I’m eating breakfast with my 12-year old grandson when he says, “My life started dark. Nothing went through my mind; it was like in one ear and out the other.” I nod and he carries on, “Did anything happen, yeah, but my memory went away right after it happened. Before I had memory everything was nothing, and then suddenly in pops something and I remember it except I don’t. It’s weird to think that everything before was nothing….just all black…it freaks me out.”
The thing I love about my grandson is that we can talk about anything. He goes on to say, “I always have these big thoughts, like mind explosions. I’ll be sitting in my bed and suddenly….pow!”
I can’t remember having thoughts like this when I was 12, but he does and he tells me about it, “One time I had this long talk with God about why do you not like gay people?”
I ask, “What does God say?” And he says, “I don’t know how to know when God talks back. It’s just like a prayer.”
“Why were you thinking that God doesn’t like gay people?”
“Because that was the night I looked at the video of the guy who got abused by his parents for being gay. In the video they said it was a choice to be gay or not.” He goes on to say that science overrules it and that we evolved from apes and not Adam and Eve. Then he goes on to say, “The government annoys me. They are hypocrites. The constitution says there is ‘a separation between God and state’, and yet God is on our money: In God We Trust. We have to swear the truth on the bible. And gays can’t get married because the bible says so? It shouldn’t have anything to do with God.”
He continues, “When I had the gay talk with God. I said, ‘You’re God why don’t you make this world perfect?’ That’s sometimes why I question myself if there is a God or not. Would everyone be happy and have world peace? Anger is in your brain, you can’t stop it. Anger is like the fuse in your brain, and that fuse just starts going and it gets transported into the government…the anger you learn is in your families, you take it into the government and you take it into the world. Anger is a way of life.”
Wow. Can you imagine having a talk with a young person who says that ‘anger is a way of life?’ So I talk to him about God, and anger, and what we believe. It doesn’t matter to me whether he or you believe in God or not. What matters is that you have a way of communicating your thoughts and your beliefs. It matters that you have someone to listen to you and respect your thoughts. To my grandson, I say, “Anger isn’t a way of life. Anger is a learned behavior. It’s allowing our ‘animal brain/limbic system’ to take over and put us in the flight or fight survival mode. We have an evolving human brain/neocortex. This is the brain that wants to love and be loved. It accepts our differences and enjoys our cultural diversity. The human evolving brain doesn’t hate gays—it accepts our differences.”
Can you imagine if we accepted other traditions, beliefs and cultures? Would there be any need for war if we accepted other people and their differences? I don’t think so.
Today my friend be accepting of yourself and others. Come from love instead of hate. Let your anger go. If you feel it surge up, take a breath and know that you are in control of your anger and your peace.