Wednesday, November 5, 2008
what you see depends on where you stand
So today a young white male told me gleefully he didn't vote - because, and I quote, "Jesus wouldn't vote and so I didn't either." Okay - here was my not so gentle response.
I said, "Are you kidding? Jesus would have driven me to the polling station, sharpened my pencil and told me to vote for Obama!"
Here's the thing. It is easy to dismiss and throw away something you've had too much of. Like doughnuts (British spelling, see previous blog) ... or like freedom, or privilege, or your vote.
I am a woman. I know what it feels like to be shut out. And the women who fought for woman's vote in America knew what it was worth. They knew it was worth being beaten for, being dismissed and humiliated for, being physically and emotionally abused for.
I haven't had those experiences. But I have been shut out of board rooms. I have been shut out of positions I am well qualified for. I have been marginalized and made fun of for my womanly perspective. I have kept silent out of fear. I have ducked out of rooms. I have cried alone over abuses. And I have been unable to vote in this election. (In this case, only because I am Canadian, but still, it was a loss to me as a permanent resident of this country.)
So throw away what you don't value. It's the way of our culture. Throw away traditions and rituals, throw away chances to honor people, throw away children even. But not me. I am going to be the old lady with a big flowered bag, gathering up what you throw away. I am going to gather up the rituals that give peace to people. I am going to gather up chances to bless and honor. I am going to gather up the little ones who are discarded. And I am going to make cakes and cookies and set tables and invite people to them. I am going to give hugs and help with homework and smile at every face I can make eye contact with.
And when I get the chance I am going to vote. And Jesus is going to drive me to the polling station.