Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ism ~ Any other geeks out there ever wonder what that means??

Ism...

Heard of it?  You know what it is...the tag on for such words as race, sex and age ~ racism, sexism, ageism.  Well I was starting this post and went ahead and looked it up.  Here you go:

ism [ˈɪzəm]
Informal, often derogatory an unspecified doctrine, system, or practice.
A distinctive doctrine, system, or theory: "Formalism, by being an 'ism,' kills form by hugging it to death" (Peter Viereck). 

Really?  Well that is quite a lot to swallow at 6 a.m.  At its core, ism is negative, so I am thinking we should avoid "ism" at all costs.  Though when I read "Formalism, by being an 'ism," kills form by hugging it to death" I did laugh nervously (I'm not proud of that.) because I hardly look at sexism as a person's sex being killed by hugging it to death.  I am wondering what my friends who have experienced sexism first hand would think of that?

Why am I rambling and so curious about 'ism' this morning??  Well I am in Little Rock working this week, and it seems there has been a little brew ha ha up in Mtn. Home at the local grocery store.  Since I don't know the facts, and as much as I love my FB friends, random passionate posts are not the facts.  What I can discern is that a magazine with a homosexual couple and their baby was covered or hid by the store manager due to "complaints" and after enough revolt, the store chain apologized on behalf of the store.  Note to (store manager) self, that "John Wayne" move backfired. (Someone remind me later to tell a few John Wayne move stories on myself ~ we all have them, and they don't always work out OR are flattering.)  Lets be clear, I am not defending that store manager...I am just saying that we all have those moments where we pull the trigger without thinking it through, and unfortunately you cannot EVER get that bullet back once it has left the chamber.

Back to the brew ha ha, I read through a lot of FB posts, and I was bewildered, angry and even amused at times.  Of course of lot of them feel like it is the "area", but they should see some of the bewildering behavior that happens in Little Rock.  A town's size doesn't necessarily directly correlate to their brain or heart size.  Not to mention, we all have our failings and short-sightedness on any number of issues.

I am not going to debate the right or wrong of homosexuality....not here, not anywhere.  Thankfully, God didn't give me the job as judge...phew...missed the bullet there.  What I am going to write about is why one 'ism' in any society draws a greater barrage of passion and action (or reaction), then another.  Why is the site of homosexuality more offensive in a "small town" than the cover of The National Enquirer on any day of the week?  Why is okay to pile a ton of candy at a check-out to "tempt" (don't kid a kidder ~ this is Marketing 101) children or children with a weakness for candy (i.e., Wesley :) )? 

I am personally glad (yes, The Glad Game) that we have a nation where we can have such healthy debate, but I would challenge everyone that got so upset (on both sides) over what happened this week...sit and consider what you let pass by without saying a word.  What are you not challenging that is "wrong" (as perceived by you as an individual) every day of your life?  Are you standing by while someone is being unfairly treated?  Are you not standing up for your customer that is being railroaded by your company?  Are you not standing up for your child that is being bullied at school?  Are you not standing up for a friend that is struggling?  There are tons of these...and that is just what I can think of at 7 a.m., with not less than one cup of coffee in me, from just mine or my friend's lives. 

We all live in these John Wayne moments every day of our lives.  Some might say that at least that manager DID something?  Have you?  Have I?  It might not have been the "right" thing, but he REACTED.  Sometimes I believe that we have just gotten numb as a society and we hide behind blogs (yes, I am talking to myself), twitter, FB, surveys, etc.  We get all vocal and upset, but what have we really done that is going to make a fundamental difference in someones life.  Have we taken action?  Not abusive, violent action...don't read into this, but action where we stood up and voiced our concerns out loud, in our voice, in person, and politely?  I wonder?  Are we becoming a nation full of haters (I hear the "kids" use that word)?  Is there a way to stand up for what we believe in without hiding behind excuses and technology?  Again, just doing a little wondering out loud.

I read this quote yesterday, and it was what I REALLY planned to write about ~

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover." ~ Mark Twain

~ maybe it still fits this post.  Maybe what some of us need to do is not necessarily on the dreaming side, but on the standing up for what we believe in side.  I for one don't want to look back twenty years from now and see a lot of people and things I didn't stand up for because I was lazy, afraid, or whatever the excuse might be.  So maybe the manager at that store was wrong...maybe whoever complained that started the chain of events was wrong...maybe the people who complained about the removal were wrong...but maybe, just maybe...we need to applaud all of them for at least standing up for what they believe in and reacting.  I think the lesson is don't go passively through your life.  Don't be rude or mean, but don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.  Healthy debate is good.  Our country was created through healthy (albeit sometimes heated) debate.  It is okay to disagree; it is not okay to judge.  I know that is a fine line; it wouldn't hurt any of us to spend a little extra time working to master it.

Today, I hope you stand up for something you believe in even if it scares you or there might be some retribution against you...maybe it is work, personal, or the candy aisle at the grocery store....just don't be afraid to let your voice be heard.  Some of my favorite people in this world, have very different beliefs from me.  Think of this ~ together, with a collection of differing voices...that is where we get a GREAT society.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

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