Thought One. Love:
So GOP Senator Rob Portman has come out in favour of marriage equality because his son is gay. This is wonderful. Sure, it took him two years post his son bravely coming out to his vocally homophobic parents but now he says that "knowing that my son is gay allowed me to think about this issue from a new perspective and that's as a dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities as his brother and sister have." It is mind-blowing that Rob Portman was unable or unwilling prior to this to imagine that other parents might also want equality for their gay children. That other sons and daughters deserved the same opportunities as their siblings. I am delighted that such a renowned homophobe has managed to overcome his bigotry for the love of his son but let's not applaud too loudly. Let's keep pointing out the obvious: equality is not just something that you should feel obliged to fight for when it is your own child being discriminated against but should be a basic human right and one to which we say unanimously 'but of course'. But of course.
Thought Two. Cruelty:
Every act of cruelty I have ever committed has been enacted with a complete lack of malice, forethought or awareness of the misery I was inflicting on others. Does this make it better? I think not. Does it elevate me above the children who practiced cruelty with precision and intended hurt? Perhaps at the time it did, as their acts were as regular as clock-work, as common as the lunch bell or the teacher's turned back. My acts were separated by years but - and here is the part that terrifies me - the 'cruel' children studied their handy work. They noted its affects on others and, in time, most probably stopped. That adult sensibility kicked in. You know - the one that says X + Y = pain for X and guilt for Y. Or, simpler yet, a voice pipped up inside their child-heads and said 'don't' then 'why not stop?' then perhaps 'this isn't fun any more'.
My acts were not studied. So completely unaware was I that I have probably continued through life, causing others pain in a state of total oblivion. This thought actually grabs at my lungs and stabs at my stomach. So does the thought of Little Amy bringing home the party invitation.
It was a pool party scene. One of six I had given out in readiness for my eighth birthday. On impulse, I had taken a pen and, on each of the six invitations, had written in tiny letters 'you' with an arrow pointing to an obese woman in green bathers and had thought no more of it. Amy had been friendless for much of the year but was adopted by my best friend and I in the last term as we were Compassionate Little Girls and believed it was our duty. But I was barely put out when she announced the next day that she couldn't come to my party because her mother had read what I had written. Honestly, I brushed it off. Thought her overly sensitive. Wasn't my explanation - that I had done the same to everyone - enough? I moved on.
Two weeks ago, in the grips of heat-induced insomnia, I suddenly remembered this incident and saw the eight year old Amy, ecstatic at finally having been invited to a party, carrying the prized paper home to her mother. The mother reads it, spots those three horrible letters and their accompanying arrow.
'You are not their friend, Amy. You are their joke.'
The heartbreak must have been...
I have not enough words to express my remorse.
I try to be good. I try to be kind. I try to tread gently and look with love and kindness on those around me but sometimes I wonder if I should just skip to the chase and tattoo 'sorry' to the back of my oblivious head so that, as it wanders away, you will at least know that I am trying really hard.
Thought Three. Music:
Not really a thought but for anyone who enjoyed our last youtube video of my friends and I singing drunk and spontaneous, you might also enjoy this. [link]
This one is just ridiculous. A friend of ours walking by (correctly) guesses that he probably knows these weirdos and comes and joins us. Very lovely surprise.
Hopefully a couple of you will be entertained.
My life really is a lot of fun.