There’s a saying among writers that goes something along the lines of “There are no bad days, just days with better writing material”, or something to that effect. That was today. Great writing material. It was all great until people… I have shirt that reads “Careful or you’ll end up in my novel”. This is an important warning for my stories, because I actually hold a great deal of admiration for George R.R. Martin for ruthlessly killing any and all characters in a blink of an eye.
I have a good friend who is deeply spiritual and is a devoted Christian. She also happens to be a lesbian. I am ONLY bringing these two things up because while I honestly don’t see anything mutually exclusive between the two, obviously, we still live in a world where some people do view the two as mutually exclusive. My friend shares her love and passion with the world and I admire her deeply for her ability to give with her whole heart, accept all people for who they are, and hold to the vision of a better world. I’m not a very religious person, but I’m certain Jesus would point her out as an example for all Christians to follow. She’s a beautiful person, inside and out, and her light shines on everyone she meets. So, when her church, her home, her sanctuary told her that her lifestyle went against the Bible’s stance on marriage, it literally broke her heart.
I don’t really give two hoots what is in the Bible anymore. I honestly don’t think GOD gives two hoots what is in the Bible anymore. There are definitely some principles that were set up, like, you know, the Ten Commandments, that remain mostly unchanged, but the whole “you shall not eat shellfish” or “a rapist must marry his victim” or “stoning an adultress” is a little out of date. The PRINCIPLES of loving your neighbor, your enemy, and honoring God- THOSE will never dissipate. I don’t think God is at the pearly white gates with the Bible in his hand, and damning anyone to hell for not living EXACTLY as the Bible reads. Because otherwise, no one would go to heaven.
I believe if there is an afterlife, that we will not be judged on WHO we loved, but HOW we loved. It will not matter where we worshiped God, but that we honored him in our lives, in our words, and in our actions. It will not matter how much money we gave to the church or charities, but how much of ourselves we gave to fellow humans, and the earth. God will not care that you converted hundreds, or even thousands of people to Christianity, if you did not practice the principles of caring for our neighbors, and being good stewards on this earth. And being stewards isn’t just towards other people, but towards other beings. I think God would find it more insulting if you callously built a church that destroyed all the beauty and life within the land, than if you walked in reverence in the forest, but didn’t even step foot in a church.
So, to those who judge the lifestyle of others as different, and therefore, less than themselves, I say, forget you. Well, I have more choice words, but that’s the gist.
I also had a less than positive interaction while VOLUNTEERING as a Beach Naturalist. I emphasize “volunteering” because I want to reiterate that by going to the tide pools, I am giving my own time and energy to share my knowledge and passion of the ocean and inspire conservation. I am not there to argue over whether an area that is labeled “off limits” is a preference or merely a suggestion to others on if they can enter it or not. Going into the details will take too long to explain, but when I called out to the group that was climbing rocks along an area that was part of a restoration project, one particular person blatantly ignored me (and confirmed he was ignoring me when I politely asked him again and he said “I heard you” but still didn’t leave). When he finally came over, he had two other goons with him and they proceeded to tell me that I had no right to tell people not to explore any area of the park they wished. I was told it wasn’t fair that a few “bad apples” ruins opportunities for people to experience all the areas they want. I was told that it was only my opinion that walking through a restoration area was potentially threatening to the sea grass that was trying to establish itself, or disturbing the oyster catchers who were clearly calling out in alarm while trying to defend their nests. The encounter left such a sour taste in my mouth, reminding me of the intrusive and belligerent guests I sometimes encountered at SeaWorld. I told the other Naturalist that I didn’t know if I wanted to continue volunteering after that encounter. It was that upsetting. I joke that I am not a people person. I know in order for EarthFit to succeed and for me to market my books, I will have to change my tune. But it is encounters like these two that leave me discouraged and hopeless. What’s the point of pursuing these out-of-the-box ideas and philosophies if people are just going to crush them? There are always going to be people who believe this earth is theirs for the taking, and anyone different from them or gets in their way can go to hell, or at least make them feel that they are.
Everything seems to be going great sometimes until suddenly people….