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As many folks know, I’m a pretty big fan of Glee.  I follow most of the cast on Twitter and am often amused by their tweets, photos, and comments – yet another example of how famous people are just like the rest of us.  Plus, knowing that Mark Salling was playing disc golf in South St. Paul will forever amuse me.

This morning, I noticed that Dianna Agron had updated her Tumblr.  One thing that picqued my interest, to be honest, was that the snippet in the tweet mentioned Bill Clinton.

Her post was a response/follow-up to her wearing a “Likes Girls” shirt during their performance in Toronto yesterday.  She used her blog to share her thoughts about LGBT rights as well as the more general issue of diversity, respect, being open to the world around us and challenging ourselves to keep growing, learning, and thinking. 

One part of her post jumped out to me specifically –

“As each generation leaves their footprints, and paves the way for what is to come…to some, change is an impossible idea or action to put in motion.

You know what? Often, this unfortunate reality is because of learned behavior! As much as we may often preach that we like to speak for ourselves, or outside the box, how many times have you caught yourself, or someone you know repeating the thoughts of another before them? Sometimes without proper information? And how many times have you felt that perhaps further knowledge on an issue or subject matter might result in a different voice, a different understanding? Perhaps even going against the ideas they’ve learned, heard, or grown up around?”

Too often people use their long-held beliefs and thoughts as armor – something to keep new or different experiences at a distance.  Sometimes this is necessary as a result of negativity in one’s past, but it also can be an hinderance or an active attempt to avoid anything that may make someone feel uncomfortable.  I often say that those who feel the most uncomfortable when shown a different way of thinking or doing something are often times people who aren’t sure or confident in what they think to be the right way of thinking or doing. 

I want people to challenge me, to question me, to push me becuase I know it will help me become more confident in what I believe and why I believe it.  Yes, it may be hard at times, yes it may make me question things and feel discomfort, but I trust that in the long run it will pay off.  We never stop learning or growing as we grow up – nor should we.  In some ways, if we stop learning, we stop living.

I am thankful for all of the people around me that challenge me – either directly or by giving me information indirectly – because without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I am happy where my life has taken me, and think that if I wasn’t open to new or different experiences I wouldn’t have ended up in my current place.  It’s been a hard road at times, but getting here has been worth it.

To take another quote from Dianna’s post, I will conclude with this:

I speak, because I am passionate. I write with this passion because I know how it feels to be hurt, to be depressed, to not value yourself, or your feelings. If any of this has inspired or moved you, even just made you think….I encourage you to tweet or reblog a picture, quote, anything that you feel will continue to spread the love. And if any are interested in tracking the chain, perhaps visualizing the greater collective, include the hash tag, #letlovein.”

Keep learning.  Keep growing.  Keep challenging yourself.  It will lead to you loving yourself, those around you, and life in general.


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