Saturday, January 17, 2009

Discretion--the Better Part of Valor?

Because this is a forum for and about breast cancer and recovery, I try to stick with that topic. It is rare that I take any kind of personal or political stand and even rarer that I talk about my personal convictions beyond the superficial. Well, I actually only have a few personal convictions, anyway. One of my main convictions is peaceful co-existence. But, I digress.......

Not long ago, one of my nieces and I were talking and the subject of homosexuality and gayness came up. There is a girl on her sports team that seems to be very "gay" centric. This young woman seems to live, eat and breathe gay culture--to the point, I think, that it becomes uncomfortable for the listener. We all know someone who talks ad nauseam about something they are part of or believe in whether it be religion, politics, cars, race, sexual preference, their holistic lifestyle, etc, etc. We see them coming and we run the other way. But, again, I digress.......

Life is a journey, no matter who you are or what you believe. And, it seems to me, that even if you spend your life avoiding conflict and hiding from strife and struggle, as I do, it will find you. And, yet again, I digress....a bit. What is the point? The point is I am almost always cautious about revealing parts of myself for fear of being harmed by others. Even now I hesitate to come out with who I really am and what I really want to say.

Sometimes it is necessary to be cautious, however. At least that is what I've always thought. But, here I am beating around the bush again, because I learned years ago not to write things down if you didn't want others to hold it against you. And, people throughout history have harmed one another. Life's tough. I just don't want to be hurt.

I admire people who just come right out with who they are. Every movement needs it's heroes and martyrs for the cause. I also admire people who are polite and have good manners. I like living in the United States. Even though there is prejudice and racism and anger, fear and hate, there is also freedom and hope and endless possibility. For the most part I am free to come and go as I am, even if I choose to be cautiously optimistic and discreet. And, of course, there are many good, open and kind people here, as I clearly learned during my cancer treatment.

And, I am cautiously optimistic about Mr. Obama too. As Henry Ford said, if you think you can, you will...................