I had to admit to my kids recently that I didn’t stop using the r-word until I was probably 30? Or maybe even older? And when I admitted it to them, I was embarrassed. Like…I almost didn’t admit it but the conversation warranted it and the looks on their faces were like…how did it take you so long to learn something we’ve known our whole lives?
Welcome to parenting in the era of woke culture. Our kids know more than we do.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how easy it is to snark on someone who doesn’t see “the truth” in politics, but how do we check ourselves to make sure we’re not having the same problem? Well…to me? That long list of things I’m embarrassed about? Gives me comfort.
For a split second back 2012 (PLEASE UNDERSTAND IT WAS A VERY SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME, LIKE LESS THAN A DAY, BECAUSE I AM STILL A LITTLE EMBARRASSED) I heard the phrase, “All lives matter,” and thought it made more sense than, “Black lives matter.” It took about 5 minutes of reading black voices to shake that privilege off and never look back.
I’m still very bad about ableism and language around it. I’m trying to use “lame” and “crazy” less but it turns out I’m an old dog who is slow to learn new tricks.
I used to think that D.A.s running on “Look at how many convictions I’ve had!” platforms made sense and never asked, “But were those convictions just or fair?” I never questioned the money bail system. I never questioned the 3-strikes rule and therefore I supported it. I have changed my position SO MUCH in the world of criminal justice reform.
One of my oldest changed positions is that I used to think marriage was dumb and therefore we should abolish it and just make everyone have common law “marriages.” This was my take on gay rights. Like, “They shouldn’t WANT to get married! Marriage is lame!” *sigh*
I used to struggle a lot to understand transgender people. This one I think was common back in the 80s and 90s, especially in the South. I have definitely come around to not only positions of empathy, but positions of true understanding after exposing myself to the writing and content creating of trans men and women.
These are just the examples I can think of right now. I’m proud to say there are surely more.
I think it’s important to be able to concretely identify these things. I think it is something to be proud of because it proves you are not stagnant in your beliefs and your perception of the world. It proves you are willing to listen to ideas contrary to your own. It proves you are willing to grow. And I think we should be proud of those embarrassing stances we used to hold because our politics right now is often dominated by people who don’t want change, and many who don’t like the change they’ve seen, and the more we can reflect on our own growth…we are pushing against that mindset.