Thursday, April 13, 2017

Believe, Grow and Learn From What We Already Know... With Respect



  I don't know why, but today is a hard day. I am struggling with the way of the world. I feel like there is so much pain, so much darkness, and so much sorrow. If it does not happen here. If it does not happen to you... we ignore it. Why? We only have time for ourselves even though we are all facing trauma, depression, and struggle. I don't understand why it is so hard to see beyond ourselves and ask for help, or offer it, if we can. It is frustrating to see the ones we love struggle, but how often do we offer to help, or reach out in kindness and love. How often do we look the other way, even though we know that someone is in danger of hurting themselves or others.  Why do we look away?
  I believe in a Heavenly Father, my God, and it brings me comfort, but some would call me a fool. Some would call me ignorant, or tell me that God is only imaginary, a falseness that I am forcing on others. People judge before they know me. How dare they!
  I am so glad to live in this country, because of the fact that I have the right to believe what I want. However, there are plenty of people who would ridicule me, and persecute me. Why? What gives them the right?
  I talk about my faith in order to express the love I have for my family, and my God. If that helps someone then I am happy about it, but I would never force someone to learn about me or my beliefs. I am blessed in my own way, in my own mind and my own heart and my own life. I am happy, because of my belief. I am happy, because my God makes me hope and makes me strong. I don't want a life without that comfort and hope, and I don't want others to tell me how I should think or live. We have had that kind of persecution in the past and I fear that it is being forgotten. Genocide is a horrible result of intolerance and ignorance.
Why do we allow others to persecute us, and even commit horrible crimes against us, just because we choose to believe in something greater than ourselves? What gives anyone the right to hurt others, because they don't agree? Today, around the world, genocide is happening again, but do we notice? Do we care? Or are we worried about what party, bar, or nightclub we are going to go to this weekend? Are we worried about our outfit, or whether we are popular or not? Everyone has a right to find happiness however they want to, but I cannot help it if I feel sad that a life is drown in the superficial needs of this life. However, with that said, I will say that I will not tell you that your life is being lived wrong, because that is not my place, unless you are hurting yourself or someone else.
  I had a dear friend who had a very special boy who was completely dependent on her for everything, plus three other glorious children. She once, in passing, said that she does not have the time or energy to pay attention to the problems beyond her four walls, because she had enough to handle. I understand that. I too isolate myself to spare myself the stress and anxiety, but should I?
  All you have to do is watch the news to understand that what I am saying is true. That's all you have to do. This world is getting scary. This world is entering a new age of ignorance, selfishness, persecution and even sanctioned murder. If someone disagrees with you. If someone believes that their life is more important than yours. If you are struggling and someone has something that you want. If you love someone that other's don't think you should. If you believe in a God and a religion that others don't see as acceptable, and even for reasons that are less than this... people are dying... all around the world.
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
No truer words have been said. I feel like every day I am watching that very thing happen. I think we are forgetting. I really believe that we are forgetting, but what do we do? Where do we start? How about in our own homes. Out of the mouths of babes we can hear what we need to do. Anne Frank said, "How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world."
  We have to begin at home. Where did we learn about life, relationships, values, and morals. Too often parents want to be their child's friends, to relive some of their youth, to be popular, and to have their kids "like" them. Our job is to teach our children to be good adults one day. We are responsible for raising these little people to be the best that they can be, to find their potential and make this world a better place. Each generation works to be better than the last, but this generation seems to be struggling. Intolerance, bullying, persecution, and division. It is maddening.  Our nation is divided and it saddens me. We built this country to try to live a better, freer life.  We seem to be losing our humanity. I am LDS. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We are nicknamed "Mormon", but it is only a nickname. We are told that we do not believe in Jesus Christ, but it is in our name. We have... throughout history we have been persecuted, but still we stand. Now... that is not to say that we don't have extremists who have taken righteousness to extremes and believe that they have the right to judge anyone who does not believe, or behave as they do. It is a struggle that we all face... the urge to judge what we don't understand, or don't approve of, only it happens on both sides. We are judged for our faith and beliefs, and we judge others for their behavior, or looks. It is crazy the way that we persecute each other. Bullying is NOT a necessary part of growing up. It cannot be anymore.

There is value to all of us. No two people are alike, not even twins. Our thoughts, our experiences, and what we take from them and how they change us. Those are all ours.  Our dreams and our hopes, our faith, and our beliefs... all of it. We worship celebrities. We stand in awe of the rich, and the popular. We fall apart just to be around them. We cry and scream just at the sight of them. We value the talented. We adore the music they make, the songs they sing, the art they create, the personality and skill that make it fun to watch them, but is that all there is? Are we so consumed with the superficial that we forget our own potential? We have the potential to be the kings and queens of promise. ( I love that line from the song, "30 Seconds to Mars", Kings and Queens). I believe that is true. We have a potential that is open and endless. However, we limit ourselves, because even though we worship those who are unique and have special talents and abilities, and charismatic personalities, we bully, persecute, and belittle those who are meek, nerdy, educated, different with special needs and illness, or are shy and unpopular.  Why?
  Because of my faith... the faith that is sometimes mocked... I am more tolerant, more loving, my heart is fuller, my judgement (something that I continue to work on) is less stinging, my compassion is deeper, my empathy is sweeter, and my life used is being used for greater purpose than I once dreamed possible. What have you dreamed about? What legacy do you want to leave? What goals can you make that will make you a better you? Who can you see... really see... for who they are, not what you can get from them. You need to step away from what the world tells you is acceptable, and find the real you. We are potential kings and queens... I promise.
Please don't let those who need you fail or fall. Don't think ony of what you need. Try to think about how you can be a better you and make this a better world. Don't belittle what you cannot or do not understand. Find out from the source, not the rumors, or haters. There are so many people out there who make it their soul purpose to hate, and maline those who believe what they do not understand. If you want to know what a "Mormon" believes... just ask. Don't automatically assume that the negative things put out by trolls and haters are true and gospel. Just ask. We are supposed to be this secret society, but we have young men and women roaming the earth offering knowledge, faith, and guidance to knowledge and understanding.  If there is a disaster... our church offers support.  We find a family in crisis, struggling... and we help them. We believe in a Savior, Jesus Christ, and we believe in a Heavenly Father that not only loves us, but created us, and instilled in us infinite potential for whatever we can dream.
  I feel blessed to have something bigger than myself to believe in. I feel blessed to be loved. I feel blessed that someone knows and loves me without end and believes in me, even when I cannot believe in myself. He is my light in my dark place and my joy in the depths of my depression. I cannot live without the hope of something better. I cannot live, having lost three of my treasures without believing that they went to a better home, a place where there is knowledge, joy, and no more illness, and no more suffering. It is always the only way I can wake up in the morning, but there are still those who would tell me I am a fool. I watched three of my children suffer and die, leaving this mortal coil. No one has the right to tell me that my belief and faith are stupid, wrong, or misguided. No one. I want everyone within the sound of my voice, with the ability to read my words to know that they are loved, that they have potential beyond their imagining, and can make the sky the limit. We have walked on the moon. We have created history for centuries. We have overcome the horrors of this life. We are potential. We are the kings and queens of promise (thanks 30 Seconds to Mars for that). We can do better. I know we can. We cannot allow ourselves to fail.
  Just imagine if for one day... everyone cared. Imagine that all mother's... all over the world, in every culture, every walk of life, rich or poor... made it our goal to raise our children with love, hope, encouragement, and value. Just imagine what we could do with this world and this life. I wish you luck and with my faith I pray for you all, even if you think I'm a fool. I respect your right to believe as you wish. I just ask that you allow me to believe as I wish. I won't throw stones... if you don't. 😊

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