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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Filter

Good Evening, Good Evening, Friends And Neighbors.

With this New Year, we've got a new attitude, a new philosophy, and possibly a new name.  And the best way to have that work is to aim at the political situation that has arisen out of the fact that we have a new President.

Now many of you might have seen posts where I demonstrated what side of the fence I'm on.  That's not changing anytime soon, and since this is America, I have every right to make that choice.  However, sometimes those choices must be tempered by wisdom and respect.

If I see someone else posting about the other side online, or overhear what they believe in real life, that's not my cue.  It's not my time to invite myself into their conversation and dazzle them with my perceived superiority.  The fact that they have a message that is the opposite of yours does not mean a confrontation needs to begin.  To behave otherwise is the reason why we have had racism, rape culture, and bullying - way too many people think having a mouth is more important than having respect for others.

So, while I have my preferences and my allegiance, you won't see me forcing them on other people.  I lack the authority to save or damn any soul in this realm, and I won't pretend I do.  To the extent I ever gave anyone that impression, that's a thing of the past.

I have seen those whose ego dwarfs their empathy, and see the introduction of this issue as a license to start an attack where an attack is not warranted.  Call it what you want, but I'm done engaging them.  As distasteful as I find it, and as much as I condemn that behavior, responding in kind doesn't stop them.  The only way to stop folks like that is to stop them.

In the realm of social media, we have the luxury of ending communications with them.  Our more high-conflict neighbors love to call that cowardice, wimping out, etc.  When they trot out those buzzwords, I hear them say "Wait a minute - you're not supposed to shut down my spewing!  You're supposed to let me have the upper hand, not have the upper hand for yourself!  You're not supposed to operate from a position of strength, only I am!"  It's not that different from a spoiled child not getting their way.

So, Friends and Neighbors, I invite you to elevate yourselves.  Respect the differences of opinions.  It may or may not be an opportunity to understand, if you're so inclined.  There is no reason to start more conflict, more drama, or more disrespect.  And if they try to do likewise to you, simply shut them down.  They want you to escalate it, they want your reactions, and they want to have more and more excuses to remind us that not everyone was raised like we were.

Thing is, they're proud of that.  We're not.