Just a brief mention of the Supreme Court ruling that supports marriage for both gay and straight people. It may seem like this represents the end of a long journey and for the decision’s supporters, a happy ending like the 10 of Cups.
In fact, while a tremendous milestone, like all social change, there is still much to do. I realize I may have friends and family who may “unfriend” me because of my belief that joy and love are gifts that are not limited to just a few defined by religions.
Many of those same people want government to stay out of the other rooms of their houses, like the room they keep guns in, the room they keep money in, and the room they express their faith in. They do not want intrusion by strangers into their private lives, yet are keen to intrude on the private lives, the bedrooms of others.
Today I celebrate that I have the freedom to marry the person I love even though some churches or other places of worship may disagree, the freedom to choose my religion even if it is not exactly what someone else would choose for me, the freedom to pursue quiet enjoyment of my life as long as it does no harm to others.
I am an optimist. I recognize that approximately half the population of the world are pessimists. I find pessimism a self-fulfilling prophecy for me. When I expect the worst, the outcome is seldom good.
But I would no more tell pessimists that they must be optimists because it works for me. It presumes I am 100% right not only for myself but for everyone else. That’s ridiculous. There is evidence that traits like optimism and pessimism are ones people are born with and unless there is significant personality or brain function disruption, people can’t and don’t change. In fact, this polarity of optimism and pessimism isn’t an either-or choice. You might land somewhere in a continuum in the middle.
This is much like sexual orientation.
If a group of people told you that you could not exist the way you are, as a pessimist or a realist or an optimist, you would think they were out of their minds for suggesting you can’t be yourself, even if they cited a religious reason for it that they firmly believed with all sincerity. After all, there are boundaries.
But first people need to recognize the humanity and divinity in each other and the equality that free will gives each person dominion over themselves and no one else. The first boundary to respect is the end of your own scope of control.
Make someone else’s day better as they define it, not as you define it. And if you can’t do that, just quietly leave them alone and feel the kindness in your heart that respecting your fellow human being brings to you, even if you don’t agree. Rainbows really don't come in black and white.