Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tolerance

I spent some time with a close friend of mine last night.

I can easily say that she is in deed my best friend.

We have a lot in common, and share a lot of memories.

As much as we agree on, we disagree on that much more.

Even with such differing beliefs we remain the best of friends.

Sometimes I wonder how we have been able to remain friends in the midst of such differences.

Then I realize that regardless of whether or not we agree... we still love each other.

We practice tolerance.

Tolerance is not something you are born with.

It is something that is learned.

Last night the topic of homosexuality was brought up.

I won't go into details of our conversation, but the thought of "how would I feel if my own son told me he was gay?" was brought up.

With out a skip in breath, and with no question in my mind, my only response was:

I'd tell him I love him.

NO. MATTER. WHAT.

My love for him does not come with exceptions.

There is no fine print with the love I have for him.

There is NOTHING that could separate him from my love.

He KNOWS this. (as much as a three year old can.)

He will continue to know this.

FOREVER.

I will TELL him this often!

I will remind him until he just knows it.

No question in his mind.

I want him to know this so that if he walks into an environment where he is told that he isn't good enough....

if he is told he doesn't belong..

if he is told that there is something wrong with him..

That he KNOWS without a doubt that he is AWESOME...

That there is someone out there that would miss him more then words can explain...

That there is someone who is there to listen..

to comfort..

to talk to..

That there is NOTHING he can't come to me with.

Because I NEVER want to be standing at his casket regretting not telling him all of these things.

When I mentioned that tolerance is a learned behavior it is because it was taught to me.

I knew from the moment that I was born, that I was loved.

That my mother and father wanted me.

I knew that I could come to them with anything.

I knew that no matter what ANYONE else said or thought.. that at the end of the day I was loved.

They taught me to love others.

They taught me to respect others.

They did not try and hide the differences of others, but embraced them.

I learned to do the same.

In light of the many recent suicides due to harassing and bullying for WHATEVER reason it has brought heartache to my heart, and the sense of wanting justice.

BUT where do you start?

How to get justice for a life lost too soon?

I think it is by starting in our homes.

It is by teaching tolerance for people and NO tolerance for bullying or disrespect.

Its is by listening.

It is by being AVAILABLE to listen.

The only thing that would be harder then losing my son, is knowing that he caused another child to take their life.

Recently at the dinner table, my niece turned to her brother that is a different color of skin, and said "I like the color of your skin Jordan."

My son followed with the same words.

I love that they are only three, four, and five and yet they are aware and accepting of differences.

Because when you teach tolerance you not only teach acceptance.. but you teach love.

29 comments:

Dani @ OK, Dani said...

lovely post today my deariepie :)

Rebekah said...

Thank you so much posting this! This is wonderful.

Hannah said...

Beautiful. Today is my mother's birthday and your post made me realize how lucky I am to have her. Perfect.

Vic said...

perfect as perfect can get!:)

Eschelle said...

beautiful post. You should add it to a baby book :D

Sumer Lovin said...

This is a perfect post!! The end made my eyes water!

Jenn @ South of Sheridan said...

perfectly said my dear. I love this

Hey Barbie said...

you hit the nail right on the head with this one

Jessica said...

I love this post. It's so important to remember that there are different people in the world. Just because they aren't like us, we shouldn't judge or criticize.

Shawntae said...

I love love love love love love love love love love love this post and you! I'm sitting here crying at the computer because everything you said is so true! People need to learn this. It's sad when people are not taught! You are such an amazing person Britt! I'm so glad we are friends. LOVE YOU!!

purseblogger said...

Amazing. You hit the nail on the head. Love you girl.

Lori said...

I've told you this already but I'll say it again. Beautiful words honey. If all could teach their children these values then we wouldn't have this ugly thing called bullying. So proud of you. XX

jill said...

wow! ::wipes tears from eyes:: you my friend are amazing! just like this post!

Vic said...

hey doll.....the code for Baby Deary is Not working on your sponsor button-she's the first one. Here is her shop site

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BabyDeary

see if you can get that pic to link to it. you may have to play with it. thanks let me know if you need another code

Jumble Mash said...

Amen.

What a wonderful post.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Beautiful.
Yes, tolerance and love is taught at home.
So is hate. I am so glad to know so many wonderful people that only teach LOVE. :)

ladyfi said...

What a wonderful post! Tolerance is indeed compassion and love.

And anyway, what would be so wrong if our kids did turn out to be gay?

Slyde said...

i had the same conversation with someone the other day.

i'd love my son no matter what. i could care less if he turned out to be gay.

Nicole said...

Very true but there are a lot of hurtles to cross. Not only are there still prejudices among skin color but now many many many more things are added into the mix.

Marissa said...

Love this!

Steph S. said...

Perfect Post :) I think we start with people like you - to teach and encourage others to love, and accept one another!

Perfect, mama! Your baby boy is incredibly lucky :)

rain7420 said...

Well said! Thank you so much for posting.

Life with Kaishon said...

Awww : ) So very sweet. I said exactly the same thing in my post recently.

I loved what you wrote about your Mama in her comments. Very, very sweet.

Dancy said...

You're awesome. The.End. :)

Jason said...

It was a lovely post Brit. However, the word you are looking for is ACCEPTANCE! We should be accepting of others and their differences instead of just being TOLERANT of them. It is not until we can reach this point of acceptance that we truly are an advanced culture. Even if your beliefs are in opposition, don't just tolerate the homosexual, accept them for who they are; don't tolerate those that are different views or apposing cosmologies to you or I ...accept!

V said...

BRittany! Did you not see the bottom part of my Anniversary post?! Go back and check again!

Hilary said...

Wonderful post.. your child is very lucky to have you as a mom.. as are you to have Lori for your mother.

The only point I'd like to make was pretty much made by Jason, a couple of comments up. The word "tolerance" speaks poorly to me too. I don't want to be tolerated, I want to be respected. I prefer to suggest we respect others in spite of differences.. perhaps even because of them. I totally understand your sentiment.. it's just the use of "tolerance" has always felt wrong to me.

Greta: From Transparencies of Motherhood said...

This is such a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Another David said...

Soooo I grew up in a pretty ghetto part of the DC area. It's affected me in a number of ways, for better or worse. My last gf grew up in a rich suburb on the north shore of Chicago. She always denied that she grew up in a little bubble, saying that her mother would take her and her siblings to volunteer at kitchens and stuff to "expose them" to other people. Riiiight.

It always kind of bothered me that she'd grown up in a bubble. Not so much because I was legitimately angry at the disparities between our educational systems but more because it made her ever so subtly racist. For example, about ten months ago I was visiting her and we were out grocery shopping. Her friends and ourselves were the only white people in the grocery store. This made her uncomfortable and she made this quite clear to me. I tried explaining to her that everybody needs to buy groceries regardless of the color of their skin, but she just kept rushing around, purposefully looking at the ground and trying to get out of there ASAP. That's when I knew I was never going to get back together with her.

I just don't get why the color of person's skin has any bearing on how you feel about them, especially when you don't even know them. I'm glad to see that at such a young age, these kids are able to realize the truth - that it just doesn't matter.