own Self Be True”

  1. Well NOW who has the great big shiny awesome heart 🙂

    I will say a couple of things though, if that’s okay – and I hope you take them in the spirit with which they’re intended… (you invited comment and discourse)

    I identify as Christian. I would say that there are NO GOOD CHRISTIANS – because that’s kind of the point, so far as I can see. Anyone who thinks they are, is kidding themselves and needs to do more learning on the topic. Added to which, the point of a loving God, who EMBODIES and IS LOVE, is that NO-ONE is beyond the pale. NO-ONE is abhorred. NO-ONE is irredeemable, if they choose it. His opinion on our behaviour, however…well, people can choose to see what they choose to see, but as you point out – in the end, THEY DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO JUDGE.

    Divisiveness hurts everyone.

    Using God’s name to promote hatred is blasphemy, so far as I can tell.

    And religion…I waver VERY much on…the spirituality bit is something I understand a tiny bit more of, I think. It makes more sense.

    By this shall ye know them – THAT THEY LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

    That’s kind of a large part of the ‘ALL’.

    ANYWAY. Now I’ve gotten my soapbox moment out of the way, I LOVE your post. And with people like that on your FB I can totally see why you don’t go there so much. And also, WE SHOULD TWEET MORE.

    I can’t wait to meet you and I SO want it to happen 😀

    1. You and I have very similar views on this, I don’t get on this soapbox often but the article and this person’s comment really struck me. I’m so tired of all the hate. I know we can’t all get along. But sometimes, I wish we could all just be accepted as we are. And MY religion that I try to practice is Love. That’s what I am. I was made from it. So were we all. And I have a lot of love to give. I wish others would remember that as well.
      Tweet me! I’m on like ALL the time, sort of. I just thought you’ve been pretty busy!

      1. I’ve been sick with a cold. And I’m ALWAYS busy (online) but I love tweeting and I don’t do it enough these days. I try to type on my laptop with my phone next to me (on silent) and tweet from there cos it’s easier but NOW I KNOW…I will be tweeting you more often 😀

        Always tweet me – feel free whenever. I tend to use Twitter to chat, anyway, if I’m not just sharing posts.

        And YES to love, and YES to acting on it.

        1. Aww…I’m so sorry you’ve been ill. I hate being sick. I’ve been working on my laptop with my phone the EXACT SAME WAY! Well, actually, my phone is on vibrate, but still…same thing. LOL.
          I will try to tweet you more often. Promise. It may just be pics of my cats, the glass of wine I’m drinking because Nano, I mean, my half-elf (yeah that sounds good) has driven me to it, or something completely random.

          1. half-elf? What? NOW I’m confused. But I like that we’re gonna tweet 😀 And sorry – I’ve totally turned your comments section on your lovely post into a place to natter! Very bad of me!

            I should put my phone on vibrate but it already eats SO much battery.

            but YAY.

            Tweet. I will tweet. I’ll get back in the habit.

    1. You have been ill…my half-elf, character in my book, for Nano. He’s driving me crazy. I like him. He’s awesome! And he knows it. Go catch up on some of my posts. I’ve put up some excerpts. 😉
      And natter is good. Might get more people commenting. 🙂

  2. Hmmm, where to begin…

    First and foremost, love the poems.

    Second, I am glad to hear that we can have a difference in opinions and still remain friends. With that being said, I am a total hater of Christmas being brought out before Thanksgiving. The decorations and songs and little elves give me the same reactions as you, warm fuzzy feelings and almost make me want to hug the world. BUT I need it to wait until after Thanksgiving! When Christmas is put out on the shelves the day after Halloween, it gives me a sense of panic (I’m weird, no judging, remember.) that Christmas is upon us and I haven’t even bought my Thanksgiving Turkey yet. I prefer that Christmas carols wait to be sung until dinner has been served that 4th Thursday each November. 🙂

    Third, I consider myself a Christian, proudly so. Is it my place to tell you how to live your life? Um, no. My job in this world is to be the best that I can be and be a good friend to those around me, even if we have diverse views in lifestyles. It irritates the crap out of me when those who “throw stones” give the rest of us Christians a bad rep. They need another lesson in Bible study to remember Luke 6:37; “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (NIV)

    Dang it, look at you, ya got me all riled up and I haven’t even read the article. Thank you for being my friend even though we are different.

  3. I LOVE that we are so different and still like each other! And you are NOT the kind of Christian these people are. Like you said, there are some who give the overall title a bad rap. But that’s true of people in general. This person was throwing stones and I just had enough.
    And I love you, too! 🙂
    Even if you do want to wait till after Thanksgiving. BTW, don’t turn the radio on to 98.7. Wait till after Thanksgiving. LOL

  4. Thank you for the reminder. Sometimes it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon, point fingers, or lay the blame on someone or something. You do have to take care of you first (and kids or pets with you have them).

    I am trying to not be a grump about early Xmas decorations and music. I usually get Xmasey after Thanksgiving. The traditions in my house were watching the Thanksgiving parade, Dog Show, eat turkey, and then deck the halls. I will admit that my Halloween decorations are still up, so yeah, it goes both ways 🙂 Time is usually a factor, like when will I have time to shop, wrap, decorate, etc? It always gets done. Anyway, after a few years of having a bad case of the grumps (prior to 2010, I think), I have tried to see things differently. Give more freely, see the world as full of joy, and live in the now.

    ~HUGS~

    1. It takes all kinds of us and I wouldn’t want people to be different in this way. Yay for those who want to wait until after Thanksgiving for Christmas decorations! Yay for those who don’t! Yay for leaving your Halloween decorations up until Christmas (seriously, you can get away with that by putting up a sign that says Jack is out kidnapping Santa Claus-be back soon-LOL).
      I had a grumpy step-grandfather who I loved dearly. I miss him a lot. And the world is full of joy if we can only see it, even if just for a moment. I was stuck in a 2 year depression and when my dad died last year I was in danger of going back in another one. I didn’t though. I forced myself to see the joy, to change my mindset and some days I don’t even recognize myself anymore. I have changed so much in almost 12 months. And it’s been worth it for me. I wish I could give you a real hug, Milady. But a virtual hug will have to do. And just know that I am sending you all the positive thoughts I can, just in case. 😉
      ~hugs~

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