Don’t Change The World, Change Someone’s World

I see this a lot on animal rescue sites.  “You may not be changing the world, but you’re changing someone’s world.”  Or something along the lines of “They may be part of your world, but you’re all of their world.”

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to change the world.  My personal philosophy is, “If you have the ability to change the world, you have an obligation to do so.”  However, when I say this, I mean positively.

 

When I was in middle and high school, I would go on mission trips.  I went to New Orleans after Katrina to gut out houses.  I went to South Dakota and worked in soup kitchens and played with disabled kids at a children’s hospital.  After school, I tutored kids who had just immigrated to Minnesota and helped them do their homework so they could be successful.  I even helped give private oboe lessons to a freshman when I was a senior, making discounted reeds for oboes so that they didn’t sound like a duck when they played.

 

For me though, this was never enough.  I kept thinking, “I’m not changing the world, I’m just doing a few good things.”

 

When I was on the speech team in high school, my last two years I was in the Original Oratory category, which is persuasive speaking.  Many of the kids in this category had similar views as I did in terms of changing the world.  However, while their speeches were more along the lines of “The News is horribly biased,” and “We should boycott Walmart.” My speech was “Being gay is genetic, stop discriminating.”  True story, it was called, “Do these genes make me look gay?”

 

Quite different, right?  I had the issue of having conservative judges who would rank me last when my content was fantastic.  While I procrastinated with some of the writing and memorizing, I still was an alternate to go to the state tournament.  I would tell people being bigoted that being hateful was counterproductive and that we should accept people for who they are.

gay flag

I was bullied as a kid and I refused to stop being super weird because I was perfect just the way I was.  Currently, I continue to be weird because I am proud to be really fucking weird.

 

However, my philosophy began to change after doing the speech about accepting LGBTQ for the way they are.

 

I had this topic the entire three month season, and my first tournament there was a girl that I was in a round with.  I don’t quite remember what her speech was about, but it was something about social injustice, just as mine was.  She was super friendly to me, she went to a rural school while I went to the largest high school in Minnesota.  She was super chill, and after that tournament, I didn’t see her again until the Sectional Tournament for the Northern Metros.

 

She was in my third round before the final round, and after I gave my (much more polished) speech, we all shook hands at the end and as I was going back to my school’s team, she tracked me down and asked to talk to me privately.

 

I remember the conversation almost verbatim, so here’s how it went.

 

“Leah, right?  I don’t know if you remember me, but we were at the St Michael’s tournament together.”

 

“Oh yeah!  How’ve you been?  Your speech was great.”

 

She smiled and continued to talk.  “I was hoping to see you since our schools didn’t really compete against each other this season, and I wanted to thank you.”  She saw my confusion and began to explain.  “You see, I’m bi and I was in the closet until after you gave your speech that first time.  For the past two years I was trying to find a way to not be bi anymore, but no matter what I was attracted to guys and girls, and my parents were really homophobic.”

 

I was stunned.  She seemed so happy whenever I saw her.  She went on.

 

“But after your speech, I got the courage to come out to my mom.  She used to say that Bi-people were just trying to slice up the pie in their favor, so to speak.  She said bis were just greedy, the worst of the gay community.  When I came out as bi, I used some of your stats and explained it to her.  It went really well.  My family accepted me so much better.  So I just wanted to say thanks.  Keep it up.”

 

We hugged and I went to my table, stunned.  I told my friends but we were all waiting to find out who would go into the final round.  Luckily, I made the final round and got fifth place, but at that moment I didn’t care.

 

I changed her world for the better.

 

I still think of that moment to make myself feel better when I feel like my life is falling to pieces.

 

In college, I saw a guy whose car broke down on the side of the road.  I picked him up, drove him to his house so he could get the stuff to put gas in his car, and he thanked me nonstop.  I ran into him a while later and he bought me coffee to say thanks.  Never saw him again.

 

Last year I let a Chinese girl who was new to the country and terrified stay in my home when I didn’t even know her.  Just so you guys know, she and I message on skype at least once a month.

 

I adopted two dogs who were at the pound.

 

When my uncle was dying, I did my best to make him comfortable and help his family.

Mark and I

I love you, Uncle Mark.  I miss you more every day.

My current job is working in a group home with people who have suffered emotional trauma.  They’re difficult at times, but I love my job and I love when I see them happy.

 

I’m not trying to get credit for being a good person. In fact, I consider myself selfish because I do all of this to make myself feel better.

 

Our world has been on the brink of destruction for thousands of years.  But a few good deeds can make all of the difference.

 

I’m not trying to change the world anymore.  I’m trying to change the world of those whose world needs changing.  And if everyone tried to do this, this world would be such a better place.

 

So I guess I still am trying to change the world.  One person at a time.

 

What good deeds do you do?  What have you done to change the world?  Let me know in the comments!

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Gay Weddings are Fabulous (Serious Post)

So first and foremost, I apologize for not having posted anything in such a long time.  I’ve been extremely busy, and I’m taking a few minutes to post a little thing about Gay Marriage.

This last weekend I attended my first gay wedding.  I’ve been to several weddings for cousins, friends, family, and the entire shebang.  They have all been beautiful, they have all been endearing, and some of them have lasted.

But this wedding I went to for my two very close friends was the most beautiful and emotional wedding I had ever attended. The minister was honest and good natured, the grooms very obviously loved each other when exchanging their vows, and it was just an overall wonderful wedding.  With awesome cake.

Attending a wedding like this, seeing a young couple so in love with each other, it just agitates me about how so many people are against gay marriage.  If anything, from what I saw, gay marriage is restoring the sanctity of marriage, not destroying it. 

Seeing them together, dancing, exchanging kisses, looking at each other like young lovers tend to, made my heart soar.  Seeing how their families supported them, how all of their friends and family had no judgment almost made me envious.  I had support for my marriage, but I had a lot of criticism from getting married in such a short span.  I was later criticized for marrying a military man, for people thinking I married him for nothing more than money and health insurance, but I’m sure that they will also encounter their own hardships, something I hope that I’m wrong about.

So here is my view on gay marriage.

Everyone should be allowed to get married to whomever they want.

Every person who gets married seems to get grief.  I also judge people getting married.  I think that eighteen year olds marrying their high school sweethearts are being stupid getting married, and they hear all the time how they’re not mature enough to be married.  I was told that I was marrying Alex for health insurance and because he was in the military.  My two friends will probably be told that their marriage will never be recognized by God.

But God will forgive murderers?

He will forgive pedophiles?

He will forgive mothers abusing and neglecting children, sometimes killing their children?

But God will supposedly not forgive two men for loving each other unconditionally?

Even from a nonreligious standpoint, two men loving each other is not affecting anyone’s marriage.  My two friends tying the knot gives me hope.  For two people who obviously love each other, they should be allowed to live their married life free of prejudice. 

And it’s not just them.  My uncle and his husband have been together for over twenty years, the only one on my father’s side of the family with a successful marriage.  My father and his older brother are divorced, but the youngest, the most successful, the well-adjusted kids, the happiest couple, is apparently wrong because my uncle is in love with a man.

If you are someone who does not think that two men or two women can’t make a happy life together, then please take a look at your own marriage.  I know more straight couples who are miserable in their marriage than gay couples, I have met couples who hated each other for years, but apparently it was okay for them to have abusive relationships, or neglectful, or generally unhappy because it was accepted.  This is a sad society where a miserable straight couple who hate each other and abuse their children is more acceptable than a gay happy couple with children well adjusted.

This is a sad society we live in, and it is something that needs to be changed.

To my friends who got married, I love you both, and I wish you years and years of happiness.  I wish you a life free of prejudice, and a life full of laughter and a life full of love.  I wish you everything that I wish for anyone who ever gets married for the one thing every human being on this earth yearns for: Love.

For those of you who wish to comment, if you comment telling me how against gay marriage you are or how you disagree with everything I have to say, do not bother commenting.  They will be deleted.  I will not tolerate negative comments on a topic such as this.

Thank you for reading.