I’ve been thinking about stories lately.
We all have them, right?
The stories that make us who we are, mold us, shape us, sharpen us, & cause us to breathe in empathy, compassion, kindness.
Stories that interweave within our roots, our blood.
Stories that make us strong, powerful.
E M P O W E R E D. Aware. Educated. Amazing.
Our stories transform the universe into something unimaginably better, immeasurably enhanced.
Sometimes our stories include rape, domestic violence, cancer, oppression, murder, physical disabilities, discrimination, disfigurement, disconnectedness.
Sometimes we don’t want our stories –because they hurt like double hell, but regardless, they become part of us.
Yes, our stories can change the very fabric of our civilization.
Think of Malala, Mandela, Anne Frank, Helen Keller, Angelou, Adhiambo, Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey, Hawking, Elie Wiesel.
Their stories made history. Their pain changed lives.
But how about the reverse?
What about when our stories create intolerance, cruelty, maliciousness, indifference.
What about when our stories become ugly Monsters.
“She’s uncaring because she has a story. He shot her 3 times because he had a awful childhood. She’s insensitive because she’s been thru hell.
I’ve heard these words too often recently.
Much too often.
In the media & here at home.
“She has an excuse to be nasty. Her disrespect is justified. You have no idea what his story is.
NO EXCUSES. Ever.
Mr. Liverpool went to the dry cleaners yesterday. He’s a hell of a nice guy. He said the woman at the counter stared at him rudely, angrily, her hot eyeballs burning thru his skin.
“What do you want?”
“My clothes, please.”
“Weeeeeeell, are you going to tell me if you need dry-cleaning or regular? I need the money before I get them,” she let out an abrupt hisssss.
The kind of hiss that says, I hate my fucking life and I don’t give a shit about yours either.
She then proceeded to fling two bags of clothing on the counter.
“There.” She snottily declared.
When we told Saint Shirley about this incident, she said, “She probably has a reason, a story.”
She’s not called “Saint Shirley” for nothing, babe.
I stand inflexible in my belief that there is no defense for belittling, demeaning, disrespecting, or the minimization of another human being.
I just won’t allow it. Not anymore.
No matter your story. No matter your circumstances.
—Dear, Reader, tell me what you think. What is your story? Should we excuse certain behaviors? Give me your rant.