I believe in the simplicity of recognition. I believe in the natural goodness within
us to allow for the existence of a world whereby all people — of the various
colors, life choices, and backgrounds — are simply seen, appreciated, and recognized
for the unique individuals they are.
A world of completely likeminded people with uniform appearances brings images
of a bland, uninspired place to be. Think of great minds sitting idly for lack of
thought-provoking ideas … an artist depicting nothing but universally accepted, and
expected, imagery … the world’s people sharing cooking recipes that end up being
As nobody is born racist, homophobic, or bigoted, I can only wonder, perpetually, how
some adults disguised as parents can openly pollute the minds of young citizens with
blatant ideas of hatred: blind hate and disdain for another person’s beliefs, appearance,
simple pleasures, or religion … only because another person doesn’t look just like
them … because another person doesn’t share the same opinion.
The tragedy of Angie Zapata comes to mind. An eighteen-year-old transsexual woman in
Colorado, she was physically beaten because of the person she was. By all accounts, Angie
was a caring, outgoing young woman looking toward a productive life for herself. Let it
be known that the brutality ended when she stopped moving. This woman, living in America in
the year 2008 was beaten to her death because someone else didn’t like
the type of person she was.
The people and things to be cherished, explored, and welcomed are viewed as
“weird”, “blasphemous” … “troublemaker”. People of diverse tastes, beliefs, and
cultures are often told to “get it together and straighten yourself out”. I see those
types of sentiments for what they truly are: various forms of saying, “I don’t live
that way, and neither should you”. “I don’t think in that manner, and neither should
you.” Throw in a dash of “What will the neighbors think?” and the recipe for myopic
trains of thought is complete.
It amazes me to discover the numbers of people who simply can’t or won’t think for
themselves. The notion of “playing it safe because it’s the thing to do” is utterly
bizarre and seems to border insanity. Here’s an idea: Live your life according to
what best suits you — not your mother, co-worker, and certainly not your neighbor.
A unique sense of perspective and appreciation are what I’ve gained in the
value, education, and openness toward those people equally open to sharing a piece of
themselves … and for the intolerant, still-ignorant bunch: this transgendered
woman has faith in your goodness, too.