Perplexed Youth

In a world where everyone is striving to be politically correct, where the abnormal is now viewed as normal and normal is viewed as abnormal; in a world where having morals can make one a social pariah, or being from another culture  may make you an outsider, how does any youth learn moral good and/or break away from the pressures? Not just those pressures from peers, but the very covert ones, (and sometimes overt pressures) that come from “well-meaning adults”. It is no longer simple  for any individual to mention the name of any god, proclaim his/her beliefs, or simply mention their point of view about the very natural aspects of the human family life, without that poor individual being labelled as an uncaring, intolerant, or fanatical, moralistic human. It is not always safe anymore to proudly proclaim your homeland or heritage. Though, the question should be, ” Was there ever a time when these aspects of life co-habited lovingly? Will there ever be such a time?” Let me slow down, it seems I’m getting ahead of myself.

It was just a few days ago that I ran across an article that forced me to stop and think. A 17 year old student had painted a mural showing the progression,the growth of a male, from babe to adulthood. Her perspective of  the traditional male’s life included the male maturing into a centered individual with a wife and child. Does that sound very controversial to you? Well apparently to some, it was. This young lady, Liz Bierenday, was sharing her perspective of the traditional family, unfortunately its meaning was misconstrued. There were some who saw it as an offence to the LGBT community. A community that was once a minority, is now just as strongly in the forefront as the heterosexual community. With this increased presence, the world seems to be moving from one extreme to the other. Maddeningly searching for any little detail that can be seen as offensive because they fear that the rights of these individuals will once again be trampled upon. In their zeal for impartiality, tolerance, and understanding, they are quickly forcing the once traditional aspects of society to quiver in fear.  How you ask? By becoming the very forces they are trying to correct, hypocritical, intolerant, biased individuals. Unfortunately, this is not the only area of life in which over-zealous, well-meaning individuals are doing more harm than good. Even religion is quickly becoming taboo.

If one even slips out with a warm “Salaam alaikum“, “Namaste“, “May God be with you”, or “Shalom“, eyes glance accusingly in the direction of that daring religious fanatic. How dare that individual mention the name of any god? Can you believe that news anchor just used religious phrasing? Can’t he/she see that I am an atheist? Doesn’t that idiot know that I’m an agnostic? The “universe” forbid that any god’s name be mentioned in the public forum, after all, this must mean that the Crusades are returning, or that Islamic extremists are once more planning a historic attack against some unsuspecting nation.

Unfortunately, this is now a regular occurrence in most societies that we interact with. Suspicion is strong against anyone who is a little too vocal about any opinion, persons who barely understand the culture of various nations proclaim themselves experts of their every move. No one has the right to belittle an individual for being different, or for willingly accepting that they are part of a particular religion. As a Christian, independent-minded individual, I expect that my rights to believe in God and talk about him are respected just as well as my bestfriend’s right to be an agnostic and ignore my ramblings. As a heterosexual, I would hope that my children (the ones I’ll have when I’m old enough) won’t have to be afraid to mention that they’re from a family with opposite sex parents.

Along with these current issues, is the fact that many persons are still fearful of cultures that they do not belong to. Ignorance, fear of the unknown, and in some cases, a stubborn desire to not co-habit with “outsiders” or interact with them has created many misunderstandings. The awful thing, is that all societies seem to embrace one common excuse, “Humans are supposed to fear anything that is different, we are biologically wired to do so, just like any other species of animal.” How can that be a valid excuse? As it stands, while all other species have some form of brain or instinct, there are none that can function as intelligently as humans. We have the ability to create remarkable innovations, discover or create cures for illnesses that have long plagued humanity. Other species, while similar to us homo sapiens (hope I spelt it correctly), viz. our monkey and chimpanzee friends, and man’s beloved bestfriend–dogs, don’t have those mental capacities; yet they are still capable of integrating into our human world. They have proven themselves capable of adaptation, tolerance, and unconditional love for creatures which are obviously different from them. If these animals are capable of such actions, what excuse does humanity have for ostracising, stigmatising, and/or discriminating against people who are all part of the human race? They all have the same biological make-up, with a few minor obvious tweaks here and there. True, they have different cultures, religions, practices, heritages, but they are as normal as the person you sit next to on the train, or that co-worker you talk with at work, or the friend you grew up with from the cradle.

As a youth in my teenage years, I shouldn’t have to fear whether my discourses on Facebook, or my vocal discussions with my friends will leave me attached with any form of stigma. There should be a limit to how far an individual can express his/ her perspective, I agree. After all, having one’s own perspective does not give you the right to force others to see it, neither should one express an opinion in such a way that it is considered overly offensive. However, the right to an opinion, to a differing point of view is universal, and no one has the right to refuse that. The opinion can be questioned or refuted respectfully, but not beaten down, trodden, or thrown into the proverbial gutter because it suits an individual in authority. Not every Christian wants to start a new Dark Age, not every Muslim wants to become a terrorist, not every teen drinks or has sex, and no person has the same opinion on everything.

Each individual is different. We sing different songs, enjoy different genres of  music, I may say football, you may say soccer, I may like roti or pepper-pot, you might love pumpkin pie. These  differences give us a “cook-up pot” full of flavour. They help us to create societies that are not  monotonous, not one-dimensional, but filled with colours, emotions, everything that makes life great.

**DISCLAIMER:- This was not meant to offend any particular individual or group of persons. It is simply my perspective.**

Kadeen Nichelle Oksana Waldron

April 15-18, 2012.

Thoughts On Faith

**This was not an article, but  a brief contemplation on something for church.**

Faith is the ability to believe. It is an action word, and a concept. Faith is the willingness to hold firm to an idea, to a belief, even if logically and scientifically it cannot be proven. Faith in action, is performing the task to the best that you can. Full completion. Wholeheartedly working on your end of a deal. Why? Because we have the faith, the belief, that someone else will also do his/her best to make the deal successful. Without this faith, there can be no success.

An excellent example is our faith in modern medicine to cure our illnesses. This is because no cure will be 100% successful without the patient’s faith in its strength, and the patient’s belief in the doctor.

The same way with our faith in God. Nothing can be done by Him, FOR us, unless we truly believe in Him (please note I’m not saying that He will let you suffer, but that for the best effects, faith is necessary)*. This is why it’s important to accept and believe Christ‘s resurrection before we can proclaim ourselves Christians. This is also why we can do nothing without God’s blessings (note, I am not saying that He will literally come down and dump your thesis in a pile of water, or send a massive virus to screw up your hard drive. I’m saying that God allows certain things to happen, but that His interference makes the outcome even better)*.

Work without faith is useless. A fact that is made quite evident in so many well-known Bible stories. In particular, one incident among Jesus’ disciples.The disciples had seen Jesus casting demons out of various persons. Without fully understanding that faith in God was the key, they also tried to perform this miracle. The consequences were embarrassing and scary. These proclaimed men of God were mocked, and beaten by the demons. This was due to both their pride, and their lack of adequate faith in the power of God. Their faith resided in their own abilities only, and human abilities can never compare to the omnipotence of God.

On the other extreme, we have Jairus‘ story. His daughter was sick to the point of death. In fact, she did die. However, Christ resurrected her because of Jairus’ faith, that is, his willingness to believe that Jesus could heal her, dead or alive. Or how about the centurion whose servant was sick. This man, who had only heard of the wonders performed by Jesus, rushed to meet this Christ-person. He, who probably worshipped all those idols that were the focus of the Roman Empire, came before a Jewish carpenter that proclaimed the Jewish Yahweh. His simple request from Jesus to heal his dying servant, was met with a profound exchange of words, that left all in the audience pondering. Then without finesse, Jesus told the centurion that his servant was healed. His servant who was nowhere near them. How? The centurion’s faith in Christ’s ability.This centurion had no way of knowing before he got home, whether or not Jesus had healed his servant; yet he and Jairus exhibited faith in Christ’s power to provide healing for the people they cared about.

Perhaps, one of the best examples of faith in action, will forever remain “the woman with the issue of blood”. She bled for 12 years. Can you imagine bleeding for 12 long years? For those of us who experience a period, even one day feels like too much. The thought of bleeding everyday, for 12 years would make us go insane! All the physicians she met were unable to help her. Then she heard of Jesus. Just from hearing what He had done for others, she developed the belief/faith that Jesus could heal her. The crowd was thick. The streets were packed. People were pressing closer to Him from all sides. Jesus was completely surrounded by disciples, well-wishers, curious spectators, and the usual haters. She knew there was no way for Him to touch her. She was so close, yet it felt like a distance of miles. Then, another option popped into her mind. She decided that all she would need to do was touch the EDGE of His clothing. THAT was her belief. Her faith convinced her, that something many of us would consider simple and pointless, WOULD have power. Now that is FAITH.

Kadeen Nichelle Oksana Waldron

January 28, 2012.

*some adjustments were made March 9, 2012.

Loneliness

Loneliness

Thin wisps of clouds stand motionless,
Against the approaching twilight’s sky.
Leaves flutter gently,
constant reminders of the wind’s comforting caresses.
A sudden pang of wistful melancholy jumps out of my heart,
Spreading its moody fingers within my stomach.

A sigh leaves my lips, as I stare longingly at the sky,
Wishing for anything, something,
To break the monotony
Of another lonely day;
To arrest the creation of another dangerous thought;
But all remains the same,
Another reminder of the nothingness of my life,
The void that friendship, and mindless banter,
Can never fill.

I turn my back
Toward the scene,
Directing my gaze,
Away from the slowly darkening sky,
And descend to face another meaningless night.

 

Kadeen Nichelle Oksana Waldron

**Decided to be stupid enough to stare at the sky at the twilight time of the day…Smh

May 16, 2011.