Monday, June 27, 2016

Thank you, PRIDE

Rarely does this world make a lot of sense to me.  

Why are we here?  What are we supposed to do with our lives, and how much control over them do we actually possess?  What are the right objectives for us as individual human beings, as siblings, as parents, as families, as professionals, as societies?  

My father blames my philosophy degree for these lingering uncertainties, and while certainty certainly has its virtues, this is the mind I possess.  

Occasionally, I have shining moments of clarity and serenity.  Yesterday was one such day.

I went to the PRIDE parade in St Louis, MO.  The recent shooting at an Orlando nightclub has been on my mind a lot, and I wanted to participate in the festivities.  

While I might not always understand much in this world, the underlying theme that drives tragedy is crystal clear to me -- fear.  Fear of what is different.  Fear that we are not “Right” with a capital “R.” Fear that we are not -- or someday might not -- be in control.  Fear of a world that evolves -- always has, mind you -- and how it will possibly operate under altogether different values, beliefs, practices and behaviors.  Fear that something standing in stark contrast to some truth we hold near and dear might be overcome by that scary thing over there that seems to be breathing -- or worse -- even thriving.

Our minds cannot fathom such a dynamic world, so we create zones for ourselves where we find comfort and security.  While this makes sense and is often necessary, it can be dangerous, serving to separate rather than unite us.  

Sexuality, faith, style, language, behavior, artistic expression, interests, taste and values that, while connecting us to people we can often best relate to, can be breeding grounds for separation.

As I walked the streets of downtown St Louis, smiling and high fiving with strangers that I somehow felt immediately connected to, I felt the pride that founded this culture.

To the founders and continued supporters of PRIDE and its positive, eccentric and altogether brilliant culture, I stand with you.  I love what you have created.  There was not a happier or more fun place within hundreds of miles of the environment you built yesterday in downtown St Louis.  

I will continue to celebrate your style, your music and your love, and I thank you for it.

$.50 Philosophy

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