” Seek first to understand, then to be understood”
“Thoughts and prayers to the victims”
” Pray for Orlando”
For some reason…these words rang hollow to me over the weekend. I needed more than words…these victims deserve more than words…
50 lives lost…
Taken by a lone gunman so filled with hatred because of something he did not understand…and like the coward he was…made no attempt to. Unfortunately…there are a lot more like him out there…the silent haters…the ones that are too afraid to ask questions…seek understanding…open their hearts. These are the ones that I fear the most…
I have many friends that are gay and I’ve been along for different parts of the evolution for all of them. And I’m the first to admit that although I never judged them, I did not understand it at first and I asked A LOT of questions. I was afraid to ask some of those questions out of fear of offending them. Until I realized that silent ignorance is far more offensive. How could I understand…I’m not walking in their shoes and I don’t pretend to know what that’s like . But I wanted to. Because I love them and want to know what their journey has been like…I wanted to be there for them in an authentic way.
It started with questions. What’s left is love, compassion, and admiration.
Many years later, I am at where I’m at today… because they answered my questions…honestly… with courage and grace. It’s been an evolution, for me and for them. Understanding wasn’t born…it was taught…and although we have come a long way… we still have a lot of teaching to do. Whenever I hear someone whispering out of the side of their mouth that they don’t get it…they whisper because they are too gutless to ask questions…too afraid to be judged for silently judging…so they remain silent…they wait until they’re in the company of other silent haters to spread their poison. I fear YOU…and you know who you are. You are to be feared…not the gay and lesbian community…YOU are the scary ones.
I get it if you don’t understand….what I don’t get is a lack of willingness TO understand. To remain in the dark ages…to continue to live with a closed mind and heart.
With that said…we have reached a tipping point…where the ones that judge are the ones being persecuted…as it should be…as long as we’re not missing opportunities to educate those people…that we’re not making them feel bad for having questions…unfortunately political correctness can often act as albatross to education. It’s okay to ask questions…what’s not okay is rushing to judgement before you’ve asked those questions.
Open minds. Open hearts.
We still have work to do…