It's so strange being the youngest in the room, by far. Usually Matt or Bubba are here with me. At the moment, it's Momma, Daddy, Mom's bff, bff's husband, and K (not sure when she came into the picture for sure). I feel like I'm a child again at a family get together, sitting in the floor, listening to the grownups talk and gossip.
I've come to realize that my parents are no different than me. Ok, maybe very different in some ways. As I sit here and listen to their conversation I wonder where I got my political and personal beliefs. Don't get me wrong, my parents aren't nut cases but I wonder how I can see things so differently.
For example, they were discussing a coworker of Momma and Momma's bff. He converted to Islam. Supposedly to piss off his father or brother or someone like that. He takes his carpet out to do prayers at work, as well as wears a turban and traditional Muslim garb. He has also taken the belief that it is offensive if a woman speaks directly to a man or looks directly at them. Now this is all heresy, as I have heard it told by my parents and their friends. This apparently offends my parents and friends.
First off, Momma and her bff work at a Veteran's Affairs Hospital. So I can understand not wanting someone to blatantly be disrespectful of the workers or those they are taking care of. But at the same time these very veterans are fighting for the right for this man to be able to do this. Why does it offend them so much? I don't know how I would feel about it. I really don't. I'm not a veteran and I haven't been put in this situation. It just seems like they are afraid of the very things they are fighting for. I have the utmost respect for our country's veterans, but I have respect for what our country was founded on too.
Personally I don't think we should be forced to learn another language in primary school just because a good percentage of our immigrants speak it. I think we should WANT to learn new languages and customs. Why would we want to isolate ourselves? We were founded to be tolerant and to accept all customs (as long as they don't harm others), but our country is fighting against these very principles. We think we can tell people who to love (didn't work in the 60s, why would it work now?), who to worship, and what to think. That's not what this great country was created for. Our ancestors were escaping these very issues when they fought the revolution.
These are thoughts that go through my head as a toss back another glass of wine and crack open a beer to celebrate this wonderful time of the year. A time to remember the sacrifices made. A time for family. A time for tolerance.
What are your thoughts?
Happy Fourth of July to all!