Human Dignity

April 25th, 2013

I’m not a political person, but I’ve been watching a lot of West Wing dvds lately, and paying a little more attention to the news. You might have noticed from the last few weeks of links to articles, and the odd political rant or two. Maybe I’m just growing up. Maybe intolerance and hate has boiled to a point where I just can’t stand to be quiet any more. To let others do the talking for me, because I don’t like to talk. But I like to write, so why not write? So I’ve been writing, and linking to other peoples’ writings. I’m not an activist, but basic human dignity is something worth standing up for. The right to love, the right to live, the right to learn, and the right to truth. The right of everyone, to walk down the street unmolested, no matter their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or clothing choices. How much more basic can we get? People bemoan the lost promises of the Jetsons, but if we can’t even treat one another with dignity, how are we going to come together to create the future?

We point fingers and blame easy targets. Westboro, Al-Qaeda, KKK, neo-nazis, fundamentalists of all shapes and sizes. But it isn’t just the big, organized hate groups that are the problem. It’s the jock bullying the recently outed gay kid. It’s the divisiveness in the LGBT community. It’s the false superiority of “twue doms” and “twue subs.” It’s the religion major standing on campus holding a “You Deserve to be Raped” sign. It’s abstinence-only “educators” who shame teenagers for having sexual urges at all. It’s a teacher being fired for her partner’s name being published in her mother’s obituary. It’s vigilantes going after peaceful Muslim communities after a tragedy. It is everyone who paints a community based on a single member.

Last night we talked about Leather. We talked about exclusiveness and inclusiveness. We talked about how protocols helped people feel like they had earned a place in the group. We talked about the other members feeling like that person cared enough to put in the effort. It takes work for a group of people to become a community, and for a community to become a family. But inclusiveness is good, too. Being open to new people, new ideas, is how we grow, and remain strong. If you try to keep people out, or set the bar too high, the group will grow old and die, with no fresh blood to keep it living. It is good to have like-minded people together, to support one another, just remember that other groups, other people, have just as much value. It isn’t about being better than, it’s about making everyone better, and the a world better place.