More Than Tolerance
My 5yr old is equal parts "crazy hyena child" and "wise old soul". I am often taken aback by statements he makes, or stumped by questions he asks. Children are amazingly perceptive, largely untainted by the cynicism we acquire with age, and I find he is particularly so.
Today, out of the blue, he turned to me and said, "Mommy, did you know that a boy and a boy can get married? And that a girl and a girl can get married? And that boys and girls can get married?"
As he stood there, looking up at me with his big brown eyes, my heart clenched. "Yes, I did know that. What do you think about that?", I replied.
He smiled. "I think that is very cool. I think people should ALWAYS marry the people they love."
So do I, kiddo, so do I.
It is all so easy and matter of fact for him, as it should be, but it wasn't long ago that it wasn't this simple. I can remember quite vividly sitting in a high school classroom and wondering if legalized same sex marriage belonged to a far-off future and whether I would ever see it in my lifetime. Now it has been so long my children accept at face value that everyone is free to marry whomever they choose.
I like this future in which I am living -- we should always choose love and acceptance.
Lately, a friend of mine has been sharing her very personal experiences in this. Her family is opening hearts and minds, and educating people on why tolerance is not enough, why we need to keep striving for more. She is a hero to me, and I am continuously amazed at the size of her heart and her ability to always see the bigger picture. If you haven't been following Amanda's story, you really should. She's the bee's knees. She is strong, courageous, beautiful inside and out, and an inspiration to so many of us.
Like my 5yr old, she reminds me every day that kindness matters, that we need more than tolerance, and that while some battles are won there are still many more ahead and we should always choose love.