Deception Or Perception
Once upon a time when I was in high school… um, maybe I should have started this story with a long time ago, in a faraway land… wait, no, that’s not it, either. It is a province away. An eight-hour drive is not really a faraway land.
Anyway, I digress.
This is a story about how you see the world before your very eyes. I am an optimist, and I see the best I can see in everyone and everything. It does not mean that I do not see bad people or bad things. You could call it a filter if you wanted to, but the bottom line is that it is all about perception.
When I was in high school, a family friend who was a teacher encouraged me to work on my writing skills. She absolutely loved a poem I wrote. In school, however, I became discouraged from the path of going into the arts. In English, we read books and then learned about the symbolism hidden within the stories and the very words which made them come to life. I was, and still am, an avid reader. I read to escape; I read for pleasure; I read to learn and I read because it is something I have always enjoyed doing. Imagine my reaction to being taught that every book has symbolism, and the hidden meanings hide the true purpose of the author writing the stories. I dashed my thoughts of becoming an author at that point in my life. I could not write if I had to hide symbolism and theories into my words. It took the fun out of it for me.
I went to school to study science.
I do not regret my time in University, nor do I regret my time at community college. I have made some lifelong friendships; I became a responsible adult and fell in love.
The reason I am writing this story is to understand something I was just watching. More than that, I am writing because I have something to say. I thought about responding to my friend, directly, about what she posted. Let me make myself clear, this person was and will still be my friend, unless this story upsets her enough to want to back away from our friendship. In an ideal world, we will agree to disagree if this doesn’t change her mind. Or at least make her think. I know she is trying to do good in her way, and I cannot fault anyone who wants to help others out of the goodness of their own heart. It is how I live my life. I am learning how to be kind to myself, and to do so, I need to set boundaries. I will question some things, and that is okay. I may take in information from the world around me, to process it, and determine what I will believe, and what I will call bullshit on. It has taken me most of my life to become this person, and I feel like I still have a lot to learn, and a lot to say.
I am a published author.
Yes, the woman with no desire to write symbolism in her stories made her way back to the path she always was meant to be on. Writing is my purpose. I write song lyrics. I manage my blog. I write for Coffee House Writers every other week, and I indie published my first book. While I can be clever, and humorous with words, I do not plant theories and symbolism into my work. Yet. If I can be true to myself and evolve my work to include the depth that other people look for, then it is not beyond the realm of possibilities.
I cannot understand why there are people out there, hypothesizing that promoting love and tolerance is working for the devil.
There. I wrote it down. There are people in this world claiming that the shape of a star and the shape of a heart, not the physiological one, but the one commonly drawn by children all around the world to color pink or red, that this leads to the devil. It breaks my heart that intelligent people in this world can fall for this.
Why does this matter so much to me?
People need to wake up and fight for the right things.
I have another story. This one is not so nice. I once was scrolling in a Facebook group, and someone in that group asked a question. It was a red flag question, the kind that would generate a response from people. The reason she asked it does not matter. She asked in a safe place, and this person was bullied, stalked online, and threatened with exposure of what the others believed her question defined her as. They reacted to their own beliefs that it was not her place to ask her question about a touchy subject.
I made a mistake that day.
I did not reply. I did not send a personal message. I just kept scrolling. I am human; I make mistakes. By not speaking up when I saw the question my friend asked, things got way out of control. Feelings got hurt, people left the group, and it extinguished a spark. My friend left the group, and some others did, in light of this question, posted about a touchy subject. The founder of the group stepped down, and it changed lives. Words have power. Here’s the kicker, though: only if you let them.
Contrary to popular belief, I do not wear rose-colored glasses. I see more than I acknowledge. I think more than I speak.
I have not written nearly enough about the things that matter to me the most. By procrastinating instead of writing, I do not put my thoughts into words and they can escape before I can use them the way I meant them to be. Written for others to read. I am shaking as I type, but not because of anger. I am shaking because I know others need to read these words, to help them understand the message I need them to read.
A star is not a pentagram if they create it to represent a star. A heart means love, not a path to the devil; if they do not mean for it to lead the artist straight to hell. I just watched two videos posted by my first friend, and they alluded to this and many other symbolic meanings.
What were these videos created in response to?
The Super Bowl Halftime Show.
There were messages in the show. The main one I will agree with is the refugee children in immigrant detention camps being represented by children in cages.
People need to wake up and fight for the right things. Not about whether the talent was tasteful. Not about what every hidden symbol meant. But about what is happening right in front of our eyes.
Injustice. Violence. War. Destruction. Cruelty. Bullying. Hate.
I don’t care what it takes to make people see what truly is wrong in the world we live in today.
The point isn’t how you come to perceive what is going wrong in the world around you. You need to pick your fight carefully if you want to make a difference. Yes, fight for what you believe in. But if you want to make it into something bigger, don’t fall for the bullshit. Make up your own mind and move forth in your own truth. There was one thing which rang true in the videos I watched: If we all get caught up in the wrong things, there will be nobody left to stand up for what is right anymore.
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
This is a powerful and profoundly moving article.