“Soulmate,” is my fearless domineering cat who runs in terror at break neck speed on only three good legs, up a flight of stairs whenever I empty ice trays. The new puppy runs just as fast toward the iceman, hoping for a chilly toy that refreshes while easing her teething. But like many of us, our second feline looks away from a distance, ignoring the two different extremes.
However, when a governor seizes Iowa power to abort or not abort — a Speaker Pro Tem whisks away Wisconsin citizens’ negotiating rights — a Burgess is bored by the voices of hundreds of Texas women asking for reproductive freedom and a ‘Perry-wrinkle’ offers PR facelift to Connecticut Colt cult, looking for new ‘safe house,’ “oops,” we’re allowing the inmates to take over state institutions.
When the producer who gave me my first directorial break, attended a rehearsal of 1776 took me aside to congratulate me, he cautioned, ”but don’t let the gay guys move around too much.” Seeing my obvious confusion, he pointed “them” out. My eyes had been opened, where before, I couldn’t see gay people.
Some years later I was casting a “Red Hot and Cole” and needed a black actress, but had no time to look beyond those already cast. Seeing my angst, my assistant offered a simple solution, “Boss, Ashley is black.” Though I had been rehearsing the cast for a week, I hadn’t seen the difference. Indeed, Ashley was black.
Maybe it was because almost every physical type lived in the DC suburbs where I grew up, and then later of course, I worked in NYC where, one way or another, everyone looks and sounds like they come from a different place. Still, it took a while not to be uncomfortable with my newly acquired ability to see differences.
One NY night a lovely neighbor asked me if I would be willing to provide her and her female partner with a baby. I didn’t, not because she was a Lesbian, who wanted to have a child so badly, she was willing to achieve motherhood, “with a man.” It was my having been raised to make babies only with those with whom you’re in love and married.
But I finally got it! Recognizing sexual, personal, racial, political, physical, philosophical et al differences is not the problem, unless you’re serving up biased cholesterol in the Dean’s kitchen.
Indeed, welcoming differences is Lady Liberty’s greatest gift to us: giving acceptance, encouraging achievement, appreciating every talent, advancing forward through a blending of unlimited ideas.
Whether a Nation, “Under God” or “Out of Many, One,” we are the world triangulated in the challenges of “Free Will,” The Bill of Rights and government surveillance. If you didn’t catch this in our 2012 election, stop reading tea leaves and look around you.
It’s not just people of all shades, shapes, background checks and balances. Life is an ever refreshing array of flowers, trees, wildlife, landscape, insects, fish, pets…so why not ideas and state assemblies?
To be sure, there are bad differences, like different healthcare costs and salaries between women and men, or the difference between those who lose their citizenship rights even after they’ve “done the time for the crime,” vs. private contractors who profit from private prison population growth.
And yes, we need understand the difference between a journalist doing his job and a citizen betraying his, and teach our government and ourselves, the difference between whistleblowing and espionage.
When “We the People,” open up to all differences, America will rise above Wall Street proxy wars we wage for it against each other, and our exceptional dream for America, will be all Americans, sharing in the glory of all our differences.