Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Help opened a can of worms

Tonight I watched a movie that really struck a few chords inside of me. I don't know even where to begin. There were so many issues tackled in this movie and so many hard parts for me to watch - half the time I was laughing and the other half the time I was gasping!

Some of the tough topics were race/racism, parenting, abuse, women's rights, human rights, and just generally the way people treat each other.

Race = human population distinguished by physical, cultural, genetic, geographical, religious or social affiliation. 
Racism = hatred or intolerance of other races, discrimination, or a doctrinal belief that one's race is superior to another's race. 

Sometime I want to live in my own little bubble and believe that this is not a problem that we face, but I can look at my own life and know that I have been subject to racism in my past. But, seeing this depict in such a way as it was in this movie - just opened my eyes a little more. It is not just racism amongst the colors of our skin that face - it's against other cultures, religions, and societies as well. Just as the women did in this movie, I have seen it done before. Groups will shun a person because they don't fit in or don't belong. Societies will try to keep someone out because they feel they don't "fit in". Not because they aren't the same as them, because they don't deserve to be there, or because they cannot make room, but merely because they don't want them or don't feel they are deserving to be there. We do this every day in our clicks at work or school. We look across the room and shun that one person that is "different" from the rest of us. Really we all know there are no differences there, but we just need someone to pick on and make fun of. Someone to water cooler gossip about or someone to make ourselves feel better about us. Is that what we really need? Make others feel like a lower class or less of a person in order for us to feel better or of a higher class or society of people? We see it start as young as Junior High and High School ages with the jocks versus the geeks. Why do we praise this behavior? We are raising our future to become just like our past?! So very often we are pointing the finger and we miss the fingers that are pointing back at us!

MRS Degree.... When I was in my first semester of college there were many girls who were there looking for husbands. I didn't really understand why they weren't as focused on their studies and why they were so worried about dating. But soon enough I learned that they were there seeking their MRS degree while I was pursuing my BA degree. I actually wanted a degree, while all they wanted was a husband. I didn't get it when I was younger, but as I get older I do understand. Life is easy when you have someone to take care of you. When you never have to worry about taking care of yourself or fending for yourself. Paying your own bills or living on your own. Never knowing what lonely is. Life as a mother and wife is what they wanted. Never accomplishing anything else because that is all they ever dreamed of. The thought of having a job or pursuing a career was silly, unheard of, absurd. And if any woman stood in the way of that .... o boy was that a fight. I cannot tell you how many friendships fell to the holes because I found out those women thought I was trying to "steal" their men. Obviously those women weren't friends to begin with - and secondly - is it a bad thing I was there seeking community and friendship no matter your sexual orientation? I saw a lot of this in the movie as well. These women thought it was senseless for any girl to have a job - she should be seeking out a husband to marry and settle down with. She was to have a family, children, stay home and care for her family. This was meant to be her job, nothing else. I never have been the type to seek out an MRS degree, and I will never start that either. I am seeking out my future in many ways. I want to write. I want to pursue my dreams. I want to have a family in the future when the time is right and a husband is required for that - but when the time is right... 

Abuse = to wrongfully or improperly misuse one's authority, cause injury to, speak insultingly to, sexually assault. 

So many times we see things happen before our very eyes and we look the other way.... 

One minute we are all laughing because there are toilets all over a yard... the next minute you are gasping because you cannot even breathe... and you want to look the other way. I almost could not even bare it. But then you hear these quiet words.... 

The one woman who cares so greatly for that little girl is not the woman who gave birth to her, but the woman who is raising her. The one who isn't allowed to use the same bathroom as her or sit at the same table as her. That woman is the one who gets fired and wrongly accused of stealing. Also the woman who teaches that little girl the three most important things she needs to know that will carry her through her growing years. Notice ... You is beautiful is not on that list... because it doesn't need to be. That is not necessary for survival. A kind heart will carry you through. A smart brain will keep you educated. A level of importance will remind you that you belong on top. All of these qualities will build self esteem that will help a child get through a life where she is always beat down by her surroundings. 

Parenting doesn't stop at giving birth. It doesn't stop when your kid can feed them self or get off to school alone. It doesn't even stop after graduation or marriage. Parenting doesn't stop until you die. Even after that - your legacy lives on through them and everything you have taught that child will stick with them and be passed down through their parenting techniques. Family is so important and is a huge part of what makes a person who they are. The character built into a person stems from the background.... ask anyone you know... who are you? what makes you you... see what they say and how many of them talk about their family. How many of those stories are positive experiences and how many are negative?!

How is it that we carry on every day treating people so harshly? Is it because we think we have the right to? Because we think somewhere along the line we were given that right? Or because they wronged us so it's okay? Didn't we learn at a young age that two wrongs don't make a right?!

I know that I cannot save the world and I surely cannot start the movement for world peace. What I can do is challenge one person to challenge another to challenge another. Think about what the world would be like if we were more aware. What if we saw things from a different perspective? If we were intentional about sitting in "their" shoes.... (I don't know who their is ... but think about who that would be for you). What if you were treated the way that you generally treat other people. You may not even realize how you treat other people. Maybe the awareness needs to just start there. Observe the way you treat others. Down to the basics. Do you say please and thank you? Do you appreciate the little things like people holding doors for you? Do you hold doors for others? 

What can you do that will place someone else higher than you? John 13:1-17 Jesus washes his disciples feet. He tells them that he is not above them or below them and they are not greater or less than each other either. His example is set in order to teach them that everyone is equal and deserves to be treated in this way. Love is meant to be shared with everyone equally. No matter their race, religion, culture, or social affiliation. 

I know this can be such a hard concept to grasp sometimes... It's hard for me to really understand a lot of things, but then I have to remind myself that I am not always meant to understand everything, but to trust in everything and just keep on going. 

1 John 4:11 We are commanded to love others the way God loved us. 

Things are always easier said than done... but here we must go!

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