Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Who We Are Is Decided By What We Do


"Hey, Aren't You People All The Same?"
Jared Lee Loughner Pleads Guilty
Two mass-murders have taken place since I have been on the road, this Summer. And they have made me wonder where our very diverse Country is heading.

I have traveled across ten States this since June 1. And I have seen several examples of hatred that didn't and don't now...make any sense to me.

Some people understand what I'm doing and some people don't.

For example, I have stood in a so-called "Christian" "Rescue" mission building and listened to a man rant on about my "chosen lifestyle." He declared me to be an absolute sinner and swore that I would "remain useless" until I reach "a very bad end." Then he said that I couldn't stay at "his" shelter unless I surrendered my Walkman, cell phone and my laptop.

"We have to protect our clients from the intervention of the devil" he declared.

 "There is only ONE way into heaven and only one way that your dirty soul will become clean, again and that you will be saved" he added.

"Do you know what that way is?" He asked me.

 It was obvious that he didn't care one bit for my spiritual well-being. He just wanted to drag my free spirit through the mud of his own corruption and hypocrisy.

"Give me a few minutes to confer with the Higher Power that has guided me through all of my adult life and then I'll get back with you" I replied.

That man's skewed, sanctimonious thinking never helped me. And as far as I know, he never really helped anyone else in that building, that night, either.

But he was so sure that he was right. So seriously sure.

Wade Michael Page thought that he was right, too. But he wasn't.

And that brings me to my point: I believe that love and respect are the two parts of our behavior mechanism that will always bring us together in the right way.

The Washington Post article, which I've linked to in this post, mentions how some of the "White Supremacists" initially reacted to the latest shooting. According to the story, some of the "White Power" folks thought that Page had to be a "White, liberal crazy."

Except he wasn't...Wade Michael Page was a twisted and confused individual who had no known connection to any shred of liberal thinking. He was a dysfunctional, disconnected man who never figured out what life is really about. He wasn't irrational...he was just so totally selfish that his obsession with himself eventually turned his mind inside-out. And then he mentally exploded and turned a gun on a group of innocent people in a place of worship.

On Saturday afternoon, a woman in Seneca Falls, New York stopped her car and offered me a ride. She is a nurse in that area. It was very hot at that hour of the day and the woman decided to take me somewhere where I could cool down.

She ended up buying me a motel room and some cold sodas, too.

The next day, I got two rides to the town of Waterloo. I sat on a guardrail and put my thumb out, again. After a few minutes, a young guy in a van rolled up beside me and stopped. His eyes looked wide and glassy.

"I can't ride with you." I said.

The young guy looked at me and glared.

"Well, then...you shouldn't have put your thumb out." he said, gunned the engine and spun the van's tires in the roadside dirt. After a moment, a cloud of dust blew over me.

Hate...just like that.

Later, a couple, in a big SUV, drove me through Geneva and Canandaigua, New York and into the "country", again. The woman handed me twenty-dollars before she drove off, again.

Then a man took me to a little, roadside motel and gave me another twenty-dollars. I bought a room at the motel and had a nice dinner, too. I accumulated over $60 over the course of the day and that money kept me out of the stormy weather on Sunday night.

Yesterday, a man drove me all the way from East Avon to Hamburg, New York. He just wanted to take a drive and we shared a good conversation, along the way.

After he dropped me off, I sat down on my backpack, by a road sign and stuck out my thumb, again.

About fifteen-minutes later, an older woman with a very sweet disposition, stopped her pretty red car and offered me a ride.

After we chatted for a few minutes, the woman (who is a retired secretary for the local school system) decided to buy me a room at a nearby Super 8. We stopped at a grocery store where I swiped my EBT card and got some food for dinner (and several bags of Wasabi peas for the road, today). Then we went over to the motel and checked me in.

This morning, she drove me down here to where I am now: Silver Creek, New York.

Along the way, we passed a bad scene that was just unfolding. A man, in handcuffs, was being led out of the woods by two cops. I still don't know what the story is all about but it reminded me that it is very easy for a person to make a stupid choice.

My glasses broke this afternoon. They're worn out and I doubt that they will be able to be fixed.

Now my vision is compromised. I can handle many variables but not this one. I'm still not sure what I am going to do about it. I'll "see" how I do without them.

The fact that my glasses finally snapped is not the result of a wrong choice. It just happened. That is an example of every day reality.

And that is something that won't knock the Earth off its axis.

But the decision that Wade Michael Page made did make a difference: An awful, bad, permanent one.

We all have opportunities to share, or shut-out, limit or love. And whatever label that we wear or who we align ourselves with will never change the reality of what we do...after it's done.

There is no such thing as "White Supremacy." There are just decent people who don't wrap themselves in evil...before they try to do something good.

Right will never be dictated by gender, age, heritage, color or religion.

It takes something more than that...


Anonymous said...

I think you see things very clearly Ruthie, with or without glasses!

ps hope you can read this!!

Ruthie Rader said...

Thank you, "T."

My glasses are back together...but I know that I amn going to have to get a new pair, soon.

Thank you to the kind man in Westfield, New York for the repair job.