I was contemplating the other day the many ways I am a contradiction. This is not the first time I have pondered over it nor will it be the last. To me, when I think on it, it is amusing. I don't deny it and will be the first to bring it up, but to other people who come to the realization it is probably an annoyance. However, I do not let it bother me, I like the way I am and would prefer to stay this way on where I appear to others to be a walking contradiction. I would definitely be bothered if I changed and was no longer a contradiction. I will take a moment to explain.
The way I am is the way I am but I do not impose my beliefs nor way of life onto others thinking that they should also behave and live the same life I am. Further to that, we are not all the same so that's just not going to work now is it? If I saw someone who was harming themselves in some way, or there was factors posing a risk in their life - especially if it was due to the choices they made - then I may say something. Even at that I would be seeking help for them and finding what works for them to stop whatever bad habits/behaviours were going on in order to help them out, not necessarily comparing them to me and what has worked for me unless I think it would be applicable to the situation and would be based more on advice and suggestion not pushing or forcing it upon somebody. I may be religious/spiritual individual but like to think my concern for humanity at present would be more important even if I was not a believer in something else outside of myself that I cannot see.
Where I appear to be the biggest contradiction is in my veganism and being a Christian.
As a vegan I am environmentally conscientious, worry about where I buy stuff and what it's origins are so I know what is going into my body. I even worry about the packaging of what I am purchasing to avoid putting too much in the landfill and try to recycle as much as I can. The origins of that stems from when I began to worry about my health and beauty products I used: what was in them and what could it do to my body in the long run? Then overtime I came across certain books and websites that lead me on the path to changing my food intake. But, I am not walking the walk that other vegans I have met do.
I will not preach at you. If people ask me questions I answer as many questions as I can and even refer people to the sources that got me started. I got especially lucky with the material I found. The voices that rolled off the pages were filled with kindness and humility in their encouragements, they too were not preachy at all. These were people who had done their research and were genuinely, humbly, concerned as to what certain foods and their productions were doing to our health, animals, and the environment. Hence, I will answer questions but encourage people to look to those who lead me down my path as I feel they are the better role models. I have eaten this way for several years and have had no inclination to go back to my daily intake as before. This works for me from the inside out and I am pleased at how I can help in other ways, even if my mark may be small.
It is amazing when people attack me on it (on a verbal front not a physical one I assure you) and I know why that is... they came across someone who will preach to no end about why others need to become vegetarian and vegans for the sake of the world.... I have been exposed to such individuals myself and it hurts my ears and my head. Those who are not eating a vegan diet will get angry before they get to me know and make rude jokes or keep hammering at me for my choice. That does not mean it's okay, but I know where it's coming from and as soon as I say that I live my life this way please go live yours your own way they leave me alone pretty fast. They realize I am not going to lecture them on their eating habits and even sense that there is no way they are going to change me or be phased by their behavior. Most times, they then change their tune and begin to ask questions; turning to a polite educational conversation between us. They often discover that I encourage others to find the foods that work for them and that moderating is most important mindset for anyone. It doesn't mean after the conversation I expected that it changed them in any way, but that we both learned something about one another. I am always pleased and humbled when someone makes an effort and changed something in their diet and thought to tell me right away.... often its because of the polite conversation between us. My friend who specializes in health and nutrition has found politeness works best versus other people in the profession who get really firm on the subject; as we are both polite people, her and I, this is the way we like to make change and lead by example. However, other vegans and vegetarians would disagree, even say I am too soft, not strict enough, and not really true to my veganism if I am not spreading it around as I should. If I buy food for guests that I know are not vegan I buy them what they want and avoid vegan-izing anything. I don't make speeches on why everyone should change their diets or go through the lists of the benefits, but I know there are plenty of people out there who will. I don't hit up protests or have joined any activist groups. I am not part of a community/groups on the subject. That's just not how I roll. I live how I live, lead by example in what I do, and be the change I want to see. This is the same way I am in my religious or spiritual aspect of my life.
I believe in Christ. I study my Bible, but, I have some issues with the authenticity. Yet, I still study it. I pray a lot, and focus more on what I sense is between me and the Big Guy in the Sky and our relationship, and how He gently, lovingly guides me on my path in life; even when I am scared or mess up. I sense Him and see the good and love from Him everyday, even when the world seems very dark and scary particularly when I know what we human beings are doing to each other: the violence, the cruelness, the lies, deceptions, cheating, etc. I could go on about the darkness I see in us human beings... But what helps me in life, what gets me through the days, weeks and months is Him. My belief, hope, faith and love in Him. But others would say I am not truly Christian, and here are some things based on what others have said that I have been judged for by other Christians:
- I don't spread or quote the gospel
- I don't attend church anymore
- I don't associate with many other Christians
- Some things I say and do would be considered against the Bible
- I have nothing against people who love each other who are the same gender
- I totally against man being above women
- I don't believe in no sex before marriage
- I don't believe every women should have kids and if they don't they are going against something that all women should innately desire
- Not a pacifist: if someone/myself is being attacked or hurt I will fight back if I see the fight requires force.
- I have friends who are Jehovah, Mormon, agnostic, Baha'i, and Catholic (if anyone thinks there is not much difference between Christian and Catholic my Catholic friends and I have already noted there is a considerable difference)
- Sometimes my diplomacy goes out the door and those who require a good dose of humility get a forked-tongue that I try to keep in check and hit them where I know they are weak. I am not good with argumentative people or bullies, and often they wear their wounds of what makes them feel weak or negative about themselves. But, being a good reader of people I also see that negative sore spot very quick. If these people get out of line or are rude or bullying others (especially to make others feel bad to make themselves feel good or win an argument) then I point out the sore spot and that's probably why they are being the way they are. Works every time. I don't like to resort to it but I will to defend others.
Does that make me not a Christian? I believe I still am and will not argue with anyone on the subject who says I am not; but I don't say I agree with them either, I just shrug it off. However, it is amazes me by how many people (no matter what they believe) have pegged me for being Christian. Throughout my life when I have been noted to be Christian before I confirm it people say it has been because of how I present myself, how I behave, and how, "kind," "caring," and, "understanding," I am. The interesting feedback on how some people knew I was a Christian is because of the righteous indignation I get over the wrongs done to other people and I will not back down going so far as to being very blunt and honest; the bluntness and honesty has apparently given it away. That one still surprises me.
Does this make me a bad vegan? A bad Christian? Or do these things make me not a vegan or a Christian?
I don't care. But I wouldn't want to change it.
Copyright 2015 Lucky 33: Stories, Experiences, Perspectives, and Opinions of a Woman Who Made To Her Thirties.