Visiting our parents’ home, after living on our own, can be a culture shock. We have been used to being independent, coming and going as we please, and not answering to anyone but ourselves. All of this changes once we return to the place that holds so many memories, but that we rarely can relate to.
Going home last weekend was not so much a culture shock as it was an eye opener. I had my reservations about visiting North Carolina after their discriminatory rulings over the last few months. The fact that the HB2 bill was even brought to the table and passed is detrimental to our society. Going back to a state that believes in discriminating against the LGBTQ community hurts my heart. I travel to NC to spend time with my loved ones, who happen to live here, but meanwhile these hateful outlooks are being put into action. A place that I called home is no longer the home that I remember.
What happens when we return to our home town with a different perspective?
Everyone and everything evolves with time. This is the reality of the world we live in. But when people and places take leaps backwards instead of forwards, this should be cause for concern. Each generation is supposed to take their lives a step further than the previous generation. But when the world is filled with hate, violence, and discrimination, only those with power and wealth survive. We need people from all backgrounds and cultures, in power, to help advance us forward. To help unite our communities through love, understanding, and equality.
Being reared with an open mind and heart has led to an immense number of life-changing experiences and beautiful connections. The people I have met along the way have taught me so much about the world and about myself. These relationships have expanded my mind to understand and acknowledge all kinds of perspectives. We all bring important opinions and life experiences to the table. We need to value our own voice. And at the same time, we need to be willing to listen to and to learn from those around us.
Bringing all of these memories, discussions, and experiences with me, help open the eyes of those around me. Chatting with my mom about organic and certified humane meat, eggs, and poultry, reiterated the importance of knowing what we eat. Sharing that Kris and I are going to counseling and how it has helped us have discussions about how each of us show and receive love or the importance of being open and honest about our feelings with one another, helps destigmatize counseling. Introducing my mom to sage and other ways of releasing her stress, gives her insight into self-care practices. To be able to have these conversations is important to our growth as individuals and as a community.
Each moment that we spend with those we care about is an opportunity to expand their minds. If they are willing to listen and really hear what we have to say, we can expand the knowledge each of us has exponentially by exchanging ideas.