Over the weekend, my husband and I got to witness two very dear friends get married. It was a small, quiet event. The picturesque place that the wedding was held at had, happily accommodated 50 or so people from mixed back grounds. It was a lovely mixture of both military and civilian friends and family, joining together to wish this happy couple the best of wishes as they set forth together in a brand new life. Now I know what most of you are thinking, it's a wedding, there are lots of people that get married, everyday. You see, it was two sailors that got married on Friday. Not that two sailors don't get married everyday either, but there were two grooms, which made this wedding even more special.
As I sat there among friends that I haven't seen since we were stationed in Hawaii, watching this room full of people, who wouldn't have attended if they didn't support this couple, mix and mingle. The conversations flowing from how special these two people are, and a wedding done right. I am reminded that when it really comes down to it, it is the respect and love all of us have for these two people, who are simply just being themselves. Love is just love. Very simple.
It made me question, Why is it so hard for people to just accept others for who they are?
I am a mother of three very special children. Who, in their own right, need to fight for their right to be accepted. And in time they will become adults. It would be nice if when that happens there is a world out there, that is going to accept them for simply being who they are. Even as children, they are still faced with people's ignorance. They may not recognize or realize it, as ignorance is a learned behavior, but as they grow they will learn the cruelties of the world. That not every person is a good person. That there are some that have been taught to dislike and even hate those who are different from themselves. It's one of the reasons that I try to instill in my own children, that they need to accept people for who they are. But they don't have to accept hateful behaviors. In my mind, if I want acceptance for my children, who are very unique and offer the world a different perspective, then why wouldn't I accept others for the person they are. That doesn't mean that I will accept hateful and disrespectful behavior. But I do understand that a person hasn't been taught or hasn't learned that there is more to life than discriminating against another person for differences.
I tend to think that my children have made me a more accepting person. Seeing the uniqueness that everyone has to offer this world. The different perspectives that can been seen, if I took the time to get to know a person. Because when you think about it, if you are trying to fight for acceptance for your children and their right to be part of society, but yet you can't accept someone else's, due to their lifestyle, colour of skin or even religion, then why should people hear your fight for your child? It is very easy to say one thing, but yet do another.
As I think fondly back to Friday night's events, I think back to the two people who now have the right to be recognized as just two people who love each other and I hope in time, that the world will be able to see everyone in that same light, just as a room full of people did for this couple. It gave me a little bit of hope that when my children are adults, that society will accept them for who they are.
I will end by saying this, that it doesn't matter where you come from, what you do, or even what gives you the special gifts you can offer the world. For me, you will always get the respect from me for just being simply you. I am not asking for people to change their ways. I get that there are some things in life that people are going to disagree with. But if you are going to take up arms over people not accepting your loved ones for who they are, then you need to be prepared to extend that same courtesy to those who are different from yourself.