Thursday, March 6, 2014

What Makes a Family?

As Bob Dylan aptly put it - the times they are a changin.

And so in the 21st century the definition of "family" has also undergone a metamorphosis. The traditional family stereo-type has consisted of two parents of the same race and religious affiliation, mother + father + offspring. But in this day and age there are many different types of families that come in all shapes and sizes. There are interracial families, families whose parents have different religious beliefs, single parent families, families with two moms or two dads, families blended with children from previous marriages, adopted families and families with children who have special needs, to name a few.

This blending of different cultures and lifestyles into our families and our society presents challenges at times but also weaves a tapestry that enriches the lives of our children and teaches them acceptance and to respect and embrace diversity in others. As each new generation is taught these values, hopefully, prejudice and intolerance will eventually fade away and become extinct like the dinosaurs.

Sadly, there are still some narrow minded individuals and religious groups who don't get it, who oppose interracial and same-sex marriages or single parent situations and deny the validity of their families. This kind of attitude is hurtful and only serves to cause damage, especially to the innocent children who belong to these families. We need to spread the message that ALL families are valid and deserve respect and dignity. ALL families are special.

Of course what really makes a family is LOVE. Love is the glue that binds a family together. Where there is LOVE nothing else really matters. When people are lucky enough to know this kind of love it's one of the most wonderful feelings in the world.

Whether your family is the one you were born into, or the one you have chosen, REJOICE, CELEBRATE and be PROUD!

All you need is LOVE.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Night the World Sang

  The opening ceremony for the Olympics was awesome! The Queen with James Bond was priceless. The symbolism conveyed by the Olympic Torch was inspiring. But the most moving part of the show was when Sir Paul McCartney brought the world together in song. For those few brief moments, representatives from all nations sang together, as one voice and one people. It's amazing how something so simple as singing a song could be so powerful. For those few brief moments we caught a glimpse of what our world could be. If we could just stop the fighting and start working together towards common goals think of what could be accomplished.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

  Most of the world's major religions embrace some form of the "Golden Rule" - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  It seems like such a simple rule to follow, but after thousands of years one has only to read a newspaper or watch the evening news to realize that humanity STILL hasn't gotten it right.

If the Golden Rule were to be taken literally and applied to our everyday lives as they really are then: 

  If you have stolen from someone then you have given them permission to steal from you.

  If you have cheated on your spouse, then you're promoting distrust and dishonesty.

  If you judge someone  merely for having different beliefs and customs it could lead to retaliation, even war.

  If you claim to hate LGBT people then you're promoting disrespect toward all people.

 If you make fun of and bully others then you're saying that violence and verbal abuse are acceptable.

Think about this!
Is this how YOU want to be treated?

Don't steal- give.  This will evoke a sense of gratitude and you'll probably receive something in return.

Don't cheat - communicate.  Try to resolve your problems fairly and honestly.  If you can't then part ways and move on. 

Don't judge -  Respect.  Ask questions about another person's beliefs and customs and chances are they'll ask about yours.  You may not agree with one another, but both of you will have learned something new and started down a path toward enlightenment.

Don't hate  - be an ally.  It's okay if you don't understand LGBT people.  Just treat them with the same respect and kindness that you would show anyone else.  You may be surprised to learn that they have the same feelings and are not so very different from you. This realization will help build a bridge of understanding.

Don't bully - defend.  If you come to the defense of someone who is being bullied, you will have  gained a friend for life.