I am not a perfect advocate; I don't know every politician's stance; I cannot recite today's specific injustices (though I want to be better about that). I speak with too much zeal on Saturday nights, and not enough on Sunday mornings.
If I were to have a "mission" or purpose, it would probably be outside of church walls; because that's where I feel called/most alive/useful in exchanging truth. The process of jumping into the pain and the darkness of life's circumstances, with other people, and forever sounding off the truth that we are not alone; this makes me giddy.
I am a Cuban American with parents + grandparents that immigrated to the United States post-Castro. I am white (and learning to say that without cringing in cultural confusion).
I am more ignorant than I'd like. I'm trying to diversify my privileged perspective, and use the place I stand in a way that draws those surrounding me into conversations that lack exclusivity, and encourage authenticity with the purpose of sharing truth in its many representations.
Not everything about me will be relevant, or sit comfortably with you. That's the point. I've been placed in the middle of a bridge that's burning on both ends—one end with my social responsibilities, the other with my internal--some say "spiritual"--responsibilities (both of which inform the other).
And you know what?
I will not move.
I don't have an agenda in being here (in the middle), between these extremes of social identity; my only agenda is getting to know your smile; jokes; 7th birthday party Disney theme; what gives you hope, etc.
The middle is my home--and that will always make some uncomfortable. That's okay.
I'll probably sit here alone for a while. That's okay too. Because I've learned that no matter how hard we try, no one should be polarized. You cannot assume. You cannot box.
I watch Pretty Little Liars--and read philosophy. Bake cookies + brownies regularly--and run half marathons on a whim. I am a Christian--and a part of the queer community. I grew up on the Bible--and also see truth in your eyes.
None of us fit into those preconceived notions of "traditional ideals". We challenge each other with our differences, and we make each other more loving and whole in that challenge.
I won't always be relevant to you, and the middle will always be my home--not in the lack of making a statement or choosing a side, but in the acknowledgement that I am more than a statement; I am more than a socially-defined "side".
If you want to join me here, in the middle, I've got beer and freshly baked brownies; and the view is far less obstructed.
So come; sit with me in the middle of my bridges, and I'll sit with you in the middle of yours--the places you don't quite fit; where you expand far beyond social stereotypes or expectations.
I won't make you choose a fire to burn in; I just want some company.
Let's take our stand - to stop pushing out, and start inviting in. I won't always be relevant to you; but our stories will always be relevant to one another; and we can always find hope, and truth, hidden within the spots we can't quite fit.
Let's take our stand - not to fade into a brown, listless "in-between", but to redefine the entire color wheel, and learn to look in the eyes of our perceived "enemies".
Let's take our stand - to recognize the humanity around us, and fight against polarization and stereotypes; fight against the idea that we have to sacrifice our deepest convictions for particular social institutions.
Because whether I am relevant to you or not, I am always more than one thing. So are you.
And so "relevance" becomes, itself, irrelevant. You are complex. So am I. And in this, we are one - again and again, no matter how complex - we are one.
“Ubuntu speaks of the very essence of being human. [We] say "Hey, so-and-so has ubuntu." Then you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, "My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours." We belong in a bundle of life. We say, "A person is a person through other persons."
[...] A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as if they were less than who they are.”