Posts Tagged ‘ pride ’

Winning!

There’s a country song out there by Emerson Drive called “Moments,” and in it, the reverberating chorus talks about how “I’ve had my moments” when he just rocked it.  The message of the song is simple: That homeless guy you walk by every day when you get off the train on your way into work…well, he wasn’t always homeless.  He is a person with actual accomplishments, family, relationships, and an entire history before you met him.  He’s had his moments of triumph, and the moment you met him may not have been his proudest, but homeless isn’t the only thing he’s ever been.  If the song was an old man serving hard-won life lessons on a silver platter, the lesson would be that it would serve you well to remember that.Image

I’ve liked this song ever since I first heard it, mainly because it reminds me to think hard about how I judge people, and how I act toward them myself.  And we all judge people…if you don’t think you do, you’re lying to yourself.  It’s built into our DNA, and the judgements we make are vital to our survival.  But it’s when our judgement becomes clouded by hatred, or distracted by bias, that it begins to work against us.  

In any case, I just had a “moment” myself, and it made me look inward at my own personal accomplishments.

I am part of this group of motorcycle riders on Facebook; most of the time, people post pictures of their bike in all of the great photo-op ready places they’ve been — mainly to enjoy and illustrate the freedom that riding a motorcycle can afford you.  I love it.  But this time, I noticed a question that a gentleman in the group had, where he noticed a spark plug lead that was connected loosely to the plug; when he connected it fully, he was impressed at the amount of “extra” power he got out of his engine, and asked what the cause could’ve been. I saw comments on the post from people who knew how engines work and from those who didn’t and guessed, and it really made me feel like I had a “moment” when I was able to explain that a loose electrical lead can make the spark plug produce a weak spark, which can lead to incomplete combustion inside the cylinder, which can lead to loss of power and wasted fuel (from the unburnt fuel leaving out the exhaust pipe).  

It isn’t that I felt superior, it’s more about the pride I felt at being able to explain the process to those who aren’t yet aware.  It was small, but it was a “moment” for me, and it is exactly what I envisioned when I became an aircraft mechanic at 22 years old.  My Dad could take a good shot at fixing anything, and I wanted to emulate what I so admired as a kid.  When you get into a career, you begin to slowly become an expert at it, and it’s only after you discuss the everyday things you do with those who aren’t aware of it that you begin to notice just how much you know.    

That happened to me, and I am not ashamed to admit that it was just as gratifying as I envisioned it would be a decade and a half ago.  

What moments have you had?  It’s okay to acknowledge them, you know…don’t be shy!

Anti-Gay Gays

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credit: nydailynews.com

I had a fascinating conversation with a student at our school yesterday afternoon.  She is openly gay (which is no surprise among women in the field of aircraft maintenance), and easily speaks of her girlfriend, their horses, and the fact that she is from Mayberry, NC.  (No kidding — that Mayberry.  The Mayberry.)  I like to think she feels comfortable talking to me because I don’t have much intolerance in me and try to practice general sensitivity to others’ feelings on a regular basis.  In reality, she probably talks to me because I’m generally affable, and we are both good conversationalists.  (You can be one, too.) It’s strange that what dominates your mind during a conversation can be the furthest thing from someone else’s.  

Anyway, she and I often have easy conversations about the world’s happenings and peoples’ attitudes, and she surprised me today with one of her own.

In the midst of our discussion, she said, “That’s why I don’t like the gays.”

I don’t stammer much during conversations, generally, but I was trying to find a way to diplomatically say, “But uh…you’re gay, right?”  All I could muster up was a chuckle and, “Ahhh….okay….?”

She went on to explain that she doesn’t go to the Pride parade, she doesn’t make out with her girlfriend in public, she doesn’t do this and that…she told me, “My only goal when I wake up is to go to work, come home, and take care of my family.  Some people don’t understand that just because you’re gay, not everyone wants it thrown in their faces.  So I try to respect their feelings like I expect them to respect mine.”  

I told her jokingly that she was a new hero of mine.  People like her are few and far between, it seems.  I think there’s a lot of truth to what she says there, and it’s refreshing to know that there are people out there who understand that every action has a reaction.  If a gay man rides in the Pride parade down the street on a unicycle wearing nothing but a banana hammock and covered in rainbow paint, and people laugh at him, it doesn’t mean they are discriminating against someone whose goal is obviously to be seen in public flying their freak flag.  I wish we weren’t so quick to point the finger of discrimination in this country, but I also wish we’d be a little more cognizant that we exist together in the same environment.  Each of our actions affects many, many others’.

In the meantime, I want you to keep in mind after reading this that for every cause you support, someone supports the opposite cause.  Sure, we’ll have recurring national debates about things like the Defense Of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (borne out of irrational fear, if you ask me), but we need to — as a society — start treating each other with a little more respect.  And that includes those in the LGBT, feminist, and NAACP-type communities who are constantly pulling the fire alarm when there’s no fire.  Respect the feelings of the people next to you, the people you work with, the people you spend your time with.  Be careful of the things you say to those around you (as this guy needs to learn), and actually give some thought and evidence to the causes you choose to become an activist for (as I have).  Learn to support them thoroughly, but also learn to keep from becoming combative or militant because the delivery method of your message will become lost.  People want to “stumble upon” your message on their own, and will actively avoid your cause for no other reason than because it is human nature to defy someone who forces them to listen to or do something.  

After all, you’ll always catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

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As always, I appreciate you having taken the time to read this.  Without you, I’d have no reason to write!  Have a great week!

 

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