How Much Am I Willing To Tolerate?
How Much Am I Willing To Tolerate?
Miss Zoot posted a thoughtful, well-written blog post, as she always does, and I am still thinking about it now. This particular blog post is titled If You Find Out Something You’ve Said/Done Offended Someone.
I like reading her blog but I have to be honest, I do wince sometimes over some of the topics. But only because I know how she feels about some things and I often wonder what her response will be to worldly news stories, if any.
However, the reason I like reading her blog is because she remains kind and considerate. I am starting to trust.
Do you know what usually happens when I read her blog; it keeps my mind and heart open. If my heart and mind are not open, she definitely puts a little light on something for me and it begins a process for me to start thinking, pondering, and perhaps renegotiating my beliefs and values.
Yes, sometimes it is uncomfortable. I always have to ask, “Am I willing to believe that? Am I willing to accept that? Am I willing to bend to that?” Whatever it is, am I willing?
Sorry, I didn’t mean to make this blog post about her. I did, though, wanted to convey how I respect her and while most of us will probably have some sort of differences, I think we can still love and respect one another. I believe that Zoot and I could probably workout and solve most of the world’s problems between the two of us. 😉 I realize I am probably embarrassing her right now so I need to STOP IT.
This brings me to this story and during the initial glance-through, about an all-male dance group performing in a small town Christmas parade in Semmes, Alabama, yes, I was offended, at first.
But then I remembered Zoot’s post. Then I had to ask myself some questions.
First, though, I went ahead and made myself watch the video that came with the al.com article and to my surprise, it wasn’t that bad. In fact, I rather enjoyed it.
I was willing to let my guard down just a little, enough to watch the video and next thing I knew I was having an open mind, even if the opening was ever so slight. At first, I was going to try and tell you that I would have been offended even if it were scantily clad WOMEN performing such dance moves in a traditional Christmas parade. But then, something surprising happened, I asked myself, “Am I offended by the Rockettes? ” No, no I am not. They are scantily clad women performing dance moves. Society has accepted them as the norm. Their Christmas performance at Radio City Music Hall is on my bucket list.
So while I watched the Prancing Elites perform their routine in the Semmes Christmas Parade, I found myself arguing for their case. Yes, I realize it is somewhat shocking to see grown men dressed up in attire more suited for a teenage girl majorette. The only thing that offended me were those white shorts. I would have opted for some red sequined shorts myself. But their dance moves were not offensive to me. The Prancing Elites looked serious, intent, and took pride in their dance routine. It was not offensive to me, believe it or not, and this is no more shocking to you than it is to me.
I honestly do not think that the Prancing Elites meant to harm anyone, or offend anyone; they just wanted to be a part of the festivities. I really and truly believe that. Keep in mind, I don’t have small children anymore and I wonder, a little, what I might have done or said if I was present at the parade and having small children there. What would I say to them? This is when I’d have to call upon my friend Zoot for help.
We all have our differences – beliefs, values, morals, faith, friends, whatever. However, I also think that with respect, we can all “get along” for lack of better words.
For instance, I believe Phil Robertson had every right to say what he said, and I do not consider him an ignorant man either. It’s what he believes. I also don’t think he meant to offend anyone. But that is neither here nor there, and quite frankly, none of my business.
Here’s the video of the Dancing Elites in the Semmes Christmas Parade.
I’m not saying that I am all up for everything changing at once. Ha! It will take some time, for sure, but with people like Zoot being kind to me, I am more willing to stand still and listen. I am realizing that it is not about what the other person is saying or doing but it is what is going on with me on the inside. That is what I have to pay attention to and cultivate, grow, and let live.