December 3, 2010

Just some thoughts

I just have a lot of things going through my head right now and would like to share them :)

1. Our perception of beauty. I had this discussion with a friend who is going through some hard times in life right now and it really irked me. Have you ever noticed how Hollywood has shaped our perceptions of what is beautiful or handsome? For a girl to be considered beautiful, she needs a fake tan, hourglass figure, she needs to look anorexic, have big boobs, and blonde hair. For a guy to be considered handsome, he needs to have a 6 pack, decent muscle tone and definition, fake tan, dark hair, light eyes. Am I the only person bothered by this? Unfortunately it's the world we live in and there's not much we can do about it. Most men will always think Pamela Lee (or whatever her name is now) is drop dead sexy, and most women will always think Johnny Depp is drop dead sexy. Thank you Hollywood for defining pretty for us. The song "More Beautiful You" by Jonny Diaz comes to mind here...
    "Little girl fourteen flippin' through a magazine, says she wants to look that way.
     But her hair isn't straight, her body isn't fake, and she's always felt overweight.
     Well little girl fourteen, I wish that you could see that beauty is within your heart.
     You were made with such care, your skin, your body, and your hair are perfect
     just the way they are...
     There could never be a more beautiful you! Don't buy the lies, disguises, and
     hoops they make you jump through. You were made to fill a purpose, that only
     you can do. So there could never be a more beautiful you."

I just wish that we all could realize this. The way Hollywood has skewed our perceptions of what people need to look like is disgusting. Barbie dolls don't help much either because they are the IDEAL beautiful. I have heard 7 year old girls say, "I wish I could look like Barbie! Then I'd have lots of boyfriends!". Is that what you want to hear your 7 year old daughter say? How about your 5 year old daughter? Yeah, it starts earlier now. I don't remember caring about my weight or anything like that until somewhere in middle school. Now girls in first and second grades are saying they want to have boyfriends and all those other things that they shouldn't even be thinking about. It really disgusts me sometimes...

Okay, that's the end of the "beauty" rant. Next rant, taking things for granted.

2. What do you take for granted? The stove that cooks your food? The door that you lock at night to keep people out of your house? The bed you sleep in? The blanket you cover up with? The comfort of your own home? The people you haven't talked to in years that you used to be close friends with?

How about we ask a different question. What should you take for granted? NOTHING. Nothing should ever be taken for granted. I know I am guilty of this, and many of us are. We don't take the time to stop and think about how life would be if we didn't have all these things that we take for granted.

How would you feed your family if you didn't have a stove? How would you protect your family if you didn't have a door that locked? Where would you sleep without a bed? How would you stay comfortable without a blanket? Where would you go if you didn't have a home? How would you feel if you found out someone that you were mad at because of something they did in middle school died and you never got to reconcile things with them?

I am going at this more because of the homeless people that I see and hear about on a daily basis. These people don't always know where they are going to sleep at night. They don't know if they are going to wake up in the morning. They don't know if someone is going to come and take the few things that they own in the middle of the night. They don't know how they are going to stay warm in the winter or cool in the summer. They don't know where they can "live" while they are homeless. They have NOTHING. What really irritates me about how people talk about the homeless also has something to do with the paper that I wrote earlier. Blaming the victim. That's right. I hear social workers and other "social welfare" type people say things like, "He's homeless because he's an alcoholic..." "He's homeless because he's addicted to drugs..." "He's homeless because he's lazy..." But what I don't hear is, "He's homeless because he didn't have the support he needed to get off drugs and turn his life around.." All we do is "blame the victim" by saying that it is the homeless person's fault that they are homeless. That's not always true and we need to realize that. Maybe Person A is homeless because she got laid off from her job, her unemployment ran out, she couldn't afford her mortgage. Maybe when Person A became homeless she lost everything she had. Her husband, her children, her dog, her cat, her fish, her bird, her soft, warm bed, her blankets, her pillow, her security, her safety, her life. Her. Life. She lost all of that stuff that she took for granted and maybe now she is too depressed and too ashamed to seek the help she needs. We as people, as christians, as non-christians, as people who have hearts, need to get past all of that and find out if there is anything we can do to help these people. I'm not saying to bring them into your home if you're not comfortable with that. I'm not saying to give them $100. Buy them a soda at McDonalds. Or even just take them a bottle of water. And as you hand it to them, just say, "I was wondering if there is anything else I can do to help you." If they say no, then it's whatever. You can't force them to let you help them.

I don't think I have EVER posted a blog like this or been this deep in thought at 11 at night, but there was NO WAY I was going to bed with all of this in my head. Something told me that someone needs to read this and that my time spent on typing this blog will be beneficial to someone other than myself.

This holiday season, I challenge each and every one of you to make an attempt at helping at least one homeless person. Females always need those female things that we ALLLL know about (and take for granted). It may seem a bit awkward, but can you imagine how much a homeless woman would appreciate them? I'm sure hygiene products would be helpful for any homeless person as well. Give them a can of soup (that has the tab on top that you open it with, they probably don't have can openers) and a bottle of water. They might be able to make that can of soup last them an entire day.

If you're REALLY feeling good about helping some homeless people, go to Eder park behind Good Will in Elkton, right off of 213, on ANY day at 4:00 p.m. and help feed the homeless that live in those woods. Take some hats, gloves, and scarves to hand out. Take some books for them to read. Take some crackers for them to take back to their tents or whatever else they might have for shelter there. There is a whole community of homeless people right outside our doors and I bet you drive by at least one of these people every single day and don't even think about how far they walk in a day.

Just take time out of your life to think about all the things you have, and try to imagine life without them. Stop taking things for granted, open your heart and your mind, and help one homeless person this holiday season and see how it makes you feel. I know every time I have helped a homeless person, I have almost broken down in tears because of how good I felt. I've been on the verge of tears the entire time I've been typing this blog.

I think my keyboard hates me now. Please take this blog seriously and not just as me "venting" about things. Help a homeless person, realize that you are beautiful no matter how you look. God made you the way you are for a reason and God doesn't make mistakes. Stop taking things for granted, think about someone other than yourself, and give with an open heart and open mind to someone in need and help them enjoy this holiday whether they have a home or not.

The end.

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