December 3, 2015 § 8 Comments
I usually bite my tongue here when it comes to anything remotely political, but I guess I’ve had a little more than I can take and am breaking my code for a moment.
Another tragedy has taken place (yes, of the far, far too many). And if that’s not enough, the divisive name-calling and hate-baiting is following in what’s become a much too typical fashion. Enough already.
There are going to be different opinions on the important issues of our time, and these opinions, fueled by passion and a sense of right and wrong from both an individual and global perspective, may or may not run deep. I get it. People are fired up, and we should be. But fighting with your neighbor doesn’t fix things; in fact, it breeds greater societal discontent which can potentially lead to chaos and misplaced aggression – and while we’re busy attacking our neighbor’s point of view, God only knows what’s transpiring between Those At The Top.
So here’s what I have to say. Stop it. Stop the in-fighting. And consider a few things: That disliking Obama’s leadership does not make someone a racist. Believing that abortion is wrong does not mean someone is against women’s rights. Being pro-choice does not make someone a murderer. Concern about undocumented immigrants does not mean someone is anti-immigration. (We’re a country of immigrants, for crying out loud, and we all know that.) Worry over radical Islam does not equal prejudice against Muslims. Being wealthy does not make you a selfish bastard. Being poor does not make you ignorant. Tolerance is seemingly relative. And a touchy one for this moment: Owning a gun does not mean someone doesn’t recognize that there is a problem, nor that they think that every Tom, Dick and Jane ought to be running around with a gun in their pocket. (To be clear, I’m personally not a fan of guns. They scare me. But they exist. And I understand the reasonings on both sides of the coin here, and feel that the assumptions and personal attacks on others’ views are counterproductive.)
These are difficult and dangerous times. It’s heated. Sometimes it feels like it’s spinning wildly out of control, so maybe people feel they have some semblance of control by speaking out. But in Facebook-land and other social media platforms, the tendency to spew without regard can be appalling. Labeling and righteous, broad-sweeping insults sometimes run rampant. Like a virtual bar brawl.
Instead of arguing, why not listen. Have the conversation. Instead of gulping and spitting, how about chewing first. You may think someone is completely wrong; you may think they’re an idiot. If it’s really that bad, and there’s no room for mutual discussion, let it go. But there are a lot of good, intelligent people out there who might deserve a little more respect and less knee-jerk judgment. If only. And then maybe we’d get somewhere better. Maybe. Because in the end, I’m pretty sure we all want to live freely and safely while pursuing happiness.
Okay, rant over. I’ll go back to being the sweet artist now.