Too stUUpid?

Clearly, there are days when I’m certain I’m too stupid to remember to exhale, let alone be all that I ‘should’ be to be a fully-engaged UU. But Kinsi raises questions about what it feels like to be someone who is widely (albeit sometimes shallowly) engaged in the world and who also happens to be UU.

The issue, as I’m reading it, is not so much that people like pop culture, as there are some people who make others feel bad or less-than because of the choices they make and how they spend their time.  I know what that’s like because I have made someone in our congregation feel bad for being a member of the NRA. Worse, I made fun of the choice in front of others.  (I was emceeing a “get to know you” game where you write down something you think others would be surprised to know about you and then those assembled guess who the ‘secret’ could belong to.  The person wrote she was a member of the NRA and as I was emceeing I made a few digs about how could you be a member and a UU.  I was new to the denomination and new to the idea of not humiliating someone for a laugh.) But here’s the thing about that experience: I got called on it in the most loving and direct way.  The partner of the woman I humiliated pulled me aside the following Sunday and told me that she just wanted me to be aware that my words had hurt someone very important to her and asked me to be more careful in the future.

You can bet that was a moment when I took one giant step toward being a UU and beginning to take responsibility for the care of those around me.  But I’m still not perfect and I hurt someone else another time, and, again, I was lovingly rebuked for being sharp and unkind.

So, here’s the thing: we are a diverse group. Some thrive on PBS and opera, while others find Survivor and American Idol as perfectly appropriate ways to spend an evening. some of us own televisions, others of us don’t. Some of us read the Nation, others read People, and some of us don’t read a magazine unless it is full of cool photos of home interiors. Some of us thrive on fast food while others are vegan, and most of us eat within a range somewhere fully in the middle. Not to beat a dead horse with a remote control here, we just have different tastes.  What we are called to do, then, is to choose for ourselves and let others do the same.

This post is not so much, I think, about the choices we make for ourselves, but our own personal reaction to the choices made by others. The post is about how we are made to feel in the community so close to our hearts when we dally in not-so-noble enterprises–and we happen to let others know about it.  And it is about calling out those who would do harm to people over something as trivial as what they watch on television.

It’s tough work, this living in community. And we can spend our time creating a community that lifts everyone up, or we can spend it making some feel marginalized and tentative where we should all feel integral and bold.  So, how do we do that? Especially when (and call me on stereotyping here,but I will) those who are doing the marginalizing are generally those of privilege and standing within our church communities? I mean, will someone who put themselves through college by flopping Whoppers have the nerve to call the CFO of the international not-for-profit on being a classist lout? Chutney talks about classism much better than I ever will.

I’m still blundering away at this whole UU thing; still making sense of the mistakes I make and the choices I pursue. I’ve felt bad and I’ve made others feel bad, but the thing I keep bumping up against is the need to learn to just let people be who they are, where they are, and let them love who and what they do.  And this includes allowing myself to be who I am, where I am, warts, pop-loves and all. (and, for what it’s worth: I hope Earl wins Survivor: Fiji and that either Melinda or Lakisha becomes the next American Idol)

Advertisements

About TinaLBPorter

I write poetry and blog at www.tinalbporter.com. And I'm thrilled to be writing with you.
This entry was posted in Television, Unitarian Universalism. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Too stUUpid?

  1. uuMomma says:

    Hi Mama G,

    You know, as soon as I posted this, I wondered if I was going to come across as saying exactly what you read here. Actually, I know that I would NOT gently chide someone for making me feel stupid. Perhaps I’m thinking that we need to look out for each other–easy to do here in cyberspace, in the fellowship hall, not so much.

    I guess my post wasn’t directed so much at us Pop Culture UUs (who can also relate, occasionally, to the higher arts), but at those who would be UU and choose a path that makes others feel inferior. The two don’t go hand-in-hand in my book–despite the fact (or because of it?) that I have made people (and probably will continue to make people) feel too stupid, too. I hope I would stand up for someone harmed in our congregation without making excuses, were I to witness it, but I’m also quite certain that I would not stand up for my self.

    Crap! Maybe this is just too highbrow for this subject. Thank goodness Idol is on tonight to ground me, once more. (And I’m liking the Yaoman, too!)

    Thanks for your comments!

    Like

  2. Mama G says:

    I agree with what I take from your post that those of us who feel slighted should gently let those doing the slighting know that it bothers us. My own personal experience has been that it is very difficult because there is a certain level of embarrassment. The majority (to me) seems to consider themselves above many of the things that I enjoy and mentioning how I feel about it would only draw attention to me as being “lower” (at least in their eyes). That’s a hard leap of faith to take. I’d like to think I’m strong enough to handle whatever their reaction may be, but I know myself better than that.

    Also, I like Melinda on Idol too! I like Earl on Survivor, but I get a real kick out of Yaoman. He is so cool!

    Like

  3. Jan says:

    Ok, so here’s the same with corrections. I can’t figure out how to make corrections in the little box we are given. I can see it clearly after I hit the submit button.

    Welcome to the human race, what we all are (and some of us actualy know this) is mistakers and good deed doers in some random kind of relationship. Making mistakes is one way of learning but it is only learning if we change our behavior. Saying “mistakes were made” doesn’t cut it, that’s a cop out.

    If, from the time we were born with every misstep we were “called out loveingly” and shown another way to behave instead of punishment for not knowing or being a child, our society would be much better for it. We are so punishment oriented which leads to avoiding punishment by saying studip things like “mistakes were made.” We all need to grow up.

    Thanks for sharing your valuable ideas. Love to all.

    Like

  4. Jan says:

    Welcome to the human race, what we all are (and some of us actualy know this) is mistakes and good deeds in some random kind of relationship. Making mistakes is one way of learning but it is only learning if we change our behavior. Saying “mistakes were made” doesn’t cut it, that a cop out.

    If from the time we were born with every misstep we were “called out loveingly” and shown another way to behave instead of punishment for not knowing or being a child, our society would be much better for it. We are so punishment oriented which leads to avoiding punishment by saying studip things like “mistakes were made.” We all need to grow up.

    Thanks for sharing your valuable ideas. Love to all.

    Like

  5. Suz says:

    I think one of the things that draws me tighter in toward being UU is the diversity of the members within the whole. How boring life would be if we were all the same. How then, would i learn new and different things?

    Any Jeopardy winner will tell you that even Pop Culture is important. 😉

    By the way, love the header of the girls!

    ~Suz~

    Like

Comments are closed.