Tuesday, December 27, 2011

ugh...how about a half apology? and an update.

i'm so so so sorry, guys.
i've just been wicked busy with holidays, work, etc.
i've had a couple traumatic experiences, some good ones, and i have very few excuses, but i also don't feel the need to justify myself. this is, after all, MY blog.
i need to write though...i really, really miss it.

life's about to get a little crazy.
i started a pretty intense workout program to lose that 21 pounds from The List. my workout program is by the same company who does p90x, so i'll be able to cross 1 and 7 from the list. how about a full update?

1. lose 21 pounds. although, if this only ends up being 2.1 pounds, i might be okay with that. 
i've actually gained a few pounds. so i guess in reality now i need to lose like, 27 pounds. but i'm on the way.

2. take silly photos in a photobooth with my bff Brandon the very Larsen.
i give up, Brandon. i'm doing this one with someone else. anyone else, maybe me and wallice?

3. go fishin'. i've never been fishing, but i've always wanted to!
i'm still just waiting for someone to take me!

4. have a hobo roadtrip and spend a night in the Redwood Forest! check! :)
hmmm. done. i will not be divulging details. suffice it to say, i have done this one. it may or may not have included doing illegal things, and getting stuck in the snow storm of the century in the Sierra Nevadas...

5. kiss a complete stranger.
i don't know any strangers. i'll work on this one, but i have a feeling it'll require some serious lady balls. plus, the sleepy kitty singer will be way jealous...

6. eat squab. i don't know what "squab" is, but i'm sooo tryin' it. they talk about it on the Food Network all the time.
i'm still planning on doing this. Handy Manny actually agreed that we can try it next time i go see him. hmmmm....the sleep kitty singer DID NOT feed me squab yet. i'll make this one happen, fo sho!

7. successfully complete p90x. (in the designated 90 days.) almost check!
it's happening. currently. and i'm gonna be soooo hot by my birthday.

8. be a rebel and get a real tattoo. okay, a real henna tattoo....check!
about that...i actually got one. a real one. it says "chaque etape du voyage..." which translate to "every step of the journey..." It's in French. and it's not done. i'm going to have a dandelion added above my toes that will blow some seeds over the words. judge away, judgers...

9. buy a cactus and watch that sucker grow. no way is that thing dyin' on my watch! check! :)
hells yeah! Mervin's been in my life since....i was looking for blog, but i never wrote it. Mervin here is the Break-Up cactus. he's been in my life since February, i think. we've got a good 11 months in! we've had a few close calls, but he's thriving!

10. take or be in a picture every day for an entire month. just to remember the days between.
i don't want to do this one...sigh. but i will. i'm pretty sure i've done this in various pictures for Handy Manny, but one can't be sure. the point was to facebook/blog them anyways. i'll work on it. i'm seriously starting this immediately...

11. gulp. go on 21 dates...(i have a feeling i'll come to regret this one...) check! :)
i'm nearly positive i've been on at least that many dates in the past year and a half. if i haven't, oh well. not super into dating at the current time, so i'm at peace with this goal.

12. spend the summer of '11 in a far away place...working, adventuring, etc. check! :)
i spent the last four months of 2010 and the first four of 2011 in the slc area. i don't think that counts. but i'm making a big move next spring anyways, to an unknown destination, so we'll take it.

13. volunteer in a soup kitchen.
i should have done this already...shame on me. i donate to food pantries all the time.  i can have half a point. but i still want to do it.

14. find the perfect pair of jeans and buy them without batting an eyelash. check!
hmmm. this could be argued in either direction. i'm going to vote that i still need to find them. however, i'll do that after i'm all sexy from turbofire.

15. trade in facebook for the self-realization and peace that comes through the practice of zen...this shall occur for just ONE month. 
okay, okay. i need to do this. i actually don't think it'll kill me. so maybe i'll start that soon. as in, today! i'm doing it. right now!

16. get a kit and learn how to make balloon animals.
i still want to do this. i need to do it. my mom has a kit. i'm soooo going to ask her if i can borrow it.

17. have an Oscar Meyer Weiner-mobile experience....preferably ride in it, but i'll settle for just a pic. check, check, check!!!
this is one of my favorite things about the sleepy kitty singer, actually. if there's something i desperately want to do, he'll drop stuff and make sure we can do it. we were driving one day and he suddenly pointed out the Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile and missed our exit and started following it so i could get some pictures. it was ADORABLE! 

18. go to the ocean and play with REAL sea stars in the tide pools! (they are my favorite animal of course!)
this should probably just be part of the Price Is Right adventure, though i have a feeling it's not gonna happen...

19. for those of you who are cache valley natives, you'll know what i mean by saying i shall Clean The Sink by myself
i didn't do this. and i will not be doing it. it's too much ice cream. i don't even like ice cream that much anymore...i just can't do it alone. maybe with friends ON my very birthday? perhaps? 

20. ride on a San Francisco trolley while hangin' off the back and singing the Rice-A-Roni theme song....
i want to do this still. not sure when i'll ever be in SanFran, but we'll see. don't hold your breath though.

21. it is my wildest dream to be a contestant on The Price is Right!
i bet i could find tickets and be a birthday princess on the Price is Right on my very 21st birthday...but i won't. because Drew Carey sucks...

eight checks and 2 half checks...that's not very good odds, though i'll be honest, i'm okay with that. life is a blast and i'm doing really great! you don't need a list of things to do to have an amazing life! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

just another old-fashioned love story.

i've called her Grandma Harris since I was little.
technically she's my dad's grandma, my great grandma. but we all know how i love to shorten everything!

her name is Dorella,  and she is 98 years old.
she isn't doing very well currently. the doctors think she's got 4 months left, at the most.

in order: my Grandma Leishman, my Grandma Harris, Jaycie the Cutest, and my cutest Dad, aka Shayne.
this picture was taken the week i left for college. 
looking at this picture kinda makes me think i must have inherited my ghostly pale skin from her...

anyways, my grandma lived in Millville, UT when i was little.
she had the coolest house and you had to go over a bridge to get there.
every week in the summer, my dad went and mowed her lawn and sometimes we stopped for ice cream cones from Macey's on the way home. once i was old enough to walk, her raspberry bushes seemed to quit making any raspberries.

i'll admit it, fair and square. I, Jaycie the most deviant human ever of all time, ate all of the raspberries, every single week. those bushes made enough raspberries, i just took and ate them all...

she also had this little paddle, it was this stick with a big fluffy heart pillow that she'd spank me with.
sometimes i'd go out of my way to be naughty just so she'd "spank" me, then i'd run off giggling because it didn't hurt at all.

my dad hates and i mean HATES Macaroni and Cheese. Every once in awhile, she'd cook us some for lunch and he'd eat it with no complaints at all, simply because his grandma cooked it for him.

she had two plum trees in her yard, and every fall when they started falling off, it was my job to go and pick them up before my dad mowed. i remember always watching him, sometimes riding with him, and when he had to mow under the tree, he'd always reach up, grab a plum, and wipe it off on his shirt to clean it before he ate it.

to this day, i refuse to wash my fruit. i wipe it off on my shirt, just like my dad.

when i was 17, i got a summer job at Williamsburg Retirement Community. my Grandma Harris was living there and i got to see her and serve her lunch every day that summer. nothing made my day more than to see her smile and overhear her bragging to her lunch-time friend ladies about me. it was then that i learned her favorite drink was cran-apple juice, no ice and that when it came to desserts and breads, she only likes to eat corners and ends.

later that fall, my Grandma Harris went to the hospital for the first time after a stroke. she'd been having mini strokes for awhile and this one was pretty bad. ever since then, her vocabulary has been very jumbled, and it's been hard for her to communicate. she did great until earlier this year, when her health really started to decline. now she's living with my dad's mom, my Grandma Leishman. she doesn't really remember me anymore, but she's sure changed my life. 

my Grandma Harris' husband died in 1950. i can't remember what he died from, and obviously i never met him. eventually she met the man of her dreams, but she was too busy taking care of her mom to marry him. that's how she is. she takes care of and puts everyone first, all the time. even now, she hates that she can't take care of everyone. and of course her boyfriend waited. and waited. and waited.

he dated her for 26 years before they were married. 

they had lunch together every day, and sometimes they went out on the weekends. finally, they got married. he was diagnosed with cancer, and died less than a year later. i never met him either, but i bet i would have loved him. 

is there anything cuter in the world than a man who will wait 26 years so he can marry the girl of his dreams? i don't think so, and if/when i get married, i hope it's to a guy who would do that for me.

she's an inspiration to so many people, and there's literally no way i could ever express how deeply i love her and how much i've learned from her over the years. if i grow up into half the lady she is, i'll be happy.
she's incredible and will be very missed when she's gone, but i'm sure her lover is waiting just as patiently as he did all those years ago for her to join him again, once and for all.

I love you, Grandma Harris. Thanks for spanking me all those years ago...and for never getting TOO mad about me eating all of the raspberries. I'm sure you were able to see me picking them through your kitchen window. I wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed back then...

Do me a favor and give em' hell until I join you up there, okay?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

my secret wish:

is to one day long into my blog and have there be one already.
i go to my blog sometimes but it's always the same as the last time i left.
of course, because i haven't posted...but just once i would be okay with showing up and reading something new.

i need to see Harry Potter 7.2.
it's time. part of me is just sad to say goodbye.
HP has been a part of m life since the third grade.
we all kind of grew up together.
and now it's almost over! technically, it is already, but i'm putting it off.

i have to say goodbye to one of my bffs for a month this week.
it's fine. she'll be right back after her super awesome trip to Egypt, but regardless, i'm crying on the inside.

in other news, i'm really craving indian food.
i think Satan is actually named Barbara Elliot, who was SOOOO rude to me via phone call at work today.
and so now i need a new job.
i am excited to sleep in my bed.
and crazy stupid love is about to start, so i'll catch you punks later.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ummm....are you kidding me?!?!

where can i get me one of him?!?! speechless. that's what this girl is right now...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

i was going to write a good blog today, but...

it's 9:53, i'm exhausted, and so cozy in bed.
my computer charger is more than 20 feet away. and i only have 14% of my battery left.

NO WAY am i getting out of this bed.
it was painful enough getting in, yo!

i have embarked on a serious journey to be in shape.
and i. am. dying.

every muscle in my body is screaming.
and...i'm loving it. weird, right? i'm gonna be soooo hot.

other things i love/am grateful for today, (in no particular order):
twinkly stars.
home teachers.
sleep. pain killers. water. vegetables.
warm cars. gloves. jackets. sweats.
the "sleepy kitty" singer.

and really just life in general...today was a good day.

i solemnly swear i am up to no good!

speaking of which, i need to see the last HP, asap...everyone in the world has seen it but me.
i also need to see crazy stupid love and the tree of life. maybe this weekend will be spent rekindling my love with redbox.

i know, i know. i've been a terrible blogger. not because i don't love you all, but because i'm soooo boring lately.
i'm serious. my weeks go as such:

monday: it's my day off, so i sleep in, wake up, eat, watch some t.v., work out, sometimes go to lunch with Jordan or Shah'ada. sometimes donate plasma. clean my room. do some laundry. etc. 
tuesday: work, 9:30-4:30. get work work. work out, shower, eat, chill with my bff, aka my mom.
wednesday: work, 9:30-4:30. get work work. work out, shower, eat, chill with my bff, aka my mom. watch criminal minds and modern family.
thursday: work, 9:30-4:30. get work work. work out, shower, eat, chill with my bff, aka my mom. watch grey's anatomy and private practice.
friday: work, 9:30-4:30. get work work. work out, shower, eat, chill with my bff, aka my mom. locate some other friends, maybe go to dinner a movie, or just stay in with my mom. 
saturday: work, 9:30-4:30. get work work. work out, shower, eat, chill with my bff, aka my mom. locate some other friends, maybe go to dinner a movie, or just stay in with my mom.
(usually one weekend night is dedicated to chinese food from Golden Jade. it's kind of an obsession.)
sunday: day off, sleep in a little, wake up, get smokin' hot for church, go to church late, be starving, come home, eat with the family, play games, watch t.v. or movies, sometimes see grandmas. just depends...

see how incredibly boring i am? 
i should get out more. 

in other news, there is no other news. i'll be back shortly with some serious updates, okay?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

i wake up in the mornin'

but i don't usually feel like P. Diddy...

tomorrow i will be working. on Thanksgiving.
it'll be great.
i'll swear sweats. i won't wear make-up.

9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. THEN 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
yay for Turkey Day...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Every single human needs to read this post.

I NEVER repost blogs. I'll link them, sure. But I don't usually share them here. Tonight I'm making an exception for something that is near and dear to my heart. 

This was written by Dan Pearce, and can be found if you click here. Then click here to read the second post, a follow-up that is also beautiful.

I honestly couldn't have said it any better myself, and I won't try.

If you do nothing else for me ever, please read this. And don't just stop there. THINK about it. Then do something with it.

Also, to my friends who are different than everyone else, please know that I love you, that I care about you, and I DON'T CARE that you're "not perfect" to the rest of the world. It makes no difference to me, because really, who the hell is???

Today I want to write about something that has bothered me for the better part of a decade. I’ve carved out no fewer than a dozen drafts of this post, all strangely unalike, all ultimately failing to accomplish the job I’ve set out to do. Truth is, I’ve been trying to write it off and on for more than a year now, and the right words have been seemingly impossible to come by.
In the end, and in order to post it, I guess I had to care more about the message than I do about potential backlash. I’m not being facetious when I say that I hope I can get this message across without offending… well… everybody.
What I really hope is that this post will spark and encourage poignant and worthwhile discussion that will lead to some poignant and worthwhile changes in the lives of at least a few people who are hurting.
That being said, I believe some strong words need to be said today.
“God hates fags.” We’ve all seen the signs being waved high in the air by members of the Westboro Baptist church. On TV. In real life. It’s hard not to take notice.
Over the years, I’ve watched seemingly never-ending disgustingness and hatred spill across the media airwaves from those who belong to the organization. For those who don’t know much about that “church,” they have made a seedy name for themselves by doing drastic things like picketing beneath atrocious signs and hosting flagrant anti-gay protests at military funerals.
Almost every person of nearly every religion has no problem loathing and condemning the Westboro Baptist Church and its members, and perhaps with reason. They take freedom of speech far beyond what our founding fathers intended when they fought to give us that right, and they laugh at the rest of the world while they do.
But today I don’t want to talk about those idiots. I want to talk about you. And me.
And my friend who I’ll call Jacob.
Jacob is 27  years old, and guess what… he’s gay.
Not a lot of people know. He lives in a community where being gay is still very “frowned upon.”
I was talking to him on the phone a few weeks ago, telling him about my failed attempts to write this post. He was trying to hold his emotions in, but he eventually became tearful as we deliberated the very problem that this post attempts to discuss.
Before I go on, I feel I must say something one time. Today’s post is not about homosexuality. It’s not about Christians. It’s not about religion. It’s not about politics. It’s about something else altogether. Something greater. Something simpler.
It’s about love.
It’s about kindness.
It’s about friendship
And love, kindness, and friendship are three things that Jacob hasn’t felt in a longtime.
I’m thankful he gave me permission to share our conversation with you. It went something like this.
“Jacob, I honestly don’t know how to write it,” I said. “I know what I want to get across, but I can never find the right words.”
“Dan, you need to write it. Don’t give up. I’m telling you, it needs to be said.”
I paused. “You don’t understand. It’s too heated a subject. It’s something people are very emotional and touchy about. I’d be lynched.”
My friend hesitated. “Dan, you are the only friend I have that knows I’m gay. The only freaking one,” he said.
“What do you mean? I know you’ve told other friends.”
That’s when his voice cracked. He began crying.
“Every single person I’ve told has ditched me. They just disappear. They stop calling. They remove me on Facebook. They’re just gone,” he said. “They can’t handle knowing and being friends with a gay person.”
I didn’t know what to say. So I didn’t say anything.
“You don’t know what it’s like, man. You don’t know what it’s like to live here and be gay. You don’t know what it’s like to have freaking nobody. You don’t know what it’s like to have your own parents hate you and try and cover up your existence. I didn’t choose this. I didn’t want this. And I’m so tired of people hating me for it. I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t.”
How do you respond to that?
I wanted to tell him it was all in his head. I knew it wasn’t. I wanted to tell him it would get better and easier. The words would have been hollow and without conviction, and I knew it.
You see, I live in this community too. And I’ve heard the hate. I’ve heard the disgust. I’ve heard the disdain. I’ve heard the gossip. I’ve heard the distrust. I’ve heard the anger. I’ve heard it all, and I’ve heard it tucked and disguised neatly beneath a wrapper of self-righteousness and a blanket of “caring” or “religious” words. I’ve heard it more times than I care to number.
About gay people.
About people who dress differently.
About people who act differently.
About fat people.
About people with drug addictions.
About people who smoke.
About people with addictions to alcohol.
About people with eating disorders.
About people who fall away from their faiths.
About people who aren’t members of the dominant local religion.
About people who have non-traditional piercings.
About people who just look at you or me the wrong way.
I’ve heard it, and I’ve heard it over, and over, and over again.
Hell, in the past (and to some degree in the present) I participated in it. I propagated it. I smugly took part in it. I’ll admit that.
And I did so under the blanketing term “Christian.” I did so believing that my actions were somehow justified because of my beliefs at the time. I did so, actually believing that such appointments were done out of… love.
This isn’t just a Utah phenomenon. I’ve lived outside of this place. I’ve worked outside of this place. It was just as bad in Denver. It was just as bad in California. I see it on blogs. I hear it on television shows and radio programs. I hear it around my own family’s dinner table from time to time. Usually said so passively, so sneakily, and so “righteously.”
From Christians.
From Buddhists.
From Hindus.
From Muslims.
From Jews.
“God hates fags.” “God hates addicts.” “God hates people who shop at Salvation Army.” “God hates people that aren’t just like me.”
People may not be holding up picket signs and marching around in front of television cameras but… come on. Why is it that so many incredible people who have certain struggles, problems, or their own beliefs of what is right and wrong feel so hated? Why do they feel so judged? Why do they feel so… loathed? What undeniable truth must we all eventually admit to ourselves when such is the case?
Now, I’m not religious. I’m also not gay. But I’ll tell you right now that I’ve sought out religion. I’ve looked for what I believe truth to be. For years I studied, trying to find “it”. Every major religion had good selling points. Every major religion, if I rewound far enough, had some pretty incredible base teachings from some pretty incredible individuals.
Check this out, and feel free to correct me if I get this wrong…
According to Christians, Jesus taught a couple of interesting things. First, “love one another.” Second, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (“Her” being a woman who cheated on her man.)
According to Buddhists, Buddha taught a couple of thought-provoking things. First, “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” Second, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
According to Hindus, a couple of fascinating teachings come to mind. First, “Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all.” (Krishna) Second, “Love means giving selflessly, excluding none and including all.” (Rama)
According to Muslims, Muhammad taught a couple interesting things as well. First, “A true Muslim is the one who does not defame or abuse others; but the truly righteous becomes a refuge for humankind, their lives and their properties.” Second, “Do you love your creator? Love your fellow-beings first.”
According to Judaism, their scriptures teach a couple remarkable things. First, “Love your neighbor like yourself.” Second, “Examine the contents, not the bottle.”
The greatest spiritual leaders in history have all preached love for others as the basis for all happiness, and never did they accompany such mandates with a list of unlovable actions or deeds. They never said, love everybody except for the gays. Love everybody except for the homeless. Love everybody except for the drug users. Love everybody except for the gang members, or those covered in ink, or the spouse abusers. They didn’t tell us it was okay to love everybody with the exception of the “trailer trash,” those living in poverty, or the illegal immigrants. They didn’t tell us it was okay to love everybody except for our ex-lovers, our lovers’ ex lovers, or our ex-lovers’ lovers. The mandate was pretty damn clear, wasn’t it?
Love others.
So if this is the founding directive of all the major religions… why is it that sometimes the most “Christlike” people are they who have no religion at all?
Let me repeat that.
Why is it that sometimes the most Christlike people are they who have no religion at all?
I have known a lot of people in my life, and I can tell you this… Some of the ones who understood love better than anyone else were those who the rest of the world had long before measured as lost or gone. Some of the people who were able to look at the dirtiest, the poorest, the gays, the straights, the drug users, those in recovery, the basest of sinners, and those who were just… plain… different…
They were able to look at them all and only see strength. Beauty. Potential. Hope.
And if we boil it down, isn’t that what love actually is?
Don’t get me wrong. I know a lot of incredible Christians, too. I know some incredible Buddhists and Muslims and Hindus and Jews.  I know a lot of amazing people, devout in their various religions, who truly love the people around them.
I also know some atheist, agnostic, or religionless people who are absolutely hateful of believers. They loathe their religious counterparts. They love only those who believe (or don’t believe) the same things they do.
In truth, having a religion doesn’t make a person love or not love others. It doesn’t make a person accept or not accept others. It doesn’t make a person befriend or not befriend others.
Being without a religion doesn’t make somebody do or be any of that either.
No, what makes somebody love, accept, and befriend their fellow man is letting go of a need to be better than others.
Nothing else.
I know there are many here who believe that living a homosexual life is a sin.
But, what does that have to do with love?
I repeat… what does that have to do with love?
Come on. Don’t we understand? Don’t we get it? To put our arm around someone who is gay, someone who has an addiction, somebody who lives a different lifestyle, someone who is not what we think they should be… doing that has nothing to do with enabling them or accepting what they do as okay by us. It has nothing to do with encouraging them in their practice of what you or I might feel or believe is wrong vs right.
It has everything to do with being a good human being. A good person. A good friend.
That’s all.
To put our arm around somebody who is different. Why is that so hard?
I’m not here to say homosexuality is a sin or isn’t a sin. To be honest, I don’t give a rip. I don’t care. I’m not here to debate whether or not it’s natural or genetic. Again, I… don’t… care. Those debates hold no encumbrance for me.
What I care about is the need so many of us have to shun and loathe others. The need so many of us have to feel better or superior to others. The need some of us have to declare ourselves right and “perfect” all the freaking time and any chance we have.
And for some of us, these are very real needs.
But I will tell you this. All it really is… All any of it really is… is bullying.
Sneaky, hurtful, duplicitous, bullying.
Well, guess what.
There are things we all do or believe that other people consider “sinful.” There are things we all do or believe that other people consider “wrong.” There are things we all do or believe that other people would be disgusted or angered by.
“Yes, but I have the truth!” most people will adamantly declare.
Whether you do or not…
I promise you it doesn’t matter what you believe, how strongly you live your beliefs, or how true your beliefs are. Somebody else, somewhere, thinks you are in the wrong. Somebody else, somewhere, thinks your beliefs are senseless or illogical. Somebody else, somewhere, thinks you have it allwrong. In fact, there are a lot of people in this world who do.
We each understand that. We already know that. It’s the world we live in and we’re not na├»ve. We’re not stupid. We get it.
Yet, we expect and want love anyway. We expect and want understanding. We expect and want tolerance. We expect and want humanity. We expect and want respect for our beliefs, even from those who don’t believe the same things we do. Even from those who think we’re wrong, unwise, or incorrect.
We expect all of that from the people who disagree with us and who disagree with our lifestyles and beliefs because, let’s be honest, nothing we do is actually bad enough to be worthy of disgust, anger, hatred, or cold-shouldering. Right? None of the ways in which we live our lives would warrant such behavior. Right? None of our beliefs are worthy of ugly disdain from others.
No, we’re all… perfect. Freaking, amazingly, impossibly… perfect.
But the gays… well, shoot.
You know what I think?
Let this sink in for a minute…
I think it doesn’t matter if you or I or anybody else thinks homosexuality is a sin. It doesn’t matter if you or I think anything is a sin. It doesn’t matter if homosexuality is a sin or not. In fact, it doesn’t matter if anything anybody else does is a sin or not.
Because sin is a very personal thing! It always has been and it always will be!
And it has nothing to do with love.
Absolutely nothing.
Disparity and difference have nothing to do with love.
We shouldn’t choose who we will love and who we won’t.
“I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.”
That’s the message we’re sending, you know.
“I’m Christian, unless I’m hotter than you.”
“I’m Christian, unless I’m uglier than you.”
“I’m Christian, unless I found out you cheated on your income taxes.”
“I’m Christian, unless you cut me off in traffic.”
“I’m Christian, unless you fall in love with the person I once fell in love with.”
“I’m Christian, unless you’re that guy who smells like crap on the subway.”
“I’m Christian, unless you’re of a different religion.”
“Oh, but you’re not gay? You’re clean, and well dressed, and you have a job? You look the way I think you should look? You act the way I think you should act? You believe the things I think you should believe? Then I’m definitely a Christian. To you, today, I’m a Christian. You’ve earned it.”
I bet you’ve heard that message coming from others. Maybe you’ve given that message to others.
Either way, I hope we all can agree that we mustn’t live that message. We just shouldn’t.
But many of us do.
And we do it all the time.
For some of us, it might as well be tattooed across our necks and foreheads.
Maybe not in those words, but the message is clear to those who hear and are listening. It’s clear to those who are watching and seeing.
The message has been very clear to my friend Jacob.
“Every single person I’ve told has ditched me. They just disappear. They stop calling. They remove me on Facebook. They’re just gone. They can’t handle knowing and being friends with a gay person.”
“You don’t know what it’s like, man. You don’t know what it’s like to live here and be gay. You don’t know what it’s like to have freaking nobody. You don’t know what it’s like to have your own parents hate you and try and cover up your existence. I didn’t choose this. I didn’t want this. And I’m so tired of people hating me for it. I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t.”
Jacob is a dear friend. He’s my brother. He’s a damn good human being. He’s absolutely incredible.
He’s also gay.
But why does that make any difference at all?
It doesn’t. Not to me.
And I wish with everything inside of me that it didn’t make any difference to others. I wish we didn’t all have to find ways that we’re better than others or more holy and saintly than others in order to feel better about our own messy selves. I wish people wouldn’t cluster entire groups of people together and declare the whole lot unworthy of any love and respect.
But that is the point of such thinking and action, isn’t it? I mean, it’s simpler that way. It makes it easier for us to justify our thoughts, words, and prejudices that way.
All these people become clumped together. And in the process, they all somehow become less than human.
They become unworthy of our love.
And what a great thing it is when that happens, right? I mean, it helps us to free ourselves from the very directives that have been passed down for millennia from the greatest teachers and philosophers in history. It makes our rationalization for hatred, bigotry, and abhorrence so easily justifiable; so maskable.
So right.
It gives us the golden chance to look at ourselves and not be disgusted by what the glass reflects back at us.
Then, sadly and ultimately, it pushes us to that point where we no longer have any sort of arm to put around others at all. We no longer have a hand to offer our fellow human beings. We no longer have a need to.
And why would we?
Why the hell should we?
Unless, of course, we actually want to live what we all so often claim that we “believe.”
My dear friends…
This has to stop. We have to put our ugly picket signs down. We have to be the examples that help make it happen in our own lives and in the lives of the people that surround us.
We have to be that voice. We each must be that voice.
We must tell others that we will not accept or listen to such hurtful and hateful sentiments.
We must show love where love right now doesn’t exist.
Will you please join me?
My request today is simple. Today. Tomorrow. Next week. Find somebody, anybody, that’s different than you. Somebody that has made you feel ill-will or even [gulp...] hateful. Somebody whose life decisions have made you uncomfortable. Somebody who practices a different religion than you do. Somebody who has been lost to addiction. Somebody with a criminal past. Somebody who dresses “below” you. Somebody with disabilities. Somebody who lives an alternative lifestyle. Somebody without a home.
Somebody that you, until now, would always avoid, always look down on, and always be disgusted by.
Reach your arm out and put it around them.
And then, tell them they’re all right. Tell them they have a friend. Tell them you lovethem.
If you or I wanna make a change in this world, that’s where we’re gonna be able to do it. That’s where we’ll start.
Every. Single. Time.
Because what you’ll find, and I promise you this, is that the more you put your arm around those that you might naturally look down on, the more you will love yourself. And the more you love yourself, the less need you’ll ever have to find fault or be betterthan others.  And the less we all find fault or have a need to be better than others, the quicker this world becomes a far better place to live.
And don’t we all want to live in a better world? Don’t we all want our kids to grow up in a better, less hateful, more beautiful world?
I know I do.
So let’s be that voice. Let’s offer that arm to others. Because, the honest truth is… there’s gonna come a day when you or I are going to need that same courtesy. There’s going to come a day that we are desperate for that same arm to be put around us. We’ll be desperate for that same friendship. We’ll be desperate for that same love.
Life will make sure of it. For you. For me. For everyone.
It always does because… as it turns out… there’s not a damn person on earth who’s perfect.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. I would love your comments and thoughts today. More than anything, I’d really like to hear people’s individual struggles. I’d like to hear your struggles. I believe that everybody will benefit as we all share that which hurts us and haunts us.
When have you seen or experienced this? What effects has it had in your life or the lives of others that are close to you? Have you ever seen positive results as people become more loving toward those who are different? How have you felt along the way?
There are those who have struggled because they have been on the receiving end of it. And there are those who have struggled as they work to overcome it. I’ve grappled on both sides.
This message is so important to me; among the most important that this faulted blogger has ever written and because of that I have no hesitation asking you to share it. If it’s important to you, too, please share it. If you believe its message needs to be spread, please share it. Use your voice for that which it was meant.
With all my heart. Please.Use your voice to embolden the world. Use your voice to say, “enough is enough.” Use your voice to stand up and declare that there is no other way besides love.