One of the perks to gaining significant and life-altering experiences is that you begin to amass this sort of catalogue of reference material. Or at least you do if you're like me. Things just all start to connect after a while in various and sundry ways. One connection I've made lately, actually about 30 minutes ago when I woke UP thinking about it, is the similarity between the way people speak about subjects like education and sexuality.
My first 14 years of teaching were spent in first and second grades. Those are the tender years when parents hold many beliefs about their offspring very similar to that very same child's belief in Santa. Somehow what looked like "genius" sort of behavior in those early years begins to swiftly deduct I.Q. points around 7th or 8th grade. I speak from experience here. When you teach first and second graders, every parent is an expert. Their credentials are nothing more than the fact that they've managed to produce said offspring and that they themselves once attended a public school of learning. And many of these parents will speak with great authority. Much of the time it was profoundly stupid authority, and yet they were certain beyond any doubt, of their knowledge of education in general. Their opinions would run the gamut from "kids need to sit down, be quiet, and read and write all day long" to "children need to be free to express themselves, move about freely, and be always and forever active in their learning." There's some wisdom somewhere in-between all that, yet many first grade teachers have to spend as much time educating parents as they do children. By the time the kid gets to middle school, most parents seem to throw their hands in the air then get down on their knees and thank God there's a place to send that little darling every day where other adults are willing to spend some time with them.
I'm finding that folks speak with a similar sort of self-appointed authority about the subject of sexuality. Now that I'm going through this ordeal, it seems everyone and their pet canary has an opinion about "the gays". Unfortunately, most of the canaries only know the words "queer" and "faggot"....but still, that says something. (i'm being outrageously sarcastic here...sorry...it's very therapeutic for me) It does amaze me though, how people with nothing more than sexual body parts and the blessing of never having had to deal with any of this crap in any really meaningful sort of fashion, speak as if they've got it all figured out. Heck, I've practically read a library on it, spent countless hours ruminating, reflecting, and discussing it with all SORTS of people, attempted to literally LOVE someone through it, and I still don't have it much figured out. Oh to be so wise.
And here I find myself at yet another point of compassion for gays, ex-gays, or anyone considering anything remotely like any of the above. Goodness gracious me.
love and grace,
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