People talk about things in such a black and white way. Let’s use the hot button topic of climate change as an example. There’s a lot of talk on both sides of the issue about how the other side is ignorant and “our way” is the best way. Our truth is the only truth. Bullshit.
The climate is changing. We can all agree on that. What is also true is that there are many factors that are causing the climate to change. There is a cycle, we’re in it. The sun influences it as well. And… the way we live, how we pollute, also affects it. It’s not any one thing. It’s all things together, contributing.
My point isn’t to start up a debate here about climate change. My point is to say that, as with all things, black and white thinking gets us nowhere, but divided. The truth, as I’m always saying about little life things, is in the middle. Parts of both are true.
We’re such a landscape of extremes. Putting our dukes up, getting our feathers ruffled, pointing fingers, talking trash. So many people talking trash. And here’s the thing about that. Talk trash in your own homes, or out to your friends, but do it amongst yourselves. You don’t agree with something, fine, don’t agree with it. You think something or someone is stupid, fine, think they are stupid. Keep it to yourselves, or your circle. I don’t want to hear it unless you’re my wife, or friend, or family member and we’re having a debate or discussion or bitch session in person.
I hate to say it, but people make themselves look bad. They don’t show us anything about the person they are deriding, they show us their own backsides. I get the frustration with how things are. I do. I get being disgusted, upset, angry even. I get that. But c’mon people.
I used to work with at-risk kids. I did the job well. I did it for a long time. I had many talks about bullying, about common decency, about respecting other people because we don’t know their stories, or why they believe what they believe. About how we aren’t always going to understand another person, but they are people just the same, with hopes and fears and upsets we know nothing about. So be respectful, be kind, be generous of spirit. Be your best selves.
I’ve tried to say this in many different ways on this and my other blog. I have. I’ve tried to say it and know I’m shouting in the wind. People are passionate, they feel they must say something. Anything. They feel they can.
But I guess I’ll say this again as well. Would you talk like that in public? To actual people? Would you call names and talk down to and be disrespectful to people in person. If so, I guess it’s not surprising you’d do it in public on social media. But if not, if you wouldn’t call people names or use derogatory slurs, then what makes you think it’s OK to do it on Facebook?
I want to believe we are all people who love and want happiness for ourselves, our friends, our families, and our neighbors. I want to believe we are all, most of us, kind and caring people.
Not one of us has all the answers. To think our way is the only way… well, that’s arrogance. And isolating. And just… sad.
The truth is in the middle, people. Right there, in the middle. Life is never black and white. Look at your fellow humans with love, with kindness, and with the understanding that you don’t know someone, or why they think and believe the way they do. Everyone has a story. Before calling names, why not ask? Why not try for understanding?
Be our best selves. We can. It’s possible.
To use a Star Wars reference, because why not, stretch out with your feelings.