I am currently, and slowly, reading Jodi Picoult’s A spark of light. If you haven’t heard of it, no worries, I won’t spoil the story but I will refer to it some throughout this post.
We are living in an age of publicly opinionated people. For most, they choose to hide behind their computer screen, with their especially hateful opinions. But no matter how they express their opinions, those words are out there for the world to see thanks to technology.
The whole premise of my blog is finding equanimity. Equanimity is having mental calmness and having the ability to not attach strong emotions to events and situations. This is not an easy feat when so many people have so much to say about how others live their lives. It affects us all no matter how much you try to block it out.
I have Christian values but I draw a line when it comes to certain issues and interpretations of the bible. If you know anything about Jodi Picoult, you know that she writes beautiful and thought provoking stories concerning our social issues. A spark of light is centered around abortion. Now I know that this is a touchy subject. Some people will stop reading because they don’t want to read what I have to say. Others will read with an open mind. If you are still with me, thank you.
I will be honest, when Trump became president, I had to step away from social media because hate was flying left and right. I had never seen so many people say so many hateful things about their fellow Americans. I came back because I realized that I can’t hide and pretend that hate didn’t exist. I needed to face my emotions and attempt equanimity.
Last week, I was slammed so hard on Facebook with post about abortion and how it’s wrong and some were very hateful towards the women who considered or had even gone through with having abortions. For Christianity, I like to refer to Romans 14:13: “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” But I think Karen Salmansohn put it in a great way too: “Please don’t judge people. You don’t know what it took someone to get out of bed, look and feel as presentable as possible and face the day. You never truly know the daily struggles of others.”
I will not turn this into a sermon. My point is, no matter what you think you know, you know nothing of another person’s life and struggles. You may see a woman “killing” her baby at the clinic but she knows what she can and can not handle. No two people are the same so handling a situation will differ. I have never had an abortion and in my current mindset (read that again), I would not have one. But if my situation was more grim, I may consider it.
That is what pro-choice is all about. I have been pro-choice since high school. I worked at Planned Parenthood (Gasp!) as a teen advocate and taught my fellow teenagers about safety and choices. Life is about choices and when we start limiting the choices of specific groups of people, we are forcing our own will upon them.
Remember your history. There was a time when women were thought to be inferior and that has been proven wrong. HIV was thought to be a “Gay” disease and again, wrong. Jewish people were annihilated and a black person wasn’t even a full person… come on!
Ignorance has gotten the best of us at every turn and I wish that people would just give thought a chance. I turn back to equanimity. As I write this, I am not angry nor sad, or anything else in between. We all have free will. There are some rules that should not be broken and when they are, we need to understand that we don’t have the knowledge of specific situations to judge.
Hurting others doesn’t say a lot about them, but screams of the type of person you are. Remember that.