What do we want? What kind of a world do we want to live in? How important is terminology compared to intent? And do ends justify means and vice versa. The world is a complicated place and it is we humans who are the most complicated of all. There are so many ideologies and depths of independent thought competing, merging and simultaneously existing, that some may become lost in it. But to what end? And is it more important to be right or speak the truth? The two are not always the same thing. Take a look through history to see examples of when being right was being evil, callous or even tyrannical. Historically, being right has simply meant blindly following the status quo or popular theme of the time. Surely that has come to an end today? Well that depends on who you ask, which is exactly the point.
It is human nature to think that we are right. In fact, our brains work hard to ensure that the foundations upon which we navigate the world remain solid. This is a scary thought. Ever had an argument with someone when they begin to attack you and not the subject, or resort to irrational emotion? To be open minded means that you are open to change, and able to change the open minds of others. It also happens to be incredibly difficult. It is far easier, and infinitely more satisfying, to put ourselves on high horses and become the judges, juries and executioners of the world. Moral superiority, just like any form of superiority can feel good and who is anyone else to tell you that you’re wrong for wanting to feel that way?
Moving towards a world where things are fair for people is not a competition. If it was, the equal rights movement would laser in on the most privileged, richest and most powerful people. Instead we look internally amongst the upper middle of society and down. We will villanise each other and create “us vs them” scenarios in almost every facet of society. But what does this achieve? Did Pride make such strides for the LGBT+ community by creating an us vs them narrative or by showcasing with Pride a community that was previously underground and hidden? Would Pride be seen as a positive thing by the majority if every year it was a riot or an attack on someone or group. Probably not. Sure, there are some flags in the mix that might attack but that is not the focus. It is instead, a message that has stood the test of time – equality, solidarity and community. Providing visibility to a section of society whose only difference is who they love. The proof of the pudding is the eating and Pride has served up a delicious smorgasbord of incremental change that has resulted in an ever increasing world of acceptance.
We all need to do less attacking, less grandstanding, less name calling and more listening. Chances are we can learn “something” from almost every person we meet. Yet, some would rather throw themselves off a cliff than listen to certain individuals. Is that the sign of an open mind? We are all literally in this world together, and most of us play by the same types of rules. Are things perfect? No! Are things improving? In some ways, yes but in others, no. Which answer however, is dependent upon who you ask.
Pride 365 yearns for a world where people are not afraid of people. A world where there is zero stigma attached to good people for any reason. We don’t see a world where assimilation is the norm but we do see a world of acceptance and open-mindeness. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is not a weakness. It is actually good practice to be gifted with grace when we make an inevitable mistake. Some people claim that it is easier to change the world than to change people. If we can’t have open debate with people, however, and find solutions together, those dragged kicking and screaming may eventually revolt and undo all that has previously been achieved.