Saturday, October 12, 2013

Because I Am Trying to Change...

            Ever since I started this blog, I’m commonly asked, “What’s your purpose?” People wonder why I’m writing about the topics I choose to write about and what I hope to achieve. So, I want to explain.

            Throughout my life I’ve been called sheltered, na├»ve, and judgmental. These are three things I’ve tried hard to change about myself. From a Christian perspective, these are things God has tried to change about me.

            The summer that I started high school, there was a girl in my class who stood out to me. I remember her wearing tight white shirts and tight jeans that emphasized her figure, big gold hoop earrings, straightened hair, and thin eyebrows. Automatically I thought “attention-wanting girl; easy.” It didn’t help my opinion of her that I knew something about the guy she was dating. In middle school he nearly got expelled for grabbing a girl’s breasts.

            After summer school was over, I ended up living with her for a few months because of an acquaintance between our moms. This isn’t a story about how we bonded and became best friends and I was so sorry that I was wrong about her. I hardly remember talking to her. What I did learn was that her father had left them (her, her little brother, and her mom), so she was struggling with not having him around. She and her mother yelled at each other nearly every day, and they were among the worst fights I had ever seen. The screams could be heard from anywhere in the house and the fights were long-lasting. After every single fight, the girl would go to her room and cry. Often her little brother would go to her either to comfort her or to be comforted, and she would stop crying to smile for him and make him laugh. I also remember her mother calling her horrible names for thinking she had sex when she hadn’t. Her mother never listened to her, but she listened to her mother in a different way. More like, she was affected by everything her mother told her.

            Really, I can’t say my views of her changed a whole lot, but I knew I was wrong for judging her because I had never even tried to understand where she came from.

            When I was very little, my mom told me to never judge anyone, because “you don’t know where they come from.” She was talking me specifically about bullies and how they put up pretenses to hide the fact that they are scared and abused too. She explained to me that everyone has a story and people are very good at hiding a lot of things. I’ve lived my life learning this lesson and continue to do so.

            I’ve heard of many people writing to give a voice to the voiceless, but what good is it to give them a voice when people either don’t listen or don’t understand anyway? So, I write to give people perspective, not only to give a voice to the voiceless, but also sight to the blind and hearing to the hearing impaired.

            In John 9:1-12, Jesus and his disciples saw a man who was blind from birth. He anointed the man’s eyes with clay and commanded him to wash. When the man washed, he had sight. In this situation, the process of giving sight to someone is demonstrated literally, but could also be interpreted metaphorically. Someone has to be the giver of clay and then command the blind person to wash. This is similar to someone telling a story and wanting the other person to understand. Once the blind person has been anointed with information and then washed with a new perspective, they can be given sight and understanding.

            I have discovered that the things I most dislike about other people are the things I most dislike about myself. Narrow mindedness, being judgmental, ignorance, selfishness. So these are the reasons I write in this blog, to change the way we think. To try to get others to see a common situation in a new way, a different perspective. I try to pick topics that are relevant to our culture today. Things that people often talk about and accept without questioning why.

            I like to ask why. I’m not content with seeing someone without wondering why they are the way they are and not trying to figure it out. I have to figure out why some things are acceptable and why other things aren’t.

            Above all, though, I’m a Christian, and to me that means I’m called to love others. This is one way I can do that. By trying to understand people, being interested in the way they work, and not just assuming things about them, I am showing my love for them. I am trying to get past pretenses and walls, and seeing what’s deeper. Then, I try to get others to understand these things too.

            I may not always like people, but I have a love for them that has not always been there. I think it’s very easy to acknowledge the people around us without caring about them. But when you really love people, you listen to them, you’re interested in learning about them, and you accept them.

            I write because I am trying to change the way we think, the way we perceive the world, and the way we perceive ourselves.

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