Sunday, April 4, 2021

What Makes Us Beautiful


So, here we are again. It’s Easter. Another major Christian holiday which some will observe as a part of their committed religious practice and some will enjoy for its cultural traditions. And I am reminded once again that we are not all Christian. 

It has become more and more important to me to acknowledge that.

Every day I see increasing discomfort in Columbia/HoCo when those who were considered to be “the norm” for so long are asked to make room for others. Let me put it this way:

  • We are not all white
  • We are not all Christian
  • We are not all heterosexual 
  • We are not all cisgender 
  • We were not all born in the US
I could go on. 

The continuing complaints of “Why do they have to bring this up?” or, “mentioning race is racist!” or, “don’t throw your sexuality in my face!” are really attempts to silence the voices of those who are “different.” Acknowledging diversity and committing to equity and inclusion are frightening if you equate them with being erased or losing power. We may not even know that’s what we are feeling. We just know we feel uncomfortable.

And yet the reality is that we are not all the same and there is no good reason that one particular set of people should be deemed superior. Of course, our culture has labeled the winners and the losers in spite of that. We may not talk about it but we know it’s just easier to be white, or Christian, or straight, or a man, for that matter. 

What we seem to have here in our neck of the woods is an attitude which sounds something like this:

I don’t mind their being equal as long as nothing in my life changes.

This is not going to work. Minds that have been closed will need to be opened. Opportunities which have been hoarded will need to be shared. There will be change. It will be (and is) difficult even for those of us who say we want it. 

Today there will be online church at my house and a bit of Easter candy. The day may be quite different at your house. I don’t assume that the default observance of the day is Christian or even religious. For you the day may be wonderful because of family or a call from a friend or time spent working in the garden. There are many ways we can live our lives today and all be a valuable part of this community.

Nature abounds with glorious variety. So do we.

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