Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Elsewhere In The World ...

Today I have headline grief. I find it so interesting how geography has such relevancy in social mores and cultural outlook. From gay marriage in California to the proposed voter ban on unmarried couple adoption in Arkansas, our opinions, fears, concerns are often shaped by our environment.

It's why traveling outside your world - getting outside your box - is so important and so life-changing. It opens the mind to other possibilities and, the resulting objective thinking lends itself to tolerance and consideration.

I see many problems with this proposed adoption ban. If they're going to ban adoption for unmarried couples - that's for straight folks too, y'all - then how can they justify natural births by unwed mothers? How can you withhold a loving home from a parentless child in the name of personal bias? There are so many children in the foster vortex who want nothing more than to be adopted and I don't see the married couples storming down the door to take them home (unless it's a brand new healthy white baby).

There don't seem to be many adoptive parents clamoring for a crack baby, or a baby born with HIV, or any other physical or emotional deficits. But routinely I read about adoptive gay parents who do step up that way. And in typical gay style - you know us, buying the run-down bungalow with good bones and hidden potential and turning it around - a lotus blooms from the mire in which it was planted.

How, in the name of Jesus, could someone withhold that opportunity from a child, or from a potential parent?

And while I get so worked up over inequity here in America, I'm humbled when stories from my default "Yes it can get worse" space - Darfur - surface. It puts it into a different perspective altogether. I want children to have bright futures so I push back against the laws proposed by zealots. But people in Sudan just want to live, and they cannot even have that comfort because they're being attacked by blood thirsty savages who seek to exterminate them in the name of ethnicity and religion. That is, to me, the definition of horror, and torment. I mentioned Mia Farrow's riveting keynote speech at least year's PRSA International Conference, and am reflooded with the specifics she cited regarding the emotional state of the refugees. It is seriously Hell On Earth for them.

She spoke of a man who'd had his eyes stabbed out by the militia, and lived blind in a small hut. He knew they would one day come for him again, and he was gripped by the fear he wouldn't see them because of the darkness in which he lived. I find that completely unacceptable.

And I wish there was more that I could do. I wish I had the courage and resolve to shuck my day-in/day-out "all about me" life and do something that could really help these people. It is my hope in posting this that readers might understand more about these stories, and not only consider their lives, but also the lives (and rights) of others.

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