It is fine to disagree, but it is not fine to act as though things just don’t bother someone…the truth is that it does…
I think I have had just about enough of the idea that anyone has the right to say, write and post things that are of an offending nature. While it remains that yes, it shouldn’t affect me the way that it has, reminders of the fact that we are not able to see past what is ours alone that somehow will offend another person have the very propensity to do just that, and it has.. I will not sit here and pull people apart, because that is what has been done to me since roughly 10 A.M., pacific, and no, it is not about just a post that I happened upon on my own Facebook wall, but also, the very thought in anyone’s head that somehow, it is okay to say and that since it is that we ourselves tend not to allow things to bother us, we assume, too, that it will not affect others. I am very sorry to inform a whole lot of people of it, but I am not the only one who takes things that they read and see, hear and then know, lightly, namely NOT when it is something that is not controlled by the media or by the thought that we need somehow to just get over ourselves…really?
It is not that easy
It started earlier today, when I was coming out of the grocery store for the second time, minding my business as normally I do, and there he was in his suit and his crooked smile and his handshake offered to me. When the conversation turned to the idea that I am somehow going to go to hell because I refused to stand there listening to this person telling me that I am wrong, that how I believe is going to send me straight to hell and that the only redemption was my buying into the man’s crap, and when it was that I told him that I was offended at the idea that since it was that he did not understand my point of view, that what he was doing was so far removed from the God he was trying to get me to believe (mind you – I accepted that he has his beliefs but he made no effort to accept mine, which is cool – he didn’t have to and I truly did not expect him to) in and when he outright told me that I was breaking my mother’s heart by denouncing his version of Christianity, I turned back toward him and told him that HE was the one who was divisive, that no one needs to be scared or told they are wrong because they do not believe his way was the only way.
Then, later, it happens again, and you bet your okole that I am offended by the idea that what we look like, even as vain as I am, somehow has anything to do at all with what it is that I see rather than what is intended. When the hell was it named today as being “let’s do some divisive stuff today” and why is it that people want to believe that I should just take it like it is? I am sure that were it something as big a deal globally that the thing that also set me off has nothing to do with beliefs in a spiritual sort of way and everything to do with beliefs in the way that I have managed to make it known by everyone within my reach that no matter what anyone says, no matter what it is that bothers other people about themselves, it does not need to be made known, discussed, and then expected that most people would not be offended. If you hear things, see things, read things enough, and you have had to hear, read, see those things throughout the bulk of your life, and you have remained closed mouthed about it, and then one day you let loose, not because of anything other than that people remain to behave as they will because not a lot else has changed but the vocabulary, you bet your ass I am going to say something about it. When the hell did certain demographic groups have the right to hate on other groups simply over something as not as big a deal as I know I am making of it all is? Why should anyone in one group NOT get offended?
Sometimes, you will be offended, and while it is that I make it very clear to MANY people that I try DEARLY not to have a thing to say, when it is something that needs to STOP? Yeah…you bet I am going to say something, and you can also bet your ass that I am NOT going to be very quiet nor calm about it. It has NOTHING TO DO with what many probably think is my reason, and if people bothered to think past what is on the top of things – ALL PEOPLE – and no, I am not pointing anyone out – there would be a whole lot less to be offended about. I am clearly, and angrily stating that in order for ANYONE in this lifetime to be able to GET OVER ANYTHING, there needs to be a semblance of something called empathy.
Empathy is a big fat deal to me, and I say so because empathy is the thing that not a whole lot of folks have for anyone or anyone else’s situation. When was it made okay for one group of people to point out their own perceived flaws by making another group the group that the other group feels somehow has always had the upper hand? I refuse to make it seem as though the ills and the ails of the Native Americans – ALL native groups – STILL be the problem that a white person has to deal with. It is not the white man’s issue to salve us, but our issue to fight and come back from the depths of societal pariahs to the respected people who we all are these days? Why do we choose to close this division with more hate? What is it useful for?
Another thing that bugs is the idea that your God is bigger and has more influence in my life than does my Goddess? It is the SAME energy. The very same energy of Love and of Light and all that other good stuff – why hate on those who are NOT like you? Why band together against one thing, one group? Why not take ONE THING IN COMMON and make THAT our mission? This same thing goes for women’s body types. And yes, this is yet one more thing that irritates the hell out of me. I am GOING TO GET offended, f*cking ass hurt even, every time I see something that divides women. I do no differentiate women. We are all the same – all beautiful, no matter what. So you can imagine the dismay I feel, the very sickening within me that tells me once again, I have to, of all things, make it very clear that there is NOTHING IN THE WORLD which bothers me more than do things that I see, read and hear about women of this body type and women of another body type – who really cares? Are we not all the same? Why bother with making people feel like this is an “Us versus them” thing? It ain’t.
It is very much a thing that bugs me as it has always, because while I enjoy being my size and my build, there are a whole lot who do not. This is the thing that I teach about – that we are all the same, that our body shape is irrelevant to anything else if we ourselves are not able to love who we are, and I love who I am, and I am remiss to think about the fact that there are a lot of photos out there on the internet that people just cannot see in them that the things that they post are of a divisive nature. I am not calling out anyone, and if anyone feels like I have, that is on them. Just as I was not called out – I am allowed to be my opinionated self about this, because I am that woman who was lambasted, a lot, for being my size, was ostracized for it, was constantly called “SKINNY AND PRETTY, ” and while that might be okay for many women, it is not okay for me. It is nice to be complimented, but when you know that it is not a compliment, that it is one more person’s way of telling you that you are the reason that they feel like they are not good enough, pretty enough, this or that enough…yep- I have a big fat problem with that thinking and with you, too.
It is not okay to divide us when we try so hard to be united, and no matter who tells me what – this is my real feeling.
It is not, in my book, okay to point out what is physically wrong with other people, no matter what. It is not okay to make a bigger gulf of division in the minds of the whole of us that we are one side against the other, and really, that more than much else is my reason for speaking out. I do not like divided wholes. I do not like the idea that we need to look at each other and not take into consideration the actual “luckiness” factor involved and no, it is not okay to make a stand against another person because you think that this is a personal attack. It is NEVER a personal attack and more and only a defense mechanism that I hate to use. But use it I must from time to time, because that is how I roll.
It is offensive NOT to look at things from someone else’s point of view, and where some might think I am whining, I am actually speaking out against something that should not matter anymore, even though I know, even in my case, it matters. It matters what we look like, but that does not mean that we need to choose one versus the other. It matters that some of us refuse to look at a person from the outside and not even bother with thinking about the things that offend anyone else. I have been told over the years that I should think before I post anything at all, that I should consider that there is more than only one demographic of any sort of person, or even group of people, and that more than anything else, there need be no feeling that one group has the right, by whatever means they feel it is their right, to point out another group without considering that there are many who are not going to be okay with what you have said. It is one thing to believe it and live it, but when you start dividing us…well, you figure it out.
I do not come unglued like I have for the bulk of today unless I am given a good enough reason.
I think that dividing groups of people, not even if they are your own stated words, is a good enough reason.
I Love You All.
Reverend Roxanne Cottell is the Kumu Hula and Creator of the Spiritual Hula Program for Women and the Co-Founder of Na Hula O Ka Wahine ‘Ui. She is a blogger, book author, choreographer and Spiritual Consultant, an advocate and public speaker against domestic violence and emotional abuse, both of which she is also a survivor. If you would like information about Weddings or simply just to contact Roxanne for information about the Spiritual Hula Program for Women or information regarding private hula or Spiritual Guidance sessions with her or would like to book her for a speaking engagment please feel free to send her an email.
(c) 2013 Roxanne K. Cottell. All Rights Reserved