2014 Wishes and Observations

Posted by Joelle Casteix on December 24, 2013 in About me | Subscribe

 

  • I am not your friend (either in the real world or in social media), because I agree with all of your beliefs. I am your friend because I DON’T. And that is magic.
  • Our differing beliefs make you interesting, challenge me to stretch my thinking, and make my life fuller.
  • When someone wishes you Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa or Blessed Ramadan, don’t be disgusted, uncomfortable or insulted. That person is not trying to convert you, impose a belief structure, or propagate a “dominant patriarchal culture” that “suppresses the minority.” Instead, be elated and consider yourself blessed that someone would share the joy of her holiday. We could all benefit from some good wishes, even if we don’t all believe in the same God, or any god at all.
  • Wish others the goodness of your holiday or the blessings of the season. Don’t censor yourself.
  • Don’t be ashamed of your faith, or the fact that your atheist, secular life is full of love and happiness.
  • Don’t call names. Whether it’s a racial slur, terms like “liberal-tard”, “tea-bagger,” “bigot,” “racist”, “idiot”, or “asshole.” Remember: We don’t let our children name-call. We shouldn’t do it either. Being hurtful doesn’t foster social change, personal happiness or compromise.
  • If someone says something you don’t like, instead of lashing out (see “name-calling” entry above), just say, “I don’t understand.” Say it calmly and with care. Start a discussion. Leave your anger at the door. You both might learn something.
  • Don’t call people names because of their religious beliefs or political views. Don’t vilify them in social media. It just causes problems, hurts feelings, and marginalizes people. Instead, show positive action in your community. More people will listen and you will enact real change.
  • Give ‘til it hurts. Then keep giving.
  • Be nice to yourself.
  • It’s okay to feel guilty if you have done something wrong, but try to kick shame out the door. You deserve better.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of hard work. Don’t vilify and condemn those who have financially rewarded from it—just like you don’t vilify those who have not. Instead, live a life of example. If you are doubly-blessed, give to someone who is doubly hurt.
  • Work hard.
  • No government program will give you self-esteem. You have to find that on the inside. You are surrounded by people who can help you. Even if you can’t see them.
  • You are never totally alone.
  • Forgive.
  • When someone shouts hatred at you, just smile and say, “I’m so sorry.” You are, just not for the reason the shouter thinks.
  • Hold religious and political leaders to the highest account. Cut your friends a break once in a while.
  • Make your children follow the rules. A child who knows her boundaries is a happy child—one who learns how to create her own proper boundaries as she grows.
  • Let your children fail. Otherwise, they will never know when they succeed.
  • Understand that depression and suicidal feelings are crippling. Love those who are hurting—don’t judge them.
  • Remember that love and acceptance come from the oddest of places.
  • Ask questions, even when you already know the answer.
  • Don’t shout over people. It won’t convince anyone that you are right.
  • Don’t assume that your position is always right. Isn’t it interesting that many of the greatest, smartest people in the world were the most humble and the most willing to hear and acknowledge opposing views? 
  • Remember: people who always think they are right are generally not well-liked. They are tolerated, appeased, pitied and usually … lonely.
  • Remember that Lincoln was a Republican and George Wallace was a Democrat.
  • Don’t deny anyone the right to love and be acknowledged. Don’t deny marriage to adults who love each other.
  • Don’t try to silence anyone, because one day, you may be the person who is being silenced. Our country’s greatness relies upon a myriad of beliefs and the compromises we make for liberty.
  • Be nice to people. Don’t beat up on the weak. If you have hurt someone, be accountable and make amends.
  • Don’t choose to sequester yourself or cloud your vision because of the color of your skin, the color of your politics, or the color of your flag. You can do and be anything you want to be. You are perfect. Hard work, love and tenacity will get your farther than anger, self-loathing, hatred, or thoughts of defeat.
  • Don’t be a bully. Bullies suck.
  • Laugh. A lot.
  • Be honest, but don’t be boastful.

And most importantly: CHOOSE TO NOT BE OFFENDED. It changed my like. You will be so much happier. So will everyone around you. 

May your 2014 be joyous.

 

 

One Comment

  • Jim Anon says:

    As a pejorative coined as a sexual act double entendre by people politically opposed to limited government, the term “teaba66er” is no less offensive than “fa66ot” or “ni66er” for how it is used.

    I agree, we should work to remove such language from any discussion or debate and to marginalize anyone who uses such terms. They are not productive in any way, shape or form, just as the users of the other pejoratives noted above are also marginalized. These are only useful to dehumanize an opposing party, to prevent others from even taking the time to listen, process and to formulate opinions on their own. It is a classical tool of the propagandist, the politician and the radical working against “the man…” and society.

    This is exactly the type of behavior that public shunning was useful in ending.

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