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February 8, 2013
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A few weeks ago I was sitting next to two older gentlemen after I got off work. I’m a born observer, and so I couldn’t help but over hear their conversation while waiting for my ride. One was telling the other about his daughter, who was having a child in December, and her baby-daddy, who said it was against his culture to marry her. Interesting conversation, indeed. He then continued on about how he’d met the man at his daughter’s 4th of July Barbeque, and he while seemed like a nice young man, he couldn’t help but wonder if said young man had been cooking dog (a racial slur, oh yay). The two elderly men both laughed (really!?), and after a moment of silence had passed, he seemed to feel the need to say, “You know, I was born into a racist household. My father was always using racial slurs and I guess it just kind of became natural to me.” A part of me wonders if it was due to the loud, unbelieving choking sound coming from my table.

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who don’t try to understand one another. I guess you could say I’m a bigot against bigots. In my honest opinion, there is no reason to not be courteous to another person, whether yours is religion, how you were raised, what kind of day you’ve had, etc. One of my best friends is Mormon. He doesn’t act like it’s his job to “save” me, and I don’t make his super uncomfortable with my gayness, but even more than that, we don’t judge each other. It’s very The Boy In The Striped Pajamas of us, if I say so myself.

I feel like this is a crucial part of our lives, especially during these past few months and the month or so ahead. Not to go election season on you, but honestly, how is attacking Obama OR Romney, for that matter, going to help anyone? After November 6th, is it really going to have made that big of a difference? No, everyone on Facebook is just going to know you as the really annoying person who posted 500 statuses about how stupid Person A was during the debate. Really? Don’t we have anything better to do? How about instead of posting statuses about the relative intelligence of people who are pointing fingers at each other and saying, “I’m better than him because…”, we all try to work together to create a better future? Crazy idea? Too liberal? Too soon? Sigh. I thought so.

My point, and I promise I have one. We live in a world now where we’ve gotten too comfortable spreading rumors, talking behind backs, posting everything anyone tells us on Facebook or Twitter or whatever. Despite my ranting and raving, I’m probably one of the biggest offenders. My best friend loathes me sometimes because she feels like I judge her for the littlest of things. I find myself judging the judgers; I find myself judging the non-judgers. I won’t say judgment is a human reaction, but I do believe it was something that each of us was taught at a young age. In his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I dare you this: Don’t judge others by their character until you have judged yourself by your own and found no fault, and only then should you look again.

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