Culture, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Monday: The Label Makers

Mad About It Monday- Copyright It's An Ordinary BlogWelcome to Mad About It Monday

…because passive aggressive Facebook posts were so yesterday…

Happy Monday, Everyone! If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that I usually take some time each Monday to discuss something that’s been bothering me (either seriously or sarcastically). If you’re new here, you can find some of my old posts here:

Today I want to talk about something that’s been bothering me for years: Labels.

Generalizations | Labels | Stereotypes 

Some labels are okay; like the one that tells you that your favorite beverage contains “100% Juice” or the one that helps you better understand how to care for that 97% cotton, 3% spandex article of clothing. Those labels are great. They’re beneficial and they’re necessary. Nutrition and product labels are the only ones that matter. Society could stand to do without the rest of them, don’t you think?! I’ve talked before about that feeling of never being good enough (Never Enough) but labels are something that other people give us that are beyond our control.

Muslims Are Terrorists | Overweight People Are Lazy | People With Disabilities Aren’t Intelligent

I think one of the most dangerous things about labeling a person is that it is a shortcut.  It creates a false sense of understanding, without having to put in the requisite time and effort to truly comprehend the nature of that which is being labeled, be it an individual, organization, or an entire society.  Labeling something suggests that it can be defined by that one thing, but nothing is ever so black and white.  People are complicated, as are countries, religions, and anything else that one may be tempted to define in a bumper sticker sized sentence.  True understanding requires that we first recognize and then cast aside our preconceived notions.

Last night I listened to a TED talk that summed my feelings towards religion and doubt more eloquently than I ever could.  Though the speaker did not specifically talk about labeling people, I think the need to cast doubt upon our own understanding can be applied to our understanding of individuals as well as the broader subject of religion and faith.  Belief without introspective questioning and doubt is shallow and incomplete.  It is the same kind of intellectual dishonesty as labeling an individual.  Both are the easy path, but the easy path is usually not the best one.

I encourage you all to not take the easy path.  Don’t label someone, because you would not want to be labeled.  You are not that easily defined and neither is anyone else.

You may not be able to prevent others from labeling you but you can set the example by not labeling others. 

When you have the chance, take the time to watch Lesley Hazleton’s TED Talk. I promise, it’ll inspire you.

My friend and new blogger Aimee over at Here Comes Baby B asked me if I was going to offer a link up this week. So I said, “Sure, why not?!” If you’re interested in sharing your own “Mad About It Monday” post, you can do so here:

Culture, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Mondays: “Oh, Wow. Bad Outfit Choice!”

Mad About It Mondays

I’ve touched on this kind of thing before (if you’re intrested you can find my posts here and here) but somehow hearing rude comments from people in public or in the media never ceases to amaze me (and not in a good way).

It was a beautiful seventy-something degree day on Saturday and so my husband, daughter, and I decided to enjoy some play/workout time outside. I decided to wear my Old Navy compression capris and a t-shirt. Why?! Because when I go to get dressed for a workout I think, “Man, I’ll really look sexy working out in this!!!”. No. It’s because when it comes to doing things that are both fun and good for you, comfort is important and it’s not a beauty contest.

Aftewards we ran into Costo to grab a few things and while we were in line to check out a couple who was coming up behind us very loudly started discussing what they thought was a poor outfit choice. I don’t know if the multiple “Oooh, that was not a good outfit choice. Oh wow! Oh wow!” was about me or not (they weren’t even looking at me) but I don’t care and it doesn’t matter because it was about someone.

So let me just say this and I’ll wrap up my short Mad About It Monday post for the day: If someone’s outfit choice elicits that kind of response from you, the problem isn’t with what they’re wearing. Maybe, just maybe, the problem is with you…

Culture, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Mondays: Lies and the Lying Liars Who Enjoy Telling Them

Mad About It Mondays

Welcome to Mad About It Mondays! If this is your first time coming across a MAM post, feel free to take a look at some of my most recent rants:

Marco Rubio & The Water

What Part of “NO” Do You Not Understand?

On Homosexuality

Never Enough

For a few weeks, I had invited people to ‘link up’ with me for Mad About It Mondays. It didn’t catch on like I had hoped (and that’s okay). Some people didn’t have anything to complain about (lucky ducks) and some would rather branch off and do their own version (which is fine, I’m just happy to have inspired people with my blog) and so I’m going to hold off on that for a while. My blog is still relatively new (just five months old) and so I’ll wait until it picks up some more steam to try again. In the meantime, I would love for you to share your links (if you have one) in the ‘comments section’. This week’s post is brought to you by MTV’s show “Catfish”.

I should preface this by saying that I don’t really watch a lot of shows like this. The only two ‘reality’ television shows that I really even like are Survivor and The Biggest Loser and since we don’t have cable, I don’t usually run across a lot of annoying programming anyway. Saturday Night Live, however, introduced me (sort of) to the show “Catfish” a few weeks ago when they ran a spoof making fun of this MTV show. In case you missed it, take a look:

When I saw that season one was on Hulu Plus, I decided to check it out. It isn’t often that I see a show that leaves me wondering what in world is wrong with people but “Catfish” does just that. At first, I thought that the people who had blindly participated in these online relationships (with people they’d never met) were complete morons but the more I watched the more I realized that the problem is in the compulsive, pathological liars who sucker innocent people into thinking they’re someone they don’t turn out to be.

There are a few things that I just cannot wrap my head around. First of all, if you’re involved in an online relationship with someone, why wouldn’t you do your research? Some of these people have invested years of their lives talking to someone online and on the phone only to be heartbroken when they discover that the person has been lying to them the entire time. Even when you’re armed with only an email address, phone number, and pictures, it’s not that hard to sniff out a liar when you take the time to fact check.

That’s the part of me that doesn’t always feel bad for the people who’ve been duped by these psychopaths. In the five, seven, ten years you’ve been romantically involved with someone, the thought has never even crossed your mind that they might be lying to you? The fact that they never send you recent pictures doesn’t raise a red flag? The fact that they’ve heard of Skype or somehow can’t use a free service that’s available with internet access and a web cam doesn’t make you a little bit suspicious? Really?! REALLY?!

The other part of me, perhaps the more compassionate part, does actually feel bad that these people get their hearts broken. Why on Earth would you pretend to be something that you’re not…for years!? It doesn’t even make sense. These people need help (clearly). I just find it odd that someone can exchange those three little words with another person and not feel the slightest bit of guilt that they’re being deceptive. Part of me believes that there should be some sort of law protecting people from going online, stealing images, and passing them off as if they’re your own.

Until that day comes (and probably long after still) there will always be those people out there who lie for no apparent reason other than the fact that they are lying liars who lie about stupid stuff. In the meantime, if you find yourself involved with someone online…do your research.

Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Mondays: On Homosexuality

Mad About It Mondays

Welcome to Mad About It Mondays. In last week’s post (which you can find here), I said that I wanted to start linking up with other bloggers for this series. You can find the link up information at the bottom of this post. All I ask is that you include a link to my blog on your page so that others can join in as well. In the meantime, this week’s post might be one of the most important topics I’ve covered on my blog and so if you’re reading this I ask that you please read this post in its entirety. I know this is controversial but I also know how incredibly important it is, so if you don’t have the time to read it all right now, save the link and come back later. That said, this week’s MAM is on homosexuality.

Late last week I ran across two posts, from two different people, on Facebook that discussed the topic of homosexuality. I’m sure you can well imagine what was said because it’s the same thing we’ve all heard time and time again. What bothers me about these two posts is that they both took the same stance of “because I am a Christian I think homosexuality is {fill in the blank: wrong/gross/sinful/etc}. One even went so far as to have a picture with the caption: “Because tolerance is for those with no conviction.” Whoa, whoa, whoa….hold the phone.

Being a Christian = / = being against homosexuality.

Being a Christian = / = intolerance.

I am tired of it and so I want to give anyone who thinks they can use their religion to bash or put people who are different from them down a little piece of my mind. Knock it off. It isn’t funny; It isn’t loving; and it certainly isn’t okay.

When you look at the Bible from its historical context, rather than viewing it as a living word, it stands to reason that the writers were heavily influenced by the societies in which they lived. These societies, like Ancient Egypt and early Rome, were constantly dealing with threats of a declining population.

The book of Leviticus, which has several verses discussing homosexuality, was written during (or directly after, depending on who you ask) the Babylonian captivity when the Jewish people were forced into exile. Paul, the only author in the New Testament to briefly touch same-sex relationships, wrote many of his words for the Christians in Rome. During his time, the Roman Empire was persecuting early Christian churches. Both of these times were instances where strong population growth was in the best interest of the target audiences of these scriptures. For that reason, it makes sense why certain practices (that could hamper population growth) were condemned.

All monotheistic religions, at one point or another, banned the consumption of pork. Unsanitary living conditions for livestock and the spread of food-bourne illnesses were a huge threat to societies. It wasn’t until after the laws of the New Testament that Christianity condoned the practice of eating meat from a pig. With the New Testament (read: death and resurrection of Christ) came a new set of laws. Those of the Old Testament, less the 10 Commandments, no longer applied.

Religions are great at answering life’s biggest questions: Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? But all too often people use religion to push their own agendas (like the IRA in Ireland, Wahhabi Islam, and even the KKK). The words that really matter, the words of Jesus Christ, in the Bible never mention homosexuality at all. The rest are just allegories (because we know that Jonah wasn’t actually swallowed by a whale) and lessons to help sustain a population.

So what did Jesus say?

To love one another.

To respect one another.

Look inside yourself…Why are you intolerant? You don’t get to use religion as an excuse anymore. You don’t get to hide behind your faith to justify why you don’t believe same-sex couples deserve the same rights as heterosexual ones. So what is it?!

Fear? Hatred? A lack of understanding? Apathy?

When people have the same rights that you do, it doesn’t make your rights any less valuable. It doesn’t mean that your relationships don’t matter. Doesn’t everyone deserve to be treated equally?

Love is love and that’s all that matters.

I have always held the belief (and have been saying so since I was much younger) that I firmly believe the world can be a better, more peaceful, more loving place if we all take the time to sit down and listen to one another. The world can be a more beautiful place if we try to understand one another. Put the intolerance away and open your heart to others…you never know what you might discover about the world, about yourself, and about your faith.



Want to add the link up collection to your blog?! Find the code here.

Culture, Daily Life, Health & Wellness, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Monday: Never Enough

Welcome to “Mad About It Mondays”, a place to get that thing that’s been bothering you all week/day/night/month/year/your whole life off your chest. I want to try something new this week and, hopefully, every week going forward. I know that we all have things that annoy us. Maybe a driver cut you off on the highway and you wish you could tell them how you really feel or perhaps you went to purchase your favorite ice cream at the grocery store and they were all out or maybe you just need to vent. No matter what your story is, I invite to you to come along with me and share. I’ll post an Inlinkz link at the bottom so you can link up with me.

Mad About It Mondays

Finish this statement: I would be happy with my body (/with myself) if ____________________________________.

Warning: Things are about to get really real because I’ve got news for you…you’re never going to be happy. You’re never going to be perfect. Why? Because there is too much profit in a self-deprecating society. It’s everywhere, isn’t it? The idea of what society tells us is beautiful and the quick fixes (and sometimes not so quick, painful fixes) for how you, too, can achieve it. But the truth is, you’ll never achieve it because in the land of Photoshop and extensive editing, this beauty doesn’t even exist.

What happens when you confuse words like “healthy” and “happy” with “ultra thin” and “beautiful”? You get a society of women who think they’re not good enough. We all come in different shapes, sizes, backgrounds, hair types, skin types, etc. Why can’t we celebrate that?  The fact of the matter is that beauty is all around us but we’re so focused on these unrealistic ideas that we can’t even see it.

I plan to be more active and it’s not because I think I would be  happy  if I lost 30 or 40 pounds and it isn’t because I’m unhealthy now (because I don’t have medical issues)…it’s because I aspire to be a runner and, right now, I’m not in good enough shape for that. My point is that we have got to stop letting society define what makes us beautiful. We have to start recognizing that those magazine covers aren’t real- they’re edited versions of reality.

Perfection To-Do List

So maybe you’re not thin enough for “society” (read: marketers) to say you’re beautiful or maybe your hair isn’t thick enough or you’re too pale and need a tan. Let’s just say you fix these “imperfections”. Then what? What’s next? There will always be something. It will never be enough. So why don’t we just focus on being healthy and content with our own lives? Let’s stop trying to be just like (INSERT MAGAZINE COVER PHOTO OF CHOICE) and be ourselves. What’s healthy and right for you isn’t necessarily healthy and right for everyone else. What works for you doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Your health is something between you and your doctor and is, quite frankly, nobody else’s business. You are beautiful. You’re beautiful with the stretch marks, with the blemishes, with the thin hair, the wrinkled skin, with no makeup. You are good enough.

We Are Beautiful Because We Are Us

You might be wondering why this made it to “Mad About It Monday“. Well, because I’m mad. I’m mad that I see people who think they’re ugly when they’re not. I’m mad because I see people who are so amazing, who were born differently, and most of society will never call them pretty. I’m mad because I see beauty in this world and I wish more people recognized it, too. I mad because I want you to know that it isn’t the skin creams, the makeup, the hair products, or anything else that makes you a beautiful person…it’s who you ARE that matters.

You are beautiful.




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Culture, Current Events, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Mondays: Hate Groups (Like WBC)

This post, like many of similar nature I’m sure, is very difficult for me to write. I heard yesterday on my way to the airport that the Westboro Baptist Church is planning to gather together to praise the loss of the children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Rumors are circulating (and I haven’t found anything on their website to confirm this) that they’re also planning to picket the funerals that are slated to begin later today for the 20 children lost in this massacre.

When I heard about this, I broke down. It’s bad enough that tragic events like this even happen but to celebrate the loss of innocent children is repulsive. These monsters, these poor excuses for human beings, disgust me. The families are, undoubtably, having a hard enough time coming to terms with the loss of their six and seven year old children but to have a group of people make a mockery of this nation’s right to freedom of speech is mind-blowing.

What bothers me most about what these people do is that they do it under the umbrella of Christianity, claiming to speak for god, claiming that these horrible, evil acts are somehow punishment for a “sinful” society. What in the hell is wrong with these people? I mean, really. Absolutely sickening.

I was able to find one article if you want to take a look: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2248892/Connecticut-shooting-Westboro-Baptist-Church-plans-praise-gathering-outside-Sandy-Hook-Elementary-school.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

 

Culture, Current Events, Society, Uncategorized

When Tragedy Overwhelms Us

There are very few national events that I can honestly say I will remember for the rest of my life. The senseless tragedy on December 14th, 2012 is one of those events. Sitting at the airport on Friday morning, I heard the news of a school shooting in a quaint New England town. I didn’t think much about it on my first flight because they hadn’t released many details. During my layover in Chicago, however, I was able to spend some time listening to the story, getting the details as they continued to come in, and hopelessly trying to make sense of it all. There were twenty, maybe twenty-five of us, total strangers, sitting together all glued to CNN, all shocked and heartbroken for the loss of nearly 30 innocent lives, 20 of whom were beautiful little children. New souls.

As parents, situations like these instill a sense of overwhelming fear, discomfort, and uncertainty. Our children are supposed to be safe at school. Our children are supposed to grow and learn about the world. Our children are supposed to have imagination, creativity, drive, and enthusiasm for a world where the possibilities are seemingly endless. Our children are supposed to be alive.

I don’t know that it will ever be possible to truly understand or make sense of what happened at Sandy Point Elementary School. I cannot even begin to imagine how those parents must feel and my heart absolutely breaks for everyone who was affected by this living nightmare. I wish we lived in a world where domestic terrorists like these didn’t exist. I wish we could send our kids to school with the certainty that they’ll return happy, healthy, and safe. I wish, more than anything, for the families of the victims to be able to find some sort of peace someday.

My heart and my continued thoughts are with the citizens of Newtown, Connecticut and with our nation.