It is so easy to be critical. It takes a whole lot more thought, research, patience and understanding to be willing to try to understand something we are not used to. This applies to so many things – the politics of today, world views, religious differences, social situations. We have to admit that as humans we have only our experiences as our reference. If we want to broaden our horizons and our compassion it is going to take a great deal of work and time.
This reflection comes from a combination of many situations that have occurred in the last week. The discussion of the word hen and how it has affected my children and our discussions at home. A course we had through my workplace about how we assume all others we meet are cis-persons, better know as heterosexuals and how we can better “meet and greet” without making those assumptions in our verbal choices. A discussion about Muslims and Christians with my boys today at dinner. And last but not least my daily dose of “real life” listening to my children and the neighborhood kids play.
I think we, no matter our sexual preference and religious views are all prejudice in one way or another. How can we not be? Prejudice has to do with not understanding or having experience with something that we then judge to be “bad” without sufficient information. We should try to learn about what we are dealing with first and then make an educated decision – which we must also be prepared to have to or need to change in the future as we gain more knowledge.
I have myself written about the word HEN. I personally don’t think we need it, and my children don’t want to be called hen when they have a strong feeling about where they fit in as either male or female. Recently though at our workplace education day this was addressed by a representative of RSFU (sexual education and rights organisation). Hen is not a word for those that feel they are already part of the male or female group but for those that feel they don’t fit into those two categories can choose then to be referred to as a hen. I heard the explanation and if that’s all there is to it then fine! But that’s not the impression I get. Why? Well they don’t want to write mom and dad, or mother and father anymore we are to just be called parent so as not to hurt the feeling of same-sex parents. And it has been discussed to no longer have male and female toilets in school, or male and female dressing rooms. But what if I feel like a man and want to go to the mens room and dress in the mens room and shower in the mens locker room and so on, do I have to be with women that feel like men, or shower with women that just like to shower in the mens room?
I know I am being silly but I think our political discussions are getting silly. And really I think they bring up these subjects, our identity and sexuality when they don’t have real political strategies to discuss! Get us, th regular voters, all fired up about sexuality, abortion, right and wrong and lead us away from the real issues at hand.
Ok, so if the RFSU rep. is right, then I don’t have to feel insecure about the word, or label of hen. I know where I fit in so I won’t be refered to as hen.
As for Christian and Muslim discussion. All I have to share is what my younger son said, ” My best friend is a Muslim and if anyone tried to hurt him I would die for him. If that means he might kill me because I am an infidel then, well then I die a better person for not killing him and following the ten commandments.” My older son said, ” If their God says they should kill us then we should kill them first or just not let them in our country.” Two years more of critical thinking and absorbing the chaos and hate we are surrounded by on the news, internet and sadly to say even at home obviously make a big difference in the younger generation. We decided to continue the discussion at another dinner.
A general worry for me has been what will our children grow into and take with them to the next generation. Today I listened to them playing in the backyard, eavesdropped on them more like it. The three girls jumped on the trampoline, had a doll a stroller and the dog. The boys pretended the were flying ninjas with other super human powers. There were 2 boys in trash cans playing they were hiding from the oncoming soldiers. And finally everyone was running from the alien (our dog). They seem pretty normal so far. And it seems all of the topics the daily news covers is here in my backyard. Soldiers, mothers, aliens, attacking, hiding maybe they are processing what they have been hearing or maybe they are just using their imaginations. Either way, I felt better for some reason. And I hope I can be a less critical role model. More informed, and more loving.