It's a sharing kind of day in the blogosphere.
I'm not a religious person. I didn't grow up in a religious household, I don't practise any form of religion.
When I was a kid, the only summer camp around was a Christian camp. I went for 12 summers. It was pretty standard, canoeing, swimming, crafts, etc but every evening we'd have a chapel session. I didn't mind it because there was always lots of singing and dancing. I was mostly unfazed by the bible reading etc. Overall, it was a great place to stay in the summer.
Each summer, there was a different 'guest' at camp that would bring a different lesson and lead the chapel sessions in the evenings. Kind of like a keynote for the week.
One particular summer, I think I was 15, a man (let's call him Ted) was the keynote. Ted brought with him many lessons and to his credit, he was a bit different and thus more interesting than previous keynotes. However, Ted was an asshole.
Each day, the campers were given a verse to memorize. Pretty standard church camp practise. Ted chose these verses and would explain why he chose them. One day, Ted chose a verse that was something to the effect of bad things happening because God is punishing us, similar to the thoughts of natural disasters happening as a result of pissing off God or for punishment. I can't remember it specifically but it was one of those 'can be interpreted 10 different ways but really shouldn't be' type of verses. Ted and I were chatting about this and he told me that I was a result of God's punishment. I was created as a message to others of the wrath of God.
I told you Ted was an asshole.
This confused me. It didn't so much upset me because I don't really believe in God and therefore don't take scripture seriously. It still threw me off, though because it was in bad taste, rude, and came from a person who I was supposed to respect. I soon learned that a few of the camp counselors weren't especially fond of Ted when my own counselor approached me after seeing Ted and I chatting. She asked me what we talked about and was shocked when she heard what he had said to me.
It was a moment of reality, when I realized that my counselor was talking to me as a friend and not as a superior, trained to always have a positive attitude and always be friendly. She was pissed and she told me that it was ok if I was, too.
I didn't realize it at the time, but that conversation with my counselor is part of the foundation of my being able to effortlessly brush off assholes like Ted. The keynote for the week was kind of a mini-celebrity at camp and everyone respected him. My counselor taught me I shouldn't let anyone treat me like shit, no matter how respected.
I don't care about how religious/atheist/whatever you are, NO ONE can tell you that you are not important. No one has that right. As someone going through life with a giant target and perceived disadvantage, these are the things that get me up in the morning.
Last night I was home alone preparing dinner with my radio turned up. This song came on and I let me hair fly and my hands wave. Sorry, my hand wave.