I often stay away from using those little ads-ons on Facebook. You know, those things you can attach temporarily to your profile picture. I think the only ones I have ever attached were for the Syrian crisis and miscarriage awareness. I might be wrong, but I don’t think so.
I realised this morning why I stay away from them. I’m fairly open with what I believe, and most people can predict what’s my politics lie after even a short conversation with me. This morning I was scrolling through my newsfeed and one of my friends has one of those things on their profile picture. Irrelevant what it is about, but it goes against what I believe and I felt jarred when I read it.
One of my fundamental beliefs, lying at the core of all of my beliefs, is that we all have the right to do whatever we want to AS LONG AS WHAT WE DO HURTS NO ONE ELSE. I try very hard to not hurt others, and when I feel that I have, I own it and try to make good.
I understand why we need laws: to protect the rights and freedoms of all. But, for the life of me, I do not understand why marriage comes under that, for two consenting adult people anyway.
It perplexes me that this is such an issue in my home country. We tout ourselves as a welcoming and inclusive country, very relaxed and happy people living the good life.
I think we must mean though, only if you are white and a Christian and heterosexual and mainstream and you don’t push any buttons or believe in weird things. As long as you fit into the box.
My whole teaching career, I never really fit into that box, the one that makes you an acceptable teacher, a role model for others. No one looked at my practice and said, “Man, she really gets the kids to work hard and they seem to enjoy it. We should try to learn from what she is doing.”
Instead, I was marginalised, talked about, targeted, judged, shut down. People perceived me as arrogant rather than knowledgable. People think I pushed the boundaries too far rather than doing what I needed to inspire my kids to want more from themselves.
Interestingly, the qualities I felt condemned for in schools, that I believe made me an exceptional teacher, definitely one of the very best, are the qualities that are growing my business. I am grateful.
I think society, meaning all of us, needs to be careful how we judge other people, and really look at the boxes we confine people to. I think, too often, we are stopping integral people from being exactly who they are and exactly what this world needs.
I think we need to check ourselves on this. All of the time.