When I was in high school, I once took heat from my very conservative boyfriend for giving a freshman girl a ride to Planned Parenthood. I didn’t support her sleeping with her boyfriend (especially since I knew him and always considered him kind of skeevy), but… he refused to wear condoms, and neither of them were going to not have sex just because she couldn’t find a ride to get a birth control prescription… so I figured it was better if they had birth control. As I reasoned to my boyfriend, “These aren’t the kind of people I want reproducing.”
It didn’t help that they are one of the loudest pro-choice advocates in the country, either. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly anti-pro-choice – I’m just also pro-life. I don’t think making it illegal will make women stop having abortions. I think it will just make it more dangerous and painful. But I do believe a baby’s life (from the moment of conception) is a sacred thing, and the thought of a baby being aborted breaks my heart.
So Planned Parenthood. It was a place for slutty teenagers and baby killers.
As I’ve grown older though, I’ve grown more… tolerant. [Translation: I’m less of a conceited bitch and no longer believe I have all the answers.] I know now that what’s right for me, might not be right for someone else. I also know that sinking pretty far into wrong is what ultimately woke me up and helped me set my life right. So I no longer have any interest in dictating to people what they can (or even should) do, or judging them for what they choose to do, so long as it doesn’t effect me.
The reason I bring this up is because I went to Planned Parenthood yesterday. Unemployed and uninsured, they were really my only option for women’s health services. And I felt… dirty, walking in there. What if someone I know sees me? How could I stoop to going to Planned Parenthood? Can I really give money to a place that not only performs but helps women pay for abortions?
But I felt even dirtier walking out. Because you know what? They were friendly, and knowledgeable, and took really. good. care of me. And I realized that Old Me was still alive and well. I may have put aside judging individuals, but how could it be so easy for me to continue to judge individuals as long as I grouped them under the label “Planned Parenthood”?
It was a big paradigm shift for me: Realizing that I held onto this old opinion that conflicted with my new belief system. That I had been so intent on disliking someone, it was painful to admit that I didn’t dislike them at all. And it left me wondering where else in my life I may be holding on to outdated opinions.
How to Be Awesome Tip #4: Be willing to admit when you’re wrong.