Tuesday, May 11, 2021

i like different best

We say we celebrate diverse. Different. Unusual. We really do.

But for the most part, we don't behave as if that's true. If you say you do with your words, but don't actually do with your actions- is it even true? 

I've shared before, "We all say we love and accept people who are different. And I think we mean it. It's so easy to love people in words, but so much harder to do so in action. Because there's usually an unspoken parenthesis after saying "I love and accept all people." A parenthesis that says- as long as I am not disrupted or inconvenienced. As long as you follow my same morale compass. As long as you don't look different. As long as I don't have to invite you to my birthday party. As long as I do not have to hire you. As long as I don't have to sit next to you. As long as I understand why you do what you do. As long as you do not make me feel uncomfortable." 

This seems to be where most of the world lies, with little action and good intention. We wear, "Be Kind" shirts and talk shit about our neighbor. We "celebrate diversity," yet our kids birthday parties and playdates would never show it. Special Needs are a forgotten class. We'll share a "feel good" video of a popular kid doing something unremarkable with a Special Needs kid, and feel like we've done our part. But who is that really celebrating? 

I don't have all the answers, and I'm still learning as I go. I am so happy God trusted me with my boys and this story, because before that, I was clueless to what it really means to accept others who don't look like me and act like me. At first I felt enlightened from knowing, and then I felt guilt for my complacency. The only good kind of guilt, is the kind that makes you change your own behavior. So that's what I try to do to be a more loving, inclusive person. I've got miles to go, but I think I'm on the right road.

A few weeks ago we went Strawberry picking at Sunshine's Farm in Fresno. 

Row after row of bright Spring goodness. Nature and life on full display.

The strawberries were so beautiful, so ripe everywhere you looked. They melted in your mouth they were so ripe. And they were truly aesthetic standards.The ones I loved best were the differently shaped ones, ones once upon a time, ones I would have thrown away or ignored. I picked those. Research shows that “Imperfect” produce is often turned away by grocery stores for not meeting strict cosmetic standards – making up around 40% of total food waste. They've seen first hand that consumers don't want imperfect.

But now, I like different best. And boy is the world more beautiful when you can see the beauty in different. 

So Much Love and Strawberries,


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