Monday, August 15, 2011

Some Spare Change

When I was in elementary school my brother was in a school play that was about the old west and how it was settled. There was a song in the play that was about how things change and grow. The most memorable line to me was "the only thing that doesn't change is change", saying that change is a constant and will never stop happening. Throughout my life, however, change has changed for me. A big change used to be moving from second grade to third grade, because we started using pens and writing in cursive. Farther on down the road there was the change of moving and learning to start over with new people. Now I've moved so many times it doesn't really matter what state I call home. School has continued to be school, no matter what I'm learning or what kind of writing implements I use. Until now things changed with me as I grew up, but I think I've reached a point where I see change a little differently.

When I think of change over time, the first thing I usually think of is music and video technology. My parents talk about how they were alive before color tv was around. You couldn't watch movies at home before the seventies, but now we can watch any movie with out having to move from our computer or couch. Not to mention that movies theaters are now taking advantage of ALL your senses in all eleven dimensions . We've gone from vinyl records to eight-tracks, cassette tapes, cds, and now music that doesn't even exist in a tangible form. Today I walked into a restaurant and instead of the standard fountain drink dispenser I saw this thing that I can only think of as futuristic. It was as small as a vending machine and it had a touch screen to choose your soda. The number of different sodas and flavor variety combinations must have been a three digit number, in this one small machine. As Dippin' Dots has been trying to tell us for many years, "The Future is Now".

I have to remind myself, on occasion, that it's not just technology that's changing but everything else too. When I was in sixth grade I should have been put in an algebra class, but the school board refused to let me. The same thing happened to each of my brothers and we tried to fight it. Just this week I have learned that the school board is finally allowing sixth graders to take algebra, giving them a possible way to finish high school math requirements before they even make it there. I was glad to know that it was finally put through because of my parents, and other parents and students, fighting for the past twelve years. At the same time I was a bit discouraged because none of the people I was fighting for (my brothers and I) will really benefit from this change, seeing as we're all older now.

Now I am making change happen through the things I'm involved in, like USGA at BYU. I called a friend of mine recently. He was the first Gay Mormon I ever knew, and he truly inspired me, whether he knows it or not. He was one of the first few who attended the Matis Firesides when they were still held in the living room of their home. I told him how things have changed for gay students here at BYU. Now we can be open about who we are, and we're allowed to meet together in our club, or community of friends, on campus. I can now openly stand for the rights of people like me, even when most church members don't understand why I don't think it's wrong. He was blown away by how much had changed in only four years. It made me a bit frustrated though, as I noticed that while these things are changing for the better very quickly, they're not going to change all at once. Things may not get better where I am right now, no matter how hard I try. What I'm doing in my family or community now may not really make a difference to someone until after I'm gone. Then I realize I'm benefiting right now from what others have done before me. They started groups like USGA that now give me a community of friends who understand and love me. Even though things are different now, they will always be another type of different later on down the road. I just hope I'm still around to see it.

~Bridey J

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