An 18 year old rural Utah teen ally teaches us about love

By Caleb Deane

Some of you may have noticed that there is a huge debate going on in our country. The decision to legalize gay marriage or not has become one of the biggest issues of our time. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it; with some gay relatives and a few friends that are still “in the closet,” I have to. I can’t ignore the fact that this is an important issue that needs to be dealt with, and I think I might have a solution.

Love.

Seriously. That’s it. Love.

Love is a funny thing. It is generally defined as a feeling of affection and interest. Sometimes it is defined as a sexual attraction, and other times it is defined as a sense of kinship. It has so many different meanings, but they all have one thing in common: the act of caring about someone. Whether you want to spend the rest of your life with them, make sweet, passionate love to them, or simply be their friend, it is all the same thing: love.

Love makes the world go round. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.

Is it really that hard for us to do so? Evidently it is, because we’re always going at each other’s throats like wolves. If someone has an opinion that is different than our own, we automatically categorize them as an enemy and dedicate our time to tearing them down. It’s sickening.

I’m not going to tell you my stance on the issue of homosexuality. Chances are, if you know me personally, you know where I stand on the issue. But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to tell you to do one thing, and one thing alone.

Love people. Love everyone. Do not deny someone your love and respect because of their values, choices, or opinions. Regardless of what you may believe, everyone has a right to happiness and respect. No one has a right to deny those things to a person. I repeat, no one. You may be a religious zealot, dedicated to thwarting the evils of Satan and any Antichrists that may show up, or you may be a humanistic activist, fighting for the rights of everyone, regardless of biological or emotional differences. It does not matter who you are or where you stand.

What does matter is how you treat people.

It is not okay to tear other people down, no matter how you may feel about them.

I consider myself an ally. An ally to everyone. An ally to people who do not have the respect of their peers, who do not have the love of others. I always try my hardest to accept people for who they are. Sometimes it’s hard; I get that. It is so hard to love humans. We are a disgusting race, full of arrogance and hatred. But no matter how far we may fall, it is so important to remember one thing—the only thing that can truly keep us together.

Love.

Please. Try to love everyone. It is so important.

Caleb is 18, is an active Mormon and lives in Oakley Utah. He plans to graduate from HS this year and attend SUU this Fall.  He plans to major in English and Education and aspires to be a writer. He has been vocal about supporting and defending LGBT people in his High School.

4 comments for “An 18 year old rural Utah teen ally teaches us about love

  1. December 26, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Caleb is my son. What need I say more, than that I am proud to be his father?

  2. Dennis Woodruff
    December 26, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Sounds like you two have done a great job learning from each other. I’d say his attitudes towards his fellow beings might be a good reflection of his upbringing.

  3. Gina
    December 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Hmm… Love. I’ve heard of that before. I think some Jewish carpenter tried to teach about that a couple thousand years ago. ;)

    Awesome, Caleb!

  4. Jeff
    January 3, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Caleb, I wish I had been as courageous and self assured as you are when I was your age. Unfortunately, I let fear keep me in the closet for many more years. You may not know who, but I can promise you that your stance on love and equality is providing hope to someone who is living in fear and conflict. You’re exactly right about love. Christ named two commandments as greatest of them all. Those commandments ask for three things: to love God, to love your fellow man, and to love yourself. He also said that upon these commandments hang all the law and all the prophets. Unconditional love is definitely the key to heaven and you have discovered it.

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