Some things should be able to go without saying.

February 21, 2008 at 7:27 pm 7 comments

But apparantly, they can’t.

I saw a sign up in the University library that read: “All members of our community have the right to fair and respectful treatment”.

Well.  Um.  Yes.

And yet, obviously someone needs the reminder, or the sign wouldn’t be there.

It was the sermon for the midweek service yesterday, too. “Nobody is beneath our attention, our kindness, our compassion”.

Honestly, how is it possible that adults anywhere need to be reminded of some very simple, basic truths?  You can disagree with others. You can dislike them. You can think just about anything you want. You don’t get to treat anybody like crap.  AND- when systems exist that end up treating some people like crap, they have to be changed.

I’m really, really happy to have found my way into FA. Mostly because I’m tired of treating myself like crap.  Also, I’m tired of accepting being treated like crap because, “after all, they have a point, I do take up more than my fair share of space”. And I’m tired of hearing other women treat themselves, and each other, like crap.    

But- I’m also increasingly aware that there are all kinds of other people being treated like crap all around me, and (if I’m brutally honest with myself) by me.  At the very least by systems that benefit me, and when I am complacent about that, I am complicit. My mother and friend are treated like crap because their medical problems involve brain chemistry. Another friend is treated like crap because she’s in a wheelchair. A colleague is treated like crap because he seems too young to be so competent.

The Church of which I have been a lifelong member, and that I love, has a long and shameful history of treating people like crap. And some members still view that as an acceptable way forward into the future. It isn’t. Because Jesus said so, because or baptismal covenant says so, because basic human fucking decency says so.

So, I’ll say it here, one more time.
And I’ll say it to the Sunday School.
And I’ll say it again in bible studies, and in services, and in conversations.
I’ll say it a LOT to my daughter(s).
And I’ll say it again and again and again and again to myself.

If you’re reading this, it’s quite likely that in your own more eloquent words and from your own soapbox, you’re saying it too.  Please keep on.

And, maybe, when enough of us are saying it, and trying to live by it, we’ll slowly, oh-so-slowly, far too slowly, get to a point where it really can go without saying.

You don’t get to treat anybody like crap.
You can disagree with others. You can dislike them. You can think just about anything you want. You don’t get to treat anybody like crap.

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Not Necessarily Free How Soon Does it Start?

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lindsay  |  February 21, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    You can disagree with others. You can dislike them. You can think just about anything you want. You don’t get to treat anybody like crap.

    Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times YES.

  • 2. awalkabout  |  February 22, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Funny how you think adults are open minded and mature–and sometimes they’re the worst offenders of all? Especially church people, in my experience. Live what you teach. Seems a no-brainer. Thanks for sharing!

  • 3. mikeytherhino  |  February 22, 2008 at 2:33 am

    Basic truths to you are not basic truths to someone else. No matter how obvious they seem. People need to be told to be nice to each other ALL THE TIME or they will step on each other and treat each other like crap. Sometimes they don’t know. Sometimes they don’t care.

    Nothing goes without saying. try not to expect perfect behavior from imperfect people. Or perfect systems from those self same people.

  • 4. Rigg  |  February 22, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    I am trying to see the Lord’s fruit in your words.
    It is difficult.

    I wonder if you use such language with your daughters
    when you are telling them to be nice to people.

    You seem to have a lot of animosity and resentment
    in your voice.

    I will pray for your continued growth in Christ.

    God Bless

  • 5. mrsmillur  |  February 22, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks for your concern, Rigg. Although ‘thou shalt not steal’ is one of the commandments, I’ll “borrow” from the milk ads: may we grow always, and grow all ways.

    I don’t tell my daughters to be ‘nice’. I have a whole other rant about ‘nice. Watch this space. Speaking up for yourself sometimes isn’t nice. Demanding change often isn’t nice. And sometimes these things also involve resentment, and animosity.

    Resentment and animosity leave room, I hope, for some kindness and compassion. I’m working on that more than I’m working on purging perfectly serviceable words from my vocabulary.

    We all work out our own salvation in fear and trembling.

  • 6. Rigg  |  February 23, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Hello again mrsmillur,

    Thank you for answering my comment. I have been reading your blog in more detail and I think we would agree on more than we would disagree. I love your line, “Demanding change often isn’t nice.” I agree that as Christians we have to stand for what we believe. I also believe that we need to stand apart from world, like the words we use. I know words don’t have any strength on their own, but as a representative of our Lord I believe we have a higher standard to uphold to. We need to stand apart from the world and be salt and light to a dark world.

    The other question I have is about attending a church that is so mean to people. In Matthew 18: 15 -17 it says, “…if your brother sins against you, go and tell him….if he will not hear, take with you one or two more…..if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector”.

    If I were at a church that treated people so bad I would approach the people in a Biblical way. I always feel that even if others in church are not modeling Christ like qualities, I have a responsibility to reflect that grace and righteousness despite their hypocrisy. If it was the leadership that was so cruel and nothing changed, I would probably seek out fellowship with more mature believers.

    Thank you for giving me space. I invite you to visit my blog as well and leave me a comment at http://riggword.wordpress.com/
    I value your comments.

    God Bless,

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