Friday, October 15, 2010

"You Can Have It All, You Just Cannot Get It All at Once"

by Mark Gerardy

After I graduated college and was truly on my own for the first time, I was really excited. Wow! Total freedom! I had gone away to college for my last two years, so even though I had not been under my parent's roof for awhile, nonetheless I had been dependent upon them financially.

A new apartment for the first time meant “…buying furniture, consumer electronics, small kitchen appliances, pots and pans, cutlery, silverware, dishes, glasses...”

Screech - not so fast!

Put down the shopping list. Mark, step away from the shopping list. I heard the famous words:

"You can have it all, you just cannot get it all at once."

I knew that it made sense; I just did not want it to make sense. I still felt differently even though I knew better. So I still spent money - because I just discovered "credit". Oh no? Oh yes. That's right.

A lot of fun and a lot of debt later, then I ended up working two jobs for three years to pay it all off. I realized that there is more to life than "monthly minimum payment is only...."

I learned: "You cannot get it all at once."

Oh, you can try. But good luck, and if you are able too get too much, too quick, then good luck keeping it all.

I want the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) to pass today; I mean right now, instantly! I feel that way.

I think differently, because I know. I know that how I think needs to be differently than I feel, and my actions need to reflect what I know, not just how I feel.

Getting impatient only hurts me worse than anything that I can blast at any politician. Their staffers read their emails and letters anyway; they are insulated and have a nice buffer system.

Homophobia is a big, hard frozen block of ignorance. Yet! Everyday, all of us together, in someway chip away at this block. Small pieces fly off; sometimes entire walls of material fall down. Mount Rushmore was not carved in a day.

It is not easy. "Patience but persistence" is what works. "Patience" does not mean letting people walk all over us either – just as "Persistence" does not mean immediate results.

In the meantime, I try to find happiness in my life anywhere that I can. Walks. Smelling flowers. Hot baths. Sunday drives. Talking over coffee until the wee hours of the morning with a close friend. Hiking in the mountains or woods. Sleeping in late. Power tools. Jack Daniels comes to visit every now and then.

Get angry?

Sure. But the price that you pay is to your own health, and you will not make a difference just getting angry. You and your heart are more important than your own anger or sworn enemies. You have to get even. And this involves strategy and being smart about it.

With each passing day, homophobia is now quickly going out of fashion.

"Don't ask don't tell" was once a wild beast that ferociously destroyed human lives and careers, wasted talent and resources, while we as taxpayers paid for the destruction. Today, DADT has been repeatedly stabbed, shot, beaten back, kicked and crushed to now be limping to the point to where we do not really now if it alive or dead. However like "The Terminator" is just keeps rising up, with its red eyes glowing.

We do not have it all. But we are getting it. Slowly, one little bit at a time. It keeps getting better with every passing day. Slowly.

Generationally, progress is on our side and inevitable. While it is slow, at least we are heading in the right direction.

"You can have it all, you just cannot get it all at once." Let's keep chipping away at homophobia and the ignorance that stands in the way of eliminating DADT and DOMA, of passing ENDA and UAFA.

Vote on November 2.

Vote on November 2.

1 comment:

MAX B. said...

Hello Mark,
I like your article and I think you make a very good point. I do feel though, that we should not lose focus on our ultimate goal. Sometimes when people are told to be patient, they often take the attitude of "okay I guess we can just wait". We have to continue to be proactive in achieving our goals, because if we aren't then no one else will. The "enemy" is more than happy to let us live in the way they see fit. We must continue the "fight" and the more we can make others see clearly that which is right, the easier our fight will be. I thank you for putting your message out there and together we will prevail. Good luck to all in this challenge! Max