This I Believe

Susan - Holland, Michigan
Entered on November 3, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in elephants, asses, rainbows, God and Allah.

To put it another way, I believe in tolerance.

Maybe it’s because I have a bi-polar mother…a brother with Downs Syndrome…a Republican for a sister…a Priest for a cousin…and, most importantly, a let’s-get-a-swing-in-while-mom’s-not-looking son.

They say you change careers seven times in your life, but the only job that matters to me is the one I began three years ago when my first son was born.

The one thing I need to do in my life is teach him and his brother – the recipient of those swings I alluded to a moment ago – that it’s okay to be different.

That it’s just as important to respect people’s differences than it is to be a Christian…a Democrat…a doctor with a house in the ‘burbs.

And his free spirit is one that society is destined to try to crush. Sure, it’s cute now when he wants to paint his toenails pink and wear my pearl necklace for three days in a row.

But what will happen 10 years from now? When kids are cruel and society is demanding he act just like everyone else? What will he feel like then?

Proud…at least that’s my hope. Proud that he is who he is. Respectful to those society claims are “different”.

You see, there are plenty of elephants, asses, rainbows and religious beliefs to contend with in this world. And those who can work with them…be kind toward them…they exemplify the essence of what human existence is all about – helping one another.

So if I can somehow turn this rough-housing, loud, bruiser of a boy into a kind, gentle, young man, I will have succeeded and society will be better for it.

Now all I have to do is figure out how…