Thursday, December 16, 2010

Owning the Corner Market on Kindness { Retrieving My Goats }

Bloody hell!  It's almost New Year's and i still have a few goats out wandering in the wrong pasture.  I don't like it when my goats are out wandering where they shouldn't be.  I really want to have them all in by end of year...and that is


So, let's start with something that has my biggest goat right now:  groups who think they have the corner market on kindness.  You know, the ones who think they're the ONLY people in the world who take dinner to sick people, or have compassion for mankind (or animals, or each other), etc. etc.  You know what i mean.  And if someone outside their fold performs a kind act, they say things like, "They're REALLY one of US...they just don't KNOW it yet." One of them recently tried to convince me that because i had done something kind for someone, it meant i was one of "them." 

I just threw up in my mouth.

I am sooooo not one of "them."  I am one of ME and ME happens to be a kind and caring person.  Errr...I happen to be....

Case in point:

I was raised in an atheist household.  I wasn't indoctrinated with the dogma of any religion.  The neighborhood where i grew up consisted of middle-class suburbanites who commuted to D.C. to work all week, then drank on the weekends, had parties and enjoyed life. They shopped on Sundays or took their kids to the movies.  They were also there for each other in times of need.  They weren't wallowing in religion.  They were simply good people.  { Side note: I can remember only one church-goer from my childhood, a Baptist named Libby.  I had no interest in learning of her beliefs, nor did my parents.  (Thank kitty, because i was horrified when the Baptists boycotted Disney over gay people having benefits for thier partners and if i had become affiliated with that hateful group, i would've shat myself, like i did when the Mormon church funded Prop 8).  }

So anyway, despite my godless upbringing, i was always a caring individual.  As a child, if i found a sick or injured bird, i would nurse it back to health.  When i got older, i got involved in school and community organizations.  I was the secretary and then the president of SADD.  After high school, i served in the Air Force where i also volunteered in many ways.  After that, i volunteered with CAP (Child Assault Prevention) and with other non-profits.  Even now, i still volunteer (for JDRF's ODST--Online Diabetes Support Team) and try to be there for people, in general. 

And guess what? 

My caring nature has NOTHING to do with religion.  It has everything to do with being HUMAN and, more importantly, an individual capable of having my own interests, beliefs, and concerns. 

So, to those of you who have my goat because you believe people are only good because of religion, i hereby reclaim my goat.  Next time you throw your cookie-cutter beliefs at me, i will have only this to say to you:


3 holla'd back:

Amy said...

Great post! I concur completely.

Chris said...

It's telling how many of them claim that without religion, there would be no reason to bother being good. All that says to me is that they're capable of being bribed.

Here's a couple books on the topic you might like (or at least you might like to read as much of the free previews as Amazon allows!)

Chris said...

Ricky Gervais:

“Do unto others…” is a good rule of thumb. I live by that. Forgiveness is probably the greatest virtue there is. But that’s exactly what it is -­‐ a virtue. Not just a Christian virtue. No one owns being good. I’m good. I just don’t believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It’s knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that’s where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. “Do this or you’ll burn in hell.”

You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.

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