08 October 2013

typing from a place of love

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So this post is tough for a lot of reasons.  There are a great many opinions out there.  A billion perspectives, justifications, beliefs, and stories.  If you can't acknowledge that fact, you should stop reading right now.

Still on board?  Cool.

I try to keep this space neutral.  It's about cake and happy thoughts, maybe a little humor here and there.  But there has been such a serious deficit of empathy in everything I see, that I think something needs to be said.

Very often someone will post a controversial Facebook status or Tweet and people will go nutso.  I've seen people say it's stupid to use the word "pray" in their online life, bully someone because they think differently, or use inflammatory political language to condemn people who disagree.  Somehow I always find myself trying to find middle ground in these disagreements, and somehow that tends to offend people even more.

So guess what, it's time for a lesson in learning to co-exist.  You don't get to say whatever you want and call yourself kind.  You don't get to feel intelligent because your insult was smug and included a lot of big words.  That's just not the reality of co-existence.  Sure, this is America, and in America you have the right to say whatever pops into your head, whether it's venomous or uplifting.  But it's how seriously you take the responsibility of this right that differentiates you, not the possession of it.

I studied politics and history through college, then got a Masters in it.  I chose to give it up for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest ones is peoples' inability to engage in fair and meaningful debate without being hurtful.  I don't shy away from an argument, that's not my style, but I'm certainly not going to judge anyone for thinking differently than me.  Personally, I'd rather someone have an opinion that differs from mine than have no opinion at all.

You have absolutely no obligation to anyone else and if it makes you feel better to shoot down the beliefs of others with condescending and unconstructive words, then I suppose you should get yours.  But if you think that the world is suffering from a critical deficit of empathy, like I do, then there certainly is an obligation.  Yes, it includes swallowing your opinion sometimes when something irks you, and choosing less potent words to avoid making everyone involved more upset and angry.  But if you can't make your point without hurting someone, then is it really worth making?

Life is short, people are important, and just because you type something, doesn't mean it has less impact than spoken words.  I haven't always abided by this.  In fact, I sometimes completely ignored the concept.  But if you're wondering, I'm typing from a place of love.

Phew, that got serious fast.  Let's have some cake.

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