Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Paint on Old Surfaces

As you may or may not know, my family lives in a house that was built over 100 years ago. In 1905, someone stopped in what was probably an empty field with no buildings within throwing distance and said, "Yep, this is the spot."

A lot has changed in 100 years. Families have come and gone from this house. These walls have seen workers rights movements, woman's rights movements, and civil rights movements. There is new paint, new furniture, and new faces.

A lot has changed.

What hasn't changed is the basic structure. It's still wood and stone, built on a solid foundation.

When I think about social progress, this is how I see it, we are solid. An end to racial and gender inequality has not brought our society crashing down around our ears. We can move forward and change without losing our values, our basic structure.

Today I attended a counter protest outside the Gonzaga University campus. Seeing the messages of hatred on the signs of the Westboro Baptist Church protesters made me think about the times I've been wrong about people I didn't know.

How many times have I looked at a stranger and made judgments about their lifestyle or their character? How many times have I been wrong?

I may never know the answer to that question, because I won't have the chance to ask. I can't go back and find out the truth. What I can do is change my point of view.

It's so easy to hate. It's so easy to push someone aside and say they're worthless, evil, or wrong. What's not easy is to really get to know them, then say those things.

I don't know anyone from the Westboro Baptist Church, and they don't know me, it would be easy for me to say that they are evil people, but I won't. I will say that I think they are misguided, and I hope that one day each of them will come to know a gay person or a soldier, or maybe even someone who is both, and realize that they are not so different from any other American.

One of the many messages of the WBC.
Also popular: "Thank God for IEDs" and "God Hates Fags"

Most of the time I'm a little too serious about human rights...if you believe that's possible. I was reminded by a friend today that it doesn't all need to be furrowed brows and clenched fists.

Here's a short video I put together of Jason dancing in a gorilla suit at the WBC counter protest, I hope it brightens your day:

I think I started this post talking about how the house has changed before I was sidetracked by the big picture. Funny how that happens.

Our bathroom has undergone a minor transformation that makes a big difference. I've painted out the yellow in favor of a bright white that makes the room look a little bigger and enhances the natural light.

Here are a few shots of the old color:

Old, light yellow bathroom color

Mellow Yellow

And here's the update to a cleaner look:

Shiny "new" bathroom

So there you have it. Everything old is new again.

Time marches on, the world changes, and we change with it, but our structure remains.

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