The future is now

This is my final post for the year two thousand and thirteen. My thoughts are turned to all that has transpired over this past year but also to what is yet to come. It is a time of reflection but also prediction. But above all, it is my last chance, in fact my one and only chance to be in this absolutely unique, one of a kind, irreplaceable moment. What I write today could only be written today. It would have been impossible for me to write it yesterday for the me of today was not born yet and by tomorrow it will be too late for I will be dead.

Wow… that sounds deep and really heavy. My inclination would be to call bullshit but at it’s core what I’m saying is true. In my quest for the truth I have hit so many dead ends that I have questioned if anything is true. Still, I’m willing to go with that one. I’m willing to stand my ground and proclaim without reservation that THIS MOMENT is all we have; this moment, everlasting, ever changing. This moment is simultaneously both infinitely insignificant and absolutely everything.

The same is true of me… and of you. Each one of us is absolutely unique and indispensable to the whole. Each one of us is simultaneously both amazingly beautiful and a total piece of shit. Each one of us is the center or our own universe, in essence a god, but also merely a speck of dust on a grain of sand on the back of an ant. We are everything and nothing… well next to nothing but that is something. What that something is? I don’t know, and anyone who claims to is full of shit. The answer, as small as it may be, is bigger than anything any of us can wrap our brains around.

That is the truth.

When I look at the past year of my life it has great significance. Many amazing things have happened. Some I call good, some I call bad. In this past year I have done some things that I have never done before… and have succeeded. I’ve done some things and failed miserably. In both cases, my success or failure has seemed like everything, and it is. Except it’s not. It is a matter of perspective, in this case,  my perspective. Our inclination is to believe that the truth lies somewhere in the middle but that is a myth. There is no absolute truth because the truth is absolutely everything.

Well, that was a whole lotta nothin, huh? I really hoped that I had something more helpful to give. After all this is the most important post I am making in this moment. But that is the problem with seeking the truth. The fact is, the truth, at least in any comprehendible form, only exists is chunks, in the connections we make to the exclusion of everything else.

So let me break off a chunk here and see if I can get to a point. Let me limit my scope to the planet earth. Let me limit my concern to the human race. Let me focus on this exact point in time. Let me say that we have come a long way baby, but if we keep going the way that we are going we are all totally fucked.

But hey, I’m an optimist and I know that there is no way in hell that we will keep going the way that we have. Change is inevitable and change is happening. For those who resist change, this must be a really scary time but I’m here to tell you, you are not alone. For those who embrace change, this is a scary time as well.  We are now, as always, but perhaps now more than ever, all in this together. Our ability to accept that simple unwavering fact will define our future.

The Twentieth century is over and if the human race survives long enough it may become but a footnote in history. Still, there is one thing that happened during the past one hundred years or so which will change things forever.  We have become ONE WORLD. Growing up in the Twentieth century I heard both apocalyptic and utopian tales of what a one world order would mean. Well we don’t have to wonder any longer. This is it!

Yeah, I know. I expected jet packs too.

Oh well, that’s the way these things go. Best laid plans and all…

Anyway, the only question now is do we come together? or do we break it apart? As I look around I see everything we need to go either way. We have enough resources, enough ideas, enough technology and enough love, compassion and understanding to care for everyone on this planet.  We also have enough to destroy it all . We need to make a choice because we have reached the tipping point. Unless you are expecting salvation in the afterlife or aliens to come and rescue us, this is all we’ve got. Frankly, I’m not banking on either of those options so I ask you, my one and only savior, “what do you want to do?”

We can continue to divide and conquer, but where will it end? Does it ends with all our resources exhausted and the winner standing all alone? I don’t think any of us would consider that acceptable, including the winner.

We now know that we are one world; miraculous and abundant yet fragile and limited. Can we also realize that we are one people; divine and diverse, independent and indispensable. Can we accept that we are alone through the knowledge that we are infinitely connected?

I say that it is time we come together… not as Hindus and Christians, not as Democrats and Republicans, not as rich and poor, not as educated and ignorant, not as healthy and sick, not as young and old, not as black and white, not as gay and straight, not as good or bad; not by any of the labels we have imposed upon others or have allowed to define us, but in the only way that really matters… as individuals.

It’s time that we started thinking for ourselves for in doing so we are thinking for everyone. History is over. Culture, ideology, political movements, economic systems, race, religion, nationality, gender and sexual orientation are all remnants of the past. The future is now and all we have is us.

What next

For twenty years I have been fighting for LGBT equality. In 1993 I marched on Washington and worked with the “It’s Time Minnesota” campaign to include Sexual Orientation in the state’s human rights act. The human rights protection  passed but in 1997 Minnesota passed it’s own version of The Defence of Marriage Act. Since then the fight has been for marriage equality.

The decision for me to get married in 1999 was a difficult one. To take advantage of a right that was denied to so many of my friends just seemed wrong. It felt like joining a country club that barred jews. How could I do that?  Both my partner and I were out and active members of the LGBT community. In the end it came down to putting our family first. Marriage was the best way to protect the health and security of our family. As an act of protest we applied for our marriage license as one man and one woman with me as the bride and my female partner as the groom. On February 22nd, 1999 I became her wife and she my husband and we vowed to continue the fight for marriage equality.

Today, April 14th, 2013 that fight officially comes to an end in Minnesota. At 5pm Governor Dayton will sign the Freedom to Marry Act into law making Minnesota the twelfth state in the union to legalize same-sex marriage. Granted, marriage among same-sex couples is still not recognized at the national level but it’s only a matter of time until it will. With cases currently being decided by the Supreme Court, it could be just a matter of months. Countries all around the world are embracing marriage equality. The tide has clearly turned. It has been a long and hard fought battle but the end is clearly in sight.

So what next? Obviously discrimination will continue. Not everyone is on board with acceptance of gay and lesbian people. To be honest, that doesn’t concern me. I support the freedom to hate as well. My concern is with laws that treat people unfairly and we still have lots of those. Personally, I think the next law that needs to be overturned in the prohibition on marijuana. I think it’s doable, I think it’s time and I think it will have great benefit for the nation as a whole.

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