Inspiring Me Now

  • "The Purpose of Life is to Be Happy" Dalai Lama

July 26, 2012


I don’t often write about politically charged issues, but hey, it’s an Election year. So in the spirit of Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin, I thought I’d voice a topic close to my heart, gay marriage.

If you do your research and look into the history of marriage, it is anything but romantic. Marriage was not a mere personal matter concerning only a husband and wife, but the business of their two families which brought them together. Most marriages were arranged. The wife had fewer rights than her husband and was expected to be subservient to him. Marriage was also seen as an economic arrangement. Procreation and cooperation were the main marital duties. Sweet, huh? 

Things have changed. We can have or adopt and raise children on our own. We can start and run our own multi-million dollar corporations. We do not need to legally bond ourselves to someone in order to survive. Most Americans know this. Therefore, the idea that marriage should only be viewed as a contract to ensure kids and money is preposterous. Again, most Americans know this, in fact, I would argue that most of world knows this – though it may not be practiced or spoken of so freely.

Marriage now is entered into for love.  Your wedding is the one day of your life that you get to stand up in front of your family and friends and tell them all how much you love this other person. You love them so much, that you are willing to legally bind yourself to them forever.  We dance, we eat, we drink, and we celebrate the love of two people. 

The Constitution of the United States says nothing specifically about marriage itself, so how can one say whether bans on gay marriage are constitutional? The Constitution does mention equal rights to all citizens. Is it not unequal to offer legalized marriage to one couple and not another? Was it unequal to keep black and white citizens separate? Was it unequal to not allow women to vote? I believe the problem lies in the fact that so many Americans (in particular) do not view marriage as a contract between two individuals who love each other; they view it as a contract between two individuals who love each other AND God. 

Guess who isn’t mentioned in the Constitution? That’s right, it’s God. In fact it is written in the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Separation of Church and State, baby! So, according to the Constitution, religious establishments can choose not to marry a same sex couple, but the government intuitions cannot. The way I see it, it’s unconstitutional to ban same sex marriages. 

However, I not only see it as unconstitutional, I see it as callous. Assuming there are no legal barriers to same sex marriages, there seem to be only religious/moral barriers. Though I no longer consider myself a religious person, I do remember what I was taught. “Judge not lest ye be judged”. From what I know of religion, in the end, it is not we who decide if we go to “heaven” or “hell”, is it not we who decide what is sinful or not. We are not the final judgment, God is. So, as mortal individuals put here on earth by God and instructed by God to judge not, where do we get off telling people they cannot marry someone they love because of their sexual preference? We are all human beings. We all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Perhaps if we practiced tolerance instead of prejudice the world would be a little bit of a better place. 

An estimated 1.8 million people worldwide died of AIDS in 2010. According to the United Nations about 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes. Cancer kills roughly 1,500 people per day in the US. These are the issues we should be worried about. These are the issues that are changing the world. Throwing up arms in response to two same sex individuals legally marrying each other seems a bit petty to me when you look at the big picture. But as Americans we’re good at that aren’t we, turning our heads at the ugly, shielding our eyes from the bad.  I don't know about you, but I think it’s time we took the blindfold off. 

July 23, 2012


Yeah, I watched the season finale of The Bachelorette. Yes, I got a little teary eyed when Jef (who I knew would win) proposed. I even watched the “After the Final Rose” show… I was a little obsessed this year. Turns out, so are millions of other women. Is it because we get to live vicariously through other people? Is it because the men are cute? Is it because we like drama? Yes, but I also think it’s because we are watching something that lacks in our relationships – and it fascinates us.
In an age where you can find a potential husband on the internet, have complete conversations via text message, and discuss weekend plans over email, romance has been lost. Not saying I don’t value these technological tools, I did find my boyfriend on the internet, he makes my whole day when he texts me good morning, and I love seeing his name in my inbox, but I also daydream about the old fashioned sort of stuff. 

I think women like the idea of the bachelorette because we want amorousness and butterflies in our stomach. These couples go on exotic dates; the men say hopelessly romantic things, they talk about their (gasp!) future together, they bring flowers and in the end there is a huge diamond ring. Never in the show do you see someone check their cell phone mid-dinner or flip on the tv to get Sports Center updates. There is hand holding and talking over a glass of wine. There are walks on the beach and picnics in the woods. I know “normal” couples don’t do these sorts of things on a regular basis, but what if we could get back to the basics, take a break from technology, unplug and get to know someone? 

My first date with my now boyfriend was 5 hours long. We literally sat at a bar, drank beer and talked for 5 hours. It was one of the best dates I’ve been on. He didn’t keep his cell phone sitting next to him on the bar; his attention was 100% on me. He looked me in the eye when he talked. He was confident and didn’t need a crutch to make the date go well. It was perfect. And several of our other dates following were the same thing. But then life sets in, and you get comfortable with someone. We hang out on the couch more and go to dinner less. There is more tv watching than face-to-face talking, and pretty soon I’m are wondering what the heck happened? I realized the other night that my boyfriend sees me more in my lounge pants and an oversized tee-shirt than he does in regular clothes…hot. I feel like I’ve gotten lazy with him. I take for granted the times he’s over – letting them fly by while each of us is doing something completely separate from one another. While I think it’s very important for each of us to have our own hobbies, I should be taking advantage of the times I do have him around. 

Eventually (hopefully sooner than later) I want to marry my best friend. I want to marry the man who knows me so well, he could write my life story. I’m not going to find that sitting in my lounge pants watching Dexter. I’m going to find that with more conversation and sharing experiences together. My cell phone will always be around (even though most the time I can’t find it) and you can record tv now. There’s no excuse not to be more present when you’re with the person you care about. 

So I challenge you to turn off your cell phone, close your laptop, flip off the tv and be present. There are countless times I wish I could have had that opportunity with loved ones I no longer have. I don’t care to make the same mistakes twice. So, grab a drink and find a comfy spot and sit down and talk to the person you care about. Cheers!