Monday, September 21, 2015

Time Flies... Towards Change

 Tempus fugit et nos fugimus in illus…    “Time flies, and we fly with it..”

It was a pretty hectic weekend around here. First there was the Malaysian Food and cultural festival in Trafalgar Square on Friday night. Normally my Malaysian Chinese husband would view such events with haughty disdain, claiming the food offerings had been watered down to be point of having lost all authenticity. Yet when the dust settled, even Eric had to admit they did okay.   

Then it was up early on Saturday to head over to London’s O2 Arena to hear a lecture by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Speaking to a fairly packed arena for nearly two hours on the subject of compassion. Followed by a very interesting Question & Answer session led by Daniel Goldman, author of the book “Emotional Intelligence

By the time Sunday rolled around, we were ready for a more relaxed day. Having puttered around the house being domestic in the morning, watching the Rugby World Cup match between the United States and Samoa. (Samoa pretty much clobbered our boys I’m sad to say….) We then headed to Central London for a late lunch, and some window shopping. As we were walking down Shaftesbury Avenue, just past Cambridge Circus, it was there we saw it…

What we saw was the reason I am optimistic about the 2016 election in the United States, and the future of Western Civilisation in general.

You see, for the past few weeks the ultra-social conservative wing-nuto-sphere in the United States has been losing their collective minds over the idea that marriage equality for same sex couples is now a fact, not just a concept. Hypocritical bigots like three time divorcee Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, have shrieked hysterical cries of anti-Christian oppression because they are not allowed to impose their beliefs on others. While the usual cast of hate-peddlers line up to ride that train of contrived victimhood as long as possible,  to milk donations from the bigoted and gullible.

Then there was what Eric and I saw Sunday afternoon here in London. Two young men, they had to be at the most 16 or 17 years old. Clearly a couple, clearly in new young love. Arms round each other as they walked down the street, they stopped briefly to wait for a third friend walking behind them to catch up, seizing the moment to share a brief, sweet and harmless PDA (public display of affection). The shorter of the two, leaning up to kiss his boyfriend.

 Walking along behind them, I had to smile and marvel at how different the world is from the first time I walked down this same street in 1986. I wasn’t that much older than these two young men. At the time the idea of even being “out of the closet” let alone waking down one of the busiest streets in a major city as a couple, just like any other seemed inconceivable.

Yet here I was, 29 years later, again walking down Shaftesbury Avenue, but holding my husband’s hand, and watching these two young men ahead of us just… being a couple. No furtive glances to see if anyone was watching. No awkward looks or hateful comments from any passers by. They were just a beautiful young couple out enjoying a beautiful early fall day.

Watching the Republican Presidential debate last week from the Reagan Presidential Library, the likes of Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal shook their little fists and stamped their feet. Claiming “radical homo-facists” are out to criminalize Christianity. Claiming these two young men were attacking western civilization itself. Opportunistic hate merchants like Tony Perkins, and Bryan Fischer desperately trying to keep alive a battle to preserve bigotry.  

The base of Republican party has decided to try to stand in way of history. Like George Wallace in the doorway of a school in Alabama shaking his little fist in defence of racism. A generation later the Kim Davis’ of today are just as out of touch.

The good news is, it is a battle they are losing. In so many places, the world truly has moved on. Not everywhere of course. There are still many parts of the world, even in the United States where that wonderful young couple would be quickly attacked or even killed for such a harmless display of affection. Yet in many other places, the tide has clearly turned.

The millennial generation isn’t buying the hatred and bigotry that Tony Perkins and his ilk are peddling . Instead we see a generation that sees diversity as a good thing not a threat.  In his lecture last Saturday, the Dalai Lama spoke of how compassion is a innate human characteristic, that sadly in many instances we are taught to disregard. Yet he said he is hopeful that as a species, we can reclaim it.

Those two young men, blissfully caught up in each other’s company are not a threat to Kim Davis, or anyone else, Love is not a zero-sum proposition. My marriage doesn’t diminish anyone else’s.

Tempus Fugit… Time flies, and as with all things, the only constant in the Universe is change. By clinging to the strategy of trying to get people to vote against other Americans  because they are unable to get  get people to vote for their ideas, the 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Clown Car will clearly and thankfully, end up where in belongs. In the electoral ditch.

No comments: