Matthew Mehlhaff

Why Didn’t You Tell Me I Was Different? by Matthew F. Mehlhaff

The more I think about this, the happier I am to be different. Let me explain. Amid all the bias and hatred in the world, to be one that stands out as different can be a very good thing.

As men, you are expected to behave in certain ways. Just as certain expectations are place upon women. But what is expected from those that willingly and happily cross those boundaries? Like women racing cars? Or men that like to knit and crochet? How do you characterize that persons manhood or womanhood? Are they any less a man or woman if they do not prescribe to societal norms? Are they to be hated because they are different than what generations of prejudiced thinking has standardized? Absolutely not!

In fact, these people should be embraced and accepted. And some have been, like Danica when she was the first female NASCAR driver. Or NFL hall of famer, Rosie Grier, who was an advid yarn crafter who published his own needlepoint, knit and crochet patterns. Danica has never been referred to as not womanly enough, or Rosie Grier as not manly enough. In fact, I don’t think there is a person alive with that much courage to say that about them. 

So why do we say it to our “friends”? Why do put down those around us? Those that are different from us? Like I said, I’m happy to be different.

I am a Jewish man that enjoys knitting and crocheting. I have many friends that are Muslim, Buddhist, and in the LGBTQI community. I embrace and accept their differences as they embrace and accept mine. What makes us so different? We don’t look at the labels life gives us we look at the life we give those labels. In other words, we look at who we are, not what we are called. Yes, I’m different. And I’m proud of it.

Love me or hate me, it makes no difference to me. I am who I am, different. But I am true to myself. If more people were true to themselves, I think there would a whole lot less hatred in the world. What do think? Let me know.

Matthew F. Mehlhaff
DOC #864454

Categories: Matthew Mehlhaff

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