Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Grey Lives

"I am Grey. I stand between the candle and the star. We are Grey. We stand between the darkness and the light." -- Delenn, Babylon 5 episode 2-11

What do you do when your family, your supposed friends, or society turns their back on you for your beliefs?  Some forge their own path, for good or ill.  Some live out their lives alone.  A few can't deal with it and commit suicide.  The last option has sadly become more prevalent, particularly among young people who are still sorting out their identity.

Among the more publicized cases: 13-year-old Seth Walsh of California hanged himself after being repeatedly bullied by his classmates for being gay.  18-year-old Tyler Clementi jumped off a bridge after two of his "friends" secretly filmed him in a sexual encounter and posted it on the Internet.  Another young man committed suicide after being scorned by his own family when he outed himself to them.

This sort of thing is reprehensible, and shows how closed-minded some people really are.  Regardless of any personal opinion on a subject, or an 'us vs them' mindset, one should remember that 'they' are people too and have their own feelings and lives.  Nobody deserves to be cast out or punished for not conforming to the majority.

I went through something similar in middle school, when someone started a nasty rumour that I and another girl in my class were having a "relationship".  One evening the girl's parents paid us a visit and told my folks that it didn't matter whether the rumours were true or not; the idea of two girls in a "relationship" was against their beliefs and they made it clear that I was not welcome in their home any more, and neither was I allowed to associate with any of their children at any time, anywhere.

I was understandably upset, but later my mother told me that she didn't care about the rumours, true or false.  In her opinion, these people were being stupid.  Plus if they held such antiquated beliefs that they prevented their own children from seeing their friends or broadening their social experiences, they didn't deserve to be my friends anyway.

Mom was a wise woman.  I hope to impart some of that wisdom to my own daughter if ever she comes up against similar troubles.  Life isn't always black and white.  But it takes intelligence and a bit of wisdom to sort out the shades of grey in between.

1 comment:

  1. It is so tragic that, during a time when these people need the most support, those around them abandon them because they can't get past their own fear, insecurity, whatever. Whether or not I agree with someone's life choices, I am called to love others because Christ loves me.