This Might Piss People Off

Growing up, I always knew three things:

  1. Wearing a gray shirt washed me out (I would proclaim this as a “fashion conscious” and unapologetically precocious 7 year old)
  2. We had to go to church on Sunday.
  3. My father was a good man.

Those were mainstays in my life. How those things morphed into a life threatening case of anorexia is beyond me, but that’s not what this post is about.

Growing up in the suburbs of Ohio in the nineties, things were pretty…normal. (Well, aside from a professional acting career.) But I played in the woods, listened to Hanson, had sleepovers, and never had anything to worry or be afraid of.


Every night, when my dad would come home from work, we would always play this game: I would always hide underneath the kitchen table, and he’d pretend to not know where I was. And then I’d pop out and he’d be so excited and happy to see me. Looking back, I just remember feeling so delighted in. So loved. Cherished, in every sense of the word.

He was (and is) a good man.


This election has brought about a lot of ugliness on both sides. A lot of name calling. Gross generalizations. I’ve written about it. You’ve commented on it. Okay. No need to rehash.

But if there’s one thing that really saddens me, is the rhetoric about white males – we don’t have to go into detail, but it rhymes with shmeshoginistic, shmomaphobic, and shmite shupremecist.

And I’m going to be really honest, last night, I cried myself to sleep thinking about how my father must feel, having all these horrendous names and gross generalizations being tossed around about, in particular, white, Christian males from the Midwest. And how, he just has to take it.

So instead of making this political or defensive or anything like that, I wanted to honor my father, and share a few lessons that he’s taught me.


1) Give to the less fortunate. 

Growing up, my family never discussed finances. But we did discuss charity. And the importance of it.

It was never seen as something to be dreaded or an obligation, but rather, a joy. A opportunity to share God’s love through the resources we’ve been entrusted with. I remember growing up he funded a “tin roof” village in Nicaragua, he built a well that supplied fresh and clean water to a community in Guatemala, he *secretly* paid the salary of a worker at our church, financially supported missionaries, gave of his time for free on the executive boards of charities and pregnancy centers. Giving was in his blood. Never a burden. Always a joy.

And he instilled that in his family. My brother spent a year after college volunteering with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. My other brother’s life work is providing and creating dignified and individualized home healthcare centers for the elderly. My mom built houses in Nicaragua and gave english lessons to a refugee woman from Afghanistan.

Dear Media: this man is not greedy or a xenophobic bigot.

2) Respect all people, and behave inclusively.

My dad, being the business man that he was, was ahead of his time in how he conducted his company. Back in the early nineties, long before it was “cool,” he would go out of his way to empower women in the workplace and remove any and all “glass ceilings” in the company.

He instilled in my brothers and I that all people, no matter of gender, color of skin, religion, sexual orientation, nationality – every person deserves respect and has an undeniable dignity as a person. There is zero tolerance for anything less than that. Zero.

Dear Media, this man is neither mysognistic or racist.

3) Family first, always.

There was no sporting event, dance recital, play, parent-teacher conference, or family dinner that my dad missed. We joke that he’d literally change clothes in the bushes to make it to my brothers’ football practice after work at the office. (He was their little league assistant coach). He turned down job promotions that would have moved our family to the Philippines, Germany, China. Don’t get me started on the dedication he had to helping me heal from my anorexia and ulcerative colitis.

The man sacrificed his time, his energy, his life, really, for his family.

Dear Media: this man is not a ruthless capitalist.

4) Let your actions do the evangelizing.

Which, hah, I’m realizing that with this blog I’m literally doing the opposite…

My dad never forced his (very strong) religious beliefs upon anyone. He taught us that we should show our love for the Lord in how we treat people. In the words we speak. In the way we respect the poor and disenfranchised. In the way we stand up for the kid in the lunchroom who is being bullied.

So, I guess, consider this post my standing up for my father. Because he, like many other silent but strong men, he hears the jeers, the jabs, the jarring generalizations and stereotypes being perpetuated about white, Christian males, by the mainstream media and uttered by people who are hurt and angry about the outcome of the election.

I understand, emotions are heightened, and there are perceived concerns/fears, but as my father taught me, before one speaks, one should consider a) is it true, b) is it necessary c) is it kind?

Because there are a lot of men having to just take it, because heaven forbid a white male stand up for himself.

He is not any of the ___”ist” words being hurled like grenades. He has spent a lifetime earning his credibility and I’m going to defend the upstanding man who raised me.

Ok, for fear of going “too far” I’m going to sign off here.

I hope this comes across as it was meant.

Here’s to all men of every race, color and creed who exemplify the values that we millennials need to look up to. Thank you for being everyday heroes.

img_3650

_________________________________________________________________
Stay Connected!
@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

patreon

Thank you for considering supporting BBB on Patreon! You make this blog possible🙂

 

 

 

Advertisements

433 thoughts on “This Might Piss People Off

  1. Your father sounds like a great man. If any of that I have tried to do exactly the same is let your actions do your evangelizing. I wasn’t a supporter on either side in this race but have great friends on both and they are all beautiful people! It’s time to erase this hate in our country. We ARE all in this together. Thanks for the like on Standing Rock and have a blessed day! 🙂

    Like

  2. I just looked up your blog because my son Nate and the young lady living with us always tell me how great everything you post is. I actually cried when I read this. I know it took a lot of courage and wisdom for you to share this the way you did.
    I’m quite impressed.

    Like

  3. Excellent post. I am fortunate to have had a father who I could write a tribute to …( I did, the day he died this year) and I really enjoyed this tribute to you father, which is also a tribute to that which is good, that which is true, that which is beautiful.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Link Love 12/2/16 • Healthy Helper

  5. It is enraging when people preach hateful generalizations and stereotypes. It is an unfair depiction of so many quality individuals. I love how you flipped something seemingly ugly on its head and shared lessons you have learned from your father.
    Love, Blessings, and Hugs Always,
    ❤ Alana

    Like

  6. I’m sure that your father is very proud of you. It is very sad and frustrating to see how this country is becoming. How hypocritical and hateful, but we must continue to show love and mercy to the best of our ability.
    God Bless you and your family.

    Like

  7. Not all old (71) white males are full of hate, or spew-out comments as to someones color, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, gender, etc. Posts Army, I graduated from OSU–but only spent 18 months there. My whole family–wife, daughter and her husband–live here in South Florida. I live in a neighborhood where we actually know many of our neighbors, and we don’t generally discuss politics. But if we do, out is respect for each other.

    I would hope that we are just your average group of Americans; however, I know that that is not so. As you can tell, from stopping-by my blog, I have written many posts, that point-out what Mr. Trump doing wrong, however, I believe that I have included the facts–a foreign object with him–to back-up my various points of view.

    Its interesting that, as I read this post. I had just traded Emails with a 20ish nephew who, along with his friends, is frustrated with the outcome of the Election. So, we’ll try to speak tomorrow–with me to provide some (hopefully)_ comfort, after his first time seriously watching an Election. I’m hoping that he can provide me some background as to what the much younger generation (than me) is thinking. I hoping to write a blog post about it.

    Like

  8. When I first commented, I wasn’t aware of your loss. It’s great that you are willing to share your thoughts. Almost eleven years ago, our son Odd. He was a good kid, and much loved–and still missed. This evening, ion between our daughter returning from work and getting her 3 1/2 year-old fed and ready fort bed, she asked me about things–the inter-generational kind. I told her that, part of Evolution–and I realize that not everyone believes in it–besides Survival of the Fittest, their is a Survival of the Species. Part of that is where parents want to leave their children better off–education, common sense thinking skills, perhaps a better standard-of-living. And I reminded her that, as a Mother, I know that she has those ideas.

    Life does move forward, and that’s where you must keep your focus. But, as you do, you will always take a little bit of everyone you meet, everyplace you go, and everything you do–along with you, on Life’s Journey. You will always know that, riding beside you, your Father’s spirit, his hopes and dreams (for you), and everything that he taught you, will be going along with you.

    Enjoy the journey!

    Like

  9. It’s an interesting dilemma. I’m not going to say for a moment that I’m happy Trump got in and I’m English. Nor am I going to say that I think he is going to be a good president. A lot of what he said was hateful and wrong and immature and I do not understand his appeal. That being said, your father sounds like a good man and a kind one. I wish you and your family nothing but the best.

    Like

  10. Hi BBB

    interesting how the story starts with a troubled election (yours Don/Hils, ours Brexit), then switches to your older-white-male-father. That relates to a dynamic in USA that is not here in UK. No problem, both are different places. And your father sounds an excellent man. But if he was standing for Parliament/Congress, would I vote for him? Being good, being Godly, is not a political choice, it is a character choice. And there are good/Godly men and women across most of the spectrum. Quite a lot I would not vote for. In some respects the personal/spiritual is MORE important than the political.

    So sister: which is it you want to talk about? A decent man and lovely father (amen!)? Or the politics of decency and not bad mouthing millions?

    Best wishes,
    Grandfather Bill

    Like

  11. I LOVE this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I too, am tired of the assumptions people make. My father is also a good man, and NOT guilty of any of the things some people believe of white Christian men.. I myself am tired of being labeled and classified. Thank you! Preach on!

    Like

  12. Very very nice post. Love how you honor your father. So easily we (I) can forget. We might have our reasons. But there is such an importance in honoring. Maybe the lack of it says a lot about why a country (world… Im from Holland) turns into a certain way. My question: did you always respect him this way?

    Like

    • Thanks so much Kitu! Such a kind note. You’re right, it’s so important to honor our parents. Actually, yes, I have *always* looked up to my dad. Perhaps maybe a little too much. I definitely went through that season during my eating disorder when I was deceiving my loved ones…my father included…so that was a season where I was not showing him the respect he deserved, but he forgave me and it has actually made us grow in our relationship. Funny how that works. Thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

      Like

  13. You know that I’m still playing catch-up on my posts right? It’s frustrating no matter what your race, gender or nationality is. I’ve never had a problem with how anyone votes and I’m sorry that people are generalizing. It scares the heck out of me. But, that’s what we do right? We assume that if you voted for the other person then you are just like them. That is not true. I wasn’t thrilled about our options, but I truly feel that you vote for whomever you want too. That’s one of the great things about our country. I have friends that voted for Trump and I love them the same as I did before the election. We may disagree on politics, but they are good people. Great people and I trust them. Why? Because they believe in God and we’re united in our love of one God. On a side note, I can’t believe that you read all those comments. Whew! You go girl!

    Like

    • Hi Tikeetha! Haha thank you so much-yeah it was a boatload of comments to get through! I love this response. It’s so true-who a person did or didn’t vote for makes no difference on who they are as a person. People cast their ballots for a lot of different reasons, and I think it shows so much wisdom and grace on your part to see what unifies is rather than what divides us. Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Nice sentiments. Reminds me of the Roman writer and politician Cicero who, in speaking of Friendship, said, “Let us not listen to those who think we ought to be angry with our enemies, and who believe this to be great and manly. Nothing is so praiseworthy, nothing so clearly shows a great and noble soul, as clemency and readiness to forgive.” Dad was right. There is nothing to be gained in tearing one down and everything to be gained in lifting up the poor and downtrodden.:)

    Like

    • Hi there! Thank you so much for this reflection. What a powerful quote. thank you for sharing with me. You’re right — building people up is one of the most beautiful things we can do in this life. glad you stopped by! hugs xox

      Like

  15. Wonderful to read about your dad. He’s a great man! You’re very fortunate.
    And thanks for your comments on white men, of which I’m one. In Britain white men are often assumed to be biased, old-fashioned and self-seeking, just because of our gender, age and white skin. The elderly too are looked down on, rather than being honoured for their age and wisdom. We need to keep working for a world where everyone is valued and respected, and can discover the love of God for themselves.
    Great writing, God bless you

    Like

  16. HI, Thanks for reading my post. I read yours and sounds like your Dad was one in a million, yet I believe there are more good men than most people think or believe. It is just the bad ones get all the press. Lets talk again.

    Like

  17. Generalisations are awful and can really hurt a lot of people (whether intended or not). I understand that people are angry and frustrated (I agree with it) but that does’t give anyone the right to put everyone into a box and label them all the same, the minute you do that it not only devalues the argument but you end up fighting with the people who believe and stand with you, and that is such a shame.

    I’m sure I’ve gotten away from your point but I really enjoyed reading your post and found it very thought provoking.

    Like

  18. I love this post and all the points you’ve made!! Your dad sounds like an incredible human being and I hope/am sure that he will be recognised for it even if he doesn’t want the attention because people like him give others faith in humanity! ❤

    Like

  19. You are obviously one of those disgusting myth busters, keeping others from living in their own fairy tale land…that too often not one of us is immune to. I’ve heard the gross diatribe that the 62 million who voted for Trump are all racist, _____, _____, _____ ….!!!! (fill in the blanks). You get the picture.Well done! Both liberals and conservatives need to remember that there are rational, sane reasons behind someone’s choice for President, regardless of side. And both sides can make a values-centric case for their existence, like you did for your father.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s