The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. ~ Elie Wiesel
I recently had a meaningful conversation with one of my granddaughters. I’ll call her Grace. (She is after all very graceful.) She came home from school a bundle of energy and excitement, as only a teenage girl can. She told me all about being a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance, one of the clubs in her high school. They were preparing to march in the local Gay Pride Parade. All systems were go and she was beaming and proud and seemed to have no qualms or doubts about her ability to do this and the rightness of doing it. I told her I was proud of her for standing up for what is right and good and for what she believes in. I also told her she was very brave but I didn’t elaborate. No problem, right?
The next day she came home from school much less bubbly than she had been the day before. I noticed a worried look on her brow as she texted her friend about their upcoming sleepover at the friend’s house. I inquired, “Everything okay, Grace?” She told me she thought her friend was upset with her because the parade would cause a slight delay in their plans. We talked, Grace and I, and delved a little deeper into what might be her friend’s concern. We discussed the fact that we aren’t always going to agree 100% with our friends. She finally said rather philosophically, “Yeah, I know. It’s the way she’s been raised.” In other words her friend had been taught that gay=sin.
I tried to soften the hard, stark realization for her by telling her that some people are not activists. Maybe her friend didn’t totally disagree with her. Maybe she wasn’t an activist type. I recalled a time when D went to protest an injustice in our small mountain town and I stayed home. It wasn’t that I disagreed with him; it was that I didn’t like the idea of sitting all day in the hot sun. Grace is way too smart to buy that theory but we grandmothers do what we can.
I’m very proud of her.