Friday, March 21, 2014

A change is gonna come...

Recent court decisions overturning state bans on same-sex marriage are hastening the day when same-sex marriage will be legal across the country. I was reading a response to an article the other day in which the post said that the court should respect the votes of the majority of citizens in that state to pass a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. I shuttered at the thought of the awful things people could do if everything was left to the will of the legislative and electoral process. Some rights are not given in laws, but inalienable. While I wouldn't necessarily go so far as to say that the right to marry is inalienable, the right to equality is. Therefore, if a state wants to outlaw all legal unions - which would be absurd, but I'm making a point here - then that would be fine with me. But if the state allows two people to legally marry, then they have to allow another two people to legally marry (I won't get into polygymy and such, because the history there makes that issue much more complicated). There is absolutely no argument - legal or other - that anyone can make (except for religious, but that doesn't matter in our system of government) that would rationally determine that opposite sex people should be able to marry, but same-sex people should not. Further, marriage is a convenant and legal union between two people (and the state), and has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. Therefore, the electoral process should have no determination on how two people decide they want to declare their partnership; whether that be choosing to remain unmarried, a civil union, or a religious ceremony.
The people who continue to disagree with same-sex marriage may have their reasons; and I don't want to say that all, or even most, of them are bad people - they're just wrong. They are not only fighting an uphill battle at this point, they're fighting a losing battle. And much like those who supported miscegenation laws before interracial marriage became legal, they will be proven to be on the wrong side of history. The day is coming, and it's coming quickly. But the odd thing is, there's nothing to fear. Legalizing same-sex marriage nationally will have absolutely no effect on opposite sex couples, but will have a major impact on same-sex couples and will finally give them the recognition that they deserve, rather than (ironically) making their unions and families unlawful.

Monday, January 27, 2014

There's nothing wrong with being content...

It's been a while. I've been busy and to be honest I haven't had that much to write. 2014 has been a wonderful year thus far. I spent New Years and the first couple of weeks in Haiti - another wonderful trip that increased my interest in the country - and have since been buckling down with school and work.
The thing is, these activities are nothing different from what I have been doing for over a year, but somehow these last few months have been better. I think it's attitude. I don't know when it was exactly that I had this sort of "AH-HAH" moment, but I think that I was lamenting my lack of interest in work and my grueling school work, when I finally realized that I alone determine my level of happiness.
I'm me. That's all I am. That's all I can control. I can be upset at the world around me, or the people around me, for not being exactly what I want them to be, but where does that get me? The only thing I can control is how I react to the people and the world around me. If I improve my outlook on things, and start trying to change the people around me and world around me to reflect more positivity and happiness, rather than allowing it to bring me down into negativity and misery, I think we are all (but especially myself) better for it.
So this is what I've been doing. When I've noticed people who constantly have a rain cloud over their head, I a) give them as little of my time as possible, and b) shower them with positivity during our limited interactions so that they don't bring me down, and it may brighten their day a little. We all know malcontents, and the thing that malcontents want to do more than anything is spread their misery. If everyone is unhappy, then it makes their unhappiness seem less glaring. But see, I don't want to operate like that. I don't want to live in that world. The majority of those people have little to be so unhappy about, and their gripes are manufactured, or at most small annoyances, that they allow to rule their attitude.
I'm done with it. Life is too short to get caught in the easy "...everything sucks..." conversation. My response these days, "Sorry, things are going pretty well here." You'll never shut a malcontented person up faster than by telling them that things are great and that they have nothing to be upset about. But wallowing has a comfortable feel in our culture and so it's often easy for these people to draw others into their misery, rather than have others pull them out (or just detach).
I don't know when it happened that mutual dissatisfaction became the easy connection, but we need a major shift away from this, because it's making people completely miss out on their lives, and ignore all of the great things around them.