We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Let us find a way to make this true for all people – regardless of ability, color, education, religion, gender, marital status, language, country of origin, financial status, social standing (or sitting), political preferences, family history, and any other word or phrase we as a society use to separate ourselves from each other.
I am the epitome of the great American mutt – the result of the once great concept of the Melting Pot. This is me on my 50th birthday – it is not me of yesterday and won’t be me of tomorrow. This is me of today.
Ability: I am able-bodied but make choices that may one day rob me of that. I am not better or worse than others – just different (sorta like everyone else.) I do have to stop standing on things that are not meant to be ladders, or this may change sooner than I think.
Color: I am technically white but appear mostly pink and blotchy red. What color are you? I think under our skin we may be the same -indistinguishable from each other. I keep this in mind (but occasionally picturing everyone without skin makes me a little queasy.)
Education: I am highly educated but occasionally (maybe frequently) stupid. Some of our leaders are highly stupid and occasionally educated. I am working to help change that.
Religion: I was, but now I’m not – we must each be free to believe in what brings us peace and let others do the same. I suggest we try to be good people. I think that might work.
Gender: Is unique to the individual and should remain that way. I am a woman who likes the manly type of things. I can plumb, use power-tools, bar-b-que, swing a hammer, and MacGyver the hell out of most things. I don’t wear make-up. I am not you, and you are not me. Let us admire each other’s definition.
Marital Status: Yes – for all. I believe you fall in love with a soul. The soul I love is male – just kinda worked out that way. Who you love won’t ever change that for me. What I want is for you to have this same deep bond – if you want it. Makes no difference to me who it is.
Language: My language is filled with curse words from all over the world – now including ASL. I am open to learning the curse words from your mother tongue – will you share? Speak what lets you convey the important things in your life. Work to communicate with everyone. Understand that language and communication are not the same things.
Country of Origin: America. Did you think I meant my ancestors? What does that have to do with me? They gave me the pink with red blotchy skin that burns at the thought of the sun. They gave me stories. But I am an American.
Financial Status: Sometimes I have money – more times I don’t. I give away when I can. I have no status. I’m okay with that.
Social Standing (or Sitting): I am a total social misfit that really doesn’t give a flying f*ck. (At least I pretend that’s true.) Underneath I am scared and shy and afraid and clumsy – and I’m hoping you’ll like me and I try not to care.
Political Preferences: I prefer politicians that do not exude ignorance, bigotry, self-centered idolatry, sexism, sadism, racism, intolerance, narrow-mindedness, hatred, misogyny….. I didn’t say democrat or republican. Right not my preferences are not being met – wanna help me change that?
Family History: I am not born into my family but was lucky enough to be picked by them. I am celebrated, cared-for, tolerated, teased, rebuked, praised, scolded, and welcomed. You know, the good stuff about family.
Right now, I am this. Tomorrow I will be something else. We each carry with us the sum of our experiences – good and bad – that blend to make us who we are. Each adventure changes the picture and redraws the landscape where we live. It’s kinda exciting. I wonder who I will be next? I just hope I like her.