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There is a movement sweeping the internet.

Sadly, this movement was sparked by the ongoing crisis of gay teen suicide.  Kids who have been bullied and exploited, who think they just can’t take it any more.

Dan Savage, a performer and columnist, is sick of it.  Like so many of us, he is heartbroken over the loss of so many lives for so horrible a reason.  As he wrote in his popular column Savage Love:

I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.

So, he began a movement.

It Gets Better

Videos for gay teens by gay adults.  Giving hope and love, sharing their experiences, sharing how wonderful live will turn out to be.  Watch a few.  I guarantee most of you will be moved to tears.

It. Gets. Better.

This is such an phenomenally important concept for gay teens to try to understand.

Come to think of it, not only gay teens.  Freaks.  Nerds.  Geeks.  (Yes, it’s now chic-to-be-geek in a lot of places, but not everywhere.)  Losers.  Babies.  Fastsos.  Dumb-fucks.  Beanpoles.  Know-it-alls.  Mama’s Boys.  Sluts.  Scum.  Four-eyes.  ‘Tards.  Whatever name you’ve been called…if you can continue to hold your head up high and just get through it, it DOES get better.

I’m going to quote The Bloggess here, because she said it so beautifully:

Right now it’s hard to see clearly but there is a world of amazing people out there who…will love you and respect you and cherish your contributions.  I’m one of them and I can’t wait to meet you.  Don’t let me down.

I’m one of them, too.  If you have been or are being bullied, pushed around, put down or exploited, I won’t presume to know or understand exactly what you’re going through.  What I do know, however, is how many wonderful gifts you have to give the world, even if you haven’t found them yet.  You are infinitely worthy of love and deserving of joy.  Please, please give us the chance to get to know you and help you find your joy.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend j. IM’d and asked if I would make a hat for a friend of hers just beginning her chemo journey.  I agreed, of course, and when she sent the yarn, I happily set aside my other projects and whipped up a hat.  When that used half the skein, I decided to complete the set with some wrist warmers.

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Something hit me while I was working on this project and another comfort gift last week.  I was more content than I had been in a while.  In fact, as I packaged them up for shipping, I was saddened the project was over.

I love crocheting, and, yes, I love crocheting things for myself.  However, the peace that fills me while I’m making a gift – especially a gift for someone truly in need of comfort – is undeniable.

I grew up with service being an integral part of my social life.  Girl Scouts and 4-H both put a heavy emphasis on serving others and the Earth as part of being a good citizen.  I was raised in a religion that heavily emphasizes social justice.  I lost sight of this to a certain extent upon reaching adulthood.  That is to say, while I understood the necessity of being a giving person, I didn’t often make the time or effort to follow through.

Over the past few years, though, the true meaning and purpose of life has begun to cement itself in my conscious mind.  And it is this: It is all about love, empathy, and understanding.  We are all one.  We are all indivisible.  A woman three thousand miles away is a sister to us all.  The cap I make her will not cure her cancer, but the knowledge that someone cares for her enough to make the effort may bring a smile to her face on a day when she really needs it.  A positive attitude will help her in her healing.

Giving and sharing are central to my belief system.  It is not enough to do for others to fulfill a duty, or because one thinks she should.  I do, because it is right.  I cannot understand how I could live life correctly without it, or if I am unable to contribute for a time, without supreme empathy.  Yes, of course, I also give because it feels good.  I am only human, after all.  But it cannot be the only reason or the driving force.  I cannot feel only good about making such a small gesture when there is so much dire need; there is always a certain amount of despair that accompanies it.  Sadness that I am not doing more.  I can only do as much as I can do with the resources that I have, and I suppress the negative emotion once I acknowledge it, because I strongly believe that it does little good to dwell on it.

Of course, I need to work to achieve balance in this, as in all areas of my life.  (Balance is always my biggest struggle.)  My boys would both like me to crochet something for them, and I have another pair of socks to make for myself with the yarn gift from my husband.  I am also beginning to feel pulled back towards digital scrapbooking, but I’m resisting.  I’m afraid that I will follow my old pattern: when I pick up another creative pursuit, my current one gets shoved in a drawer, often for years.  I’m not ready to give up on crochet, even for a short break, but can I balance both digiscrapping and crocheting as leisure time pursuits?  Perhaps keeping service projects going with the crochet will help prevent its decline?  I suppose the only thing to do is try.

My boys

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