What’s in a Choice?

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm

“…and when you call God your Father, you just don’t get to pick and choose who your brothers and your sisters are.” Those were a few words of Connie Campbell’s testimony at last year’s Mississippi Methodist annual convention. With her partner Renee Sappington by her side, the two chartered unfamiliar territory with their testimonies, their openness, their vulnerabilities. They talked about choices; the ability to decide where to commit to God and to worship openly as a married couple, despite not being able to marry in Mississippi.

Missed opportunities—
Rarely does the same one come around again. This past spring Mississippi teen Constance McMillen made national headlines for suing her school district for not allowing her same-sex date to attend the prom with her. Mississippian Ceara Sturgis is suing her school district for removing her yearbook photo. What did she do? She wore a tux–the school district has a “policy banning young women from wearing tuxedos in senior yearbook portraits.”

So, here we are again; an opportunity to have an open forum on race, gender, and sex…we have the opportunity to put aside differences of opinions, ideals, theories, and certain hardened beliefs. To have a dialogue, not to agree, shout, yell, or curse, but essentially, the opportunity to gain understanding.

I remember my very first job as a teen; it’s that building with the golden arches. Well, in the interview I recall the manager asking me what would I do with an irate customer. I looked the manager in her eyes and smiled and said I would allow the customer to get out his or her frustration, give them what they were asking for, and then ask them how they were doing. This happened on more than one occasion and not to my surprise, I struck up conversations that showed me who those customers really were.

Many times we walk around with assumptions and stereotypes and before long we look for characteristics or behaviors to match what we already speculate. I’ve learned and am continually learning to look to the core of the individual, no matter who they are, what they look like, or what they may wear.

Connie is right, I cannot choose my brothers and sisters, but I can choose to gain a better understanding of life by walking the path with them, constantly engaging, enquiring, and learning from a different pair of shoes.

  1. Ernest Hemingway~ Theres nothing noble in becoming superior for your fellow men. True the aristocracy is becoming superior to your former self.

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