I know, I know . . . I talked last week about bullying and yet, here I am again. Well, yes, yes I am. You see, one of my children came home from playing with a neighbor friend and was upset, crying. While at his friend’s house, my one son heard the mom talking to a friend of hers – not an odd thing, right? Well, no. But, what my son overheard is what sent him home, scared.
I teach my children that love is love, no matter the gender, race, look, ability or disability, etc. Period! What my son heard was his friends mom and friend discussing how all fags deserve to die. How they are all pedophiles out to hurt and corrupt children. How they all want to _________ (fill in the blank with hate and vile wickedness).
Now, my son knows I’m bi. He knows that many of my friends, including my best friend since I was an infant, are gay, bi, lesbian, or in one case, defines self as a love-sexual – love over gender since hearts don’t have sex organs themselves. It’s actually a pretty fun lecture to hear, but I digress. My son knows all this, loves many of my friends as family and was terrified that something bad was going to happen to them because of people like his friend’s mother.
So, there I sat, trying to calm, comfort, and explain to my elementary school aged son that some people don’t understand how to truly love and that we must not hate them, but that he should probably not hang out over there anymore.
He wanted me to go over and explain that being different didn’t mean bad, and I wanted to cry myself. How to explain to my young child that those that hate aren’t interested in learning, especially without making it sound like I’m being just as judgmental as the friends mom.
We’ve all heard it before, right? The “you have to be like us or you’re evil” speeches? I know I’ve heard them a million times with a million different differences. Hell, I was even told by a friends S.O. that since I was bi, I was a perversion. That only straight and gay people were normal. That those of us, like me, that don’t see the wrapping, but the heart inside, are somehow less or sick because we “can’t make up our minds” or “we can’t be trusted because we all cheat” or my favorite, “God isn’t wishy-washy, so being bi can’t be natural. *Head tilt**Blink* WHAT?
Yes folks, even gays can be bigoted bullies, lol.
But, how do you explain any of that to a small child? Or his older brother who came in during all this and wanted to go have words with the “stupid woman.”
“What have I always told you is the law here?” I asked them both. “Other than the house rules.”
“That we can do and choose what we want as long as we don’t harm ourselves or others,” my older one explained. “But, she’s harming people with her hate and lies,” he continued.
And that’s the issue, really. Her hateful words were hurting others, and not just my son. How many people are hurt each day by hate? By those that believe they are the only ones that are right, true, pure, worthy? Even worse, that often use religion to hide behind . . .
I was taught that the Golden Rule, was “Do unto others as you would have them do unto to you,” not “Be like me or die.” Hmm, somehow those two thought just don’t connect for me.
Now, I could choose to ignore the mom and just keep my son away from her, which was my plan, but such was not to be. Not when she stopped by, worried about my son and hoping I would talk to him about the lies and sickness he had said to her.
My curiosity was piqued at that point. What had my young child said that was so bad?
She went on to explain that he had interrupted her talking with a friend, told her she was bad and lying about good people, and had then stormed off. *My little one had failed to mention he had yelled at friends mom, lol.*
Once I got her to explain what he had called her a lair about, things got interesting, though I reserve the right to cringe over some of what she said as she went into a lecture about decency, faith, morals, blah, blah . . .
Finally, I asked, “So, what you’re saying is that I should hate you because you aren’t married and never have been, right? I should say bad thing about you to my kids and anyone else that will listen about you? I should call your kids nasty words and treat them as less worthy of love and care because of you? I mean, you committed a few sins to get them right?”
She stood there staring at me, mouth agape. After sputtering a bit she finally said it wasn’t the same at all, she wasn’t a pervert out to destroy children or society. I really have to wonder how I’m destroying society by loving whom I love.
*Mind you, I have no actual problem with her having never been married. It is not my business why she chose not to marry her children’s father. It was simply the first thing I could think of that was also a sin by her supposed moral code.*
I don’t think she heard a word I said after that, and frankly, I don’t care. I probably should, but I cannot find the patience within myself to truly fight it out with her. I teach my children by example and hope I do a good job. I always strive to think about what I say and how I act to and about others.
Love is the law at our house. What is the law in yours?
Do you judge others by their orientation, ability/disability, monetary or social status, clothes, speech, past . . . Or do you judge by who they are inside, how they treat others and themselves? Do you see the wonderful person or only the wrapper?
Let me end by saying that while I can’t force the mom in the story above to love instead of hate, I can teach my children and live my life by those rules, and hope that by living it, others will see the love and joy too.
Stand up for love. Stand up for yourself. Stand up for your friends. Stand up for what’s right. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to be the same. But, accepting that different is okay is the best gift you can give the world.
We have enough hate, violence, and bullies. We have enough death without bullying others until they give up and die.
What we need is more love, understanding, and acceptance.
Which are you going to stand for? Which are you going to teach?
No one is perfect, but as for me and mine, LOVE IS THE LAW.