The color of living

Our world has seen some crazy human activity over the years. It really has: good, bad, beautiful, ugly, heroic, or just plain wrong. And let me just say now: It doesn't matter how pale or dark your skin, hair, eyes, teeth, or fingernails are. It doesn't matter how tall or short you are, how you wear your clothes, what town you grew up in, or where you, your parents, or your ancestors came from or ended up. It doesn't matter what language (or languages) you speak, or whether or not you have an accent. It doesn't matter who your parents are, whether you had a mom and dad, two moms or two dads, a grandparent or other relative, adoptive or foster parents, or single forms of any of these ... A home rich with money or rich with laughter, or poor in one or the other-- or both. It doesn't matter what deity, if any, you believe in. It doesn't.

Crazy things are happening; crazy choices are being made. And it comes down to you. To me. The individual.

You know those things like integrity? Respect? Honesty? Ownership of actions, choices, behaviors? Those are individual things. For any kind of balance, of a strong community, they can't be forgotten, ignored, or pushed to the side. They cannot be applied to one race, sex, or creed and ignored in others; you cannot claim they exist in one group of people and not in others. We are all people and these  belong to everyone. And you cannot claim that certain people act a certain way because of any outside detail. Because it's an inside decision-- how to behave or respond, act or react. You either act with love and compassion, or you don't.

To an extent, it's what I try to teach my children. You can't do good some of the time and think that allows you to get away with the wrong stuff at other times. You can't tattle on your brother and point fingers at your sister when you are still not taking care of your own business, your own behaviors. Sure, we're human. We make mistakes. But a mistake is something that is correctable; it's something you can learn and grow from. And if you place blame or don't claim ownership of your choices and behaviors (using words like: Look what you made me do; It's how I was raised; I've always done it this way; You were in my way; You looked at me the wrong way; I was here first; I had a bad childhood; If you hadn't done that first ...), you can't learn from your mistakes ... and they can no longer be considered mistakes. They are now a part of who you are and who you want to be. If you wanted to be otherwise, you would take the steps necessary to get yourself there. And you would be willing to face the consequences of your behavior.

The problem is, some people don't think they need to change; they think people should accommodate them, that they are deserving of certain treatment because of ... anything-- past, present, or future. These are the people missing the point. You don't deserve anything; the world owes you nothing. We are all here together on this planet, here and now, and in this moment. We need to share the space. We need our differences of appearances and of beliefs, of our decisions and of our choices. They contribute to our individual selves, and variety is so important to living. If everyone looked and thought the same, we'd loose the individuality of ourselves and would not be able to be our best selves. But we have to be able to think on the individual level as well. "I will not steal. I will not kill. I will not cheat, or lie, or hurt. These are wrong choices, no matter what the reason. I will do the right thing because it's the right thing to do."

Whether you feel it's justified or not, retaliating using rudeness to rudeness, hate to hate, blame to blame will never solve anything. Ever. Two of my favorite creeds, which come from different belief systems are simply: "Do no harm" and "Do unto others as you would them unto you." If each person took care of this and acted in accordance of basic decency and humanity, the world would be a lot less crazy.