Tuesday, April 08, 2008

17 Years Ago

17 years ago, I would not be promoting a protest of Bill C-484 on Parliament Hill. Not that I was pro-life, but neither was I pro-choice.

17 years ago, I would not be publicly supporting same sex marriage or same-sex couple adoption. It just wouldn't have occurred to me for it to be an option.

17 years ago, I supported the NDP. It was a couple of years later that I started supporting the Progressive Conservatives (thanks, in part, to Bob Rae).

17 years ago, I lived in a blue collar industrial town. Guys my age drove Camaros and Cavaliers depending on where you worked for the summer.

We all grew up ingrained with certain ways of thinking.

We grew up largely separated from those people different from us. I grew up Protestant; there were "the Catholics" that lived around the corner - they went to different schools and pretty much kept to themselves. Or, so I thought. There was not a lot of diversity to be had - again, so I thought.

While I'd like to think of myself back in those days as being on the low end of the objectionable scale, I'm pretty sure I said and did some pretty insensitive things - not really realizing what I was doing or who I was affecting.

For that, I'm sorry.

My general attitude toward social issues did not really change until the second year of university, where I gradually began replacing my old friends with people who had a broader viewpoint on life.

Today, my friends and acquaintances include a diverse group of people. I'm proud of that group of friends. I'm pretty open with my opinions with those who may not share them.

I still know though, that I'm not perfect. I clearly still have some work to do.

I think we all do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That diversity has always existed in our communities but it has always been suppressed. Whether we like or not we come from a culture that only gives the illusion of a peaceful society but we teach our kids that they have to be better than others. The easiest way to do that is to put someone else down, rather than actually being good people themselves.

That us-and-them, circle the wagons mentality might make some people feel good but it denies everyone the chance to learn through diversity. We all have a lot to give to each other by way of our differences.

Some people will never get that and that’s a shame. You’re not one of them Jim, Thanks.