As luck would have I have coped many labels over my life informing me of my un-acceptability.
My mother started with hateful words and violence leading to eventually being made a ward of the state. I was a ‘bad daughter’. Enter a Catholic convent/orphanage.
Here I learnt that in response to my understandable rebellion I was a ‘terrible sinner’ that God was going to put in a pit of fire.
I learnt when I walked down the street I was marked. I lived in a ‘home’. A common threat from parents to children “if you keep being naughty we’ll put you in a home”.
So my home town thought we were bad before we opened our mouths let alone have a chance to tell our story (most kids were severely abused by their families and ‘saved’ by the State). I was a ‘bad kid’.
At twelve I joined a fundamentalist speaking in tongues Christian group and found myself labelled as ‘cult member’ by the non-religious, ‘brain-washed’ by other religions and ‘rebellious’ by the catholic home.
When I left that group at eighteen I found myself ‘a backslider’. Consigned to the pits of everlasting, never quenched, hottest of the hot burning pits of fire.
By nineteen I was a lesbian and labelled by different folks as “queer, perverted, immoral, anathema to god, an abomination, unnatural.”
Even just two years ago I coped ‘naive and idealistic’ when I condemned the decline of Australia’s mental health system.
There is no denying that it made the first twenty years of my life extraordinarily painful, and the next twenty a steep learning curve. But oh what learning!
At twenty-three I lost a lot of my own self-pity as I entered psychiatric nursing and learnt what labelling and judging had done and is doing to those with mental illness.
I learnt that I had to find my own way.
The hypocrisy and often hatred of folks that judged this way seemed the worst of what we humans could be. I was trying to learn what the best of us could be.
And I learnt that it didn’t matter what religion, sexuality, political bent, philosophical leanings, skin colour a person was.
In the end all that really matters, to children, to adolescents, to the elderly, the disabled, the abled…to us…is whether a person is kind or not.
I don’t need to agree with you. I don’t need to disagree with you. I don’t need to be part of your subset whatever that subset may be.
But I do know that I need to act kindly. For it is within a setting of kindness ( see https://leesis.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/%e2%80%98practice-random-acts-of-kindness%e2%80%99-be-buggered/ that the best of the human being is seen.
Kindness doesn’t need to ‘understand’. It simply see’s the common humanity in us both. I don’t need to join your religion to celebrate with you that you have a religion that brings you joy. I don’t need to be the same sexuality as you to rejoice in love.
Anyway…personally, I can’t throw stones…the glass around me would shatter!