Her page, her rules. A few days ago, I observed an interesting interaction on the Facebook page of a local acquaintance. This person had posted a video by the guy who does the Daily Rants. His website shows him clutching a gun and he posts videos that claim he is sharing what “we all want to say.”
I found myself cringing at that assumption. He doesn’t represent me or likely most people I know. I question how he can dare to know what anyone else wants to express unless they tell him directly.
I had commented that while I don’t like to throw the baby out with the bathwater and some of what he says may have merit, his values and mine don’t match up. A friend of hers asked what right I had to judge. I then asked what the difference was between judgment and discernment. The page owner’s comment was “drop it,” clearly not inviting rational dialog on her thread. Not sure if it is because she is of the same mindset as this dude, doesn’t want to alienate her friends, or simply that she wants to head potential conflict off at that pass.
Either way, I did as she asked and then jumped off as a ‘friend’. We are not close in the face to face world but travel in some of the same overlapping circles. Will we run into each other? Possibly. Would I love to have a calm conversation with her? Sure. These days, that becomes ever more challenging. Since the election, I have been astounded at the up-leveling of hostility and a precipitous plunge into hatred.
Family members and friends have been at odds with each other and relationships have been severed over the political divide. I have reluctantly ‘unfriended’ people and two family members on social media, in part because I want to minimize exposure to videos such as those created by this man. In addition, being bombarded with hate rhetoric isn’t good for my body, mind or spirit.
For me, ethics isn’t about party affiliation. It is about decency and character. When watching Won’t You Be My Neighbor, I discovered that Fred Rogers considered himself a Conservative Republican, and yet, he endorsed Civil Rights, accepted one of his co-stars as a gay man and rescued PBS from the chopping block…all pretty stereotypically Liberal moves.
My take is that we don’t just vote behind the curtained voting booth on Election Day, but rather, we vote daily with our thoughts, words and actions. Regardless of which lever you pulled to let the world know what you stand for, the actions of the current administration impact on you no less than those who cast their vote in another direction. We all drink the same water, breathe the same air and share the desire to live. In addition, it is difficult to imagine that those who have children and grandchildren, wouldn’t want a sustainable future for them.
I know that there are many who feel that my left-leaning sentiments endanger their way of life which they might kill to defend. I am determined to show up, stand up and speak out in support of those disempowered and sometimes voiceless brothers and sisters. I am pro-peace, all about love and relationships, cooperation and harmony. Before you think I just stand around, holding hands and singing kumbaya…. ain’t so. My writing and speaking reflects my worldview and exists as a platform to share my perceptions. They aren’t always pink cotton candy pretty. Sometimes they are downright direct while attempting not to be confrontational. I would like to alter the perceptions of those who pedal hate in the guise of patriotism.
When I do express my frustrations and fears, I don’t name call or vilify. I don’t focus on the appearance of the present occupant of the Oval Office or anyone else he had appointed. I do call out injustice. I do shine a light on the shadowy aspects of the decisions made by those currently in power. It is difficult to accept the advice some in my circles have encouraged that we need to support everyone’s opinion since we each have a right to express it.
How do you keep from judging the values of another if you believe they are endangering? That could take the form of physically or verbally threatening you or those you know and love. This could mean creating the policy that strips away human rights or allowing for children to be ripped from their parents’ arms as they cross the border. Do you go head to head or heart to heart?
There are times when I attempt to understand the thought process behind what I consider atrocities. What comes to me is that if I had the experiences and beliefs as those who promulgate these actions, I might do the same. It is then that I shake it off, much like a wet dog after getting a bath. For this avowed peacemonger, nothing could be more rewarding than to know that someone has put down their word weapons in favor of coming together for the sake of the future.
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
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Photo credit: Nick Karvounis