“No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew.” - Albert Einstein
Note: this blog was written about 11pm on 7/13/15, hence the tense being slightly different than when you’re reading this.
This quote was delivered to me via a friend, about 5 minutes ago. And about 3 hours ago, I became a brunt of someone’s rage on a comment thread on Facebook. While I’ve been able to shake off the anger, the pain of what was said still burns very bright. And well, there’s something to be discussed in all of it. Without going into *too* many details, a comment I made about racism was completely misconstrued, and taken very personally. I was called a racist and stupid…by a self-claimed Buddhist. (??? Wow.)
The original post was asking for opinions on whether we speak out against racism or not (in a nutshell)…to which I replied. I believe my first line was that I don’t tolerate racism of any kind—yet those very words were later used against me. Remember that this was a SUBJECTIVE thread—we were asked to share our opinions. I expressed that ”I felt posting about the suffering of any race from decades or hundreds of years ago, merely locks us in that timeframe, and keeps us from moving forward. Every race has suffered…focusing on our individual suffering takes away our bond as humans, and leaves the focus on our color. Last I recall, we all evolved from the same original man. I was not responsible for slavery of any race at any point in my life, and I should not be held accountable for it.” Let it go. Whoever you are, whatever your race or creed is. I’m sorry there is injustice; but we’ve all been a part of it, and we have to unify ourselves, instead of continuing the cycle of blame and excuses. Saying “we’ve suffered, that’s why we’re angry and we do what we do,” just gives you an out to do wrong deeds. “Oh, you’re pardoned, you were a victim.” Not so. A battered woman is still thrown in jail when she kills her husband. Yet it’s ok to continue hatred 100’s of years later, when you personally did not suffer abuse? Does that make sense? And that’s when the hateful attack began.
Here are a couple of my problems with social media; all the “rules” there are, and the fact that it gives everyone a voice. Well you know what? Not everyone has a good voice and needs to be heard. That’s not a politically correct statement, but it’s the truth—and I’m sure you’ve at least thought it, at some point. It’s time we take off the kid gloves, and get real for a moment. Social media is full of fakes. It’s full of lies. It’s full of people spouting on about subjects they know nothing about, all for the sake of stroking their ego and gaining allies. It’s full of misinformation. And it’s full of hate and hypocrisy. There are some of us, just trying to be real, and to push the needle a bit. There are some of us trying to wake the masses from their sleep.
There are a million topics I specifically avoid in most social settings—I’m an introverted person, and when there’s a chance of being attacked, I avoid the subject at all costs. For the most part, I avoid conversations about religion and politics. If I do discuss sticky situations, I’m usually pretty good at editing it for the masses, so no one takes offense and shuts off (apparently, today was not one of those days).
To be honest, I’m a bit sick of it all. You can’t discuss vaccines, because someone half your age with no kids, will tell you you’re inept and uneducated (I know, it happened to me a month ago). You can’t discuss religion, because now you hate Jesus and are anti-American (yep, that happened too). You can’t discuss politics or our defunct government, without being called a Nazi and being told to “move, if you don’t like America” (I’m working on that, but thanks for that brilliant advice). You can’t discuss gender inequality, because then you’re a bra-burning feminist lesbian. You can’t discuss bullying, because you’re insensitive. Even our schools have created this “no kid left behind” logic; ya know what? Some kids NEED to be held back. They’ve even been clever about marketing the campaign – notice the wording “left behind.” No one’s being “left behind.” They’re failing, because they’re not smart enough or aren’t working hard enough. That my dear friends, is life. That is what happens in the real world. With this “no child left behind” mentality, you could put me in a spelling bee with Stephen Hawking and I’d get a participation award because I showed up, just like he would. Pardon me, but I admittedly deserve to LOSE to a man with more brilliance than I could ever hope to have. Losing makes me work harder next time. A participation award breeds apathy.
You see my point about this politically correct stuff, don’t you? Everything is so touchy—and this is our world of social media. It’s meant to be positive, it’s meant to connect people, it’s meant to unify us. My ass. It is doing just the opposite. It’s tearing us apart; it’s making us apathetic, lazy and stupid. You have to keep your business light and fluffy, share happy posts, and not get too controversial, else you risk losing customers and clients. I am pretty transparent on social media—if you look at my pages, it’s evident that I believe in equal rights for all humans, all animals, I am against what our government is doing to us and our food, I don’t follow any major religion, and I fight against the chemicals in our food, water and products. I’m an environmentalist. And you’ll also see that I detest labels and titles. And yes, I share cute quotes and pictures here and there, because that is who I am…well-rounded.
100 likes and 7 shares on a pic of my cat (albeit an adorable thing that she is), yet when I post a video on an angry Muslim, it gets one like. And no shares. This is a REAL issue-my cat is not. I get we want light and fluffy but you can’t have that 100% of the time. You cannot keep burying your head in the sand, and tiptoeing around very real, very important issues. You cannot claim you believe in equal rights, when you allow and encourage the privilege to those of your own race, gender, class, creed, etc. etc. while you pull a race, creed or gender card. While you’re begging for light and fluffy, our world is falling apart.
I don’t directly “sell” anything on social media, because you’re not supposed to. Look, I don’t have time to sit on social media and search for hashtags all day, commenting on different posts and sharing only motivational meme’s. I have limited time, and that’s used to post pertinent info on what I do, connect with like-minded people on a DEEP level, and let you all know what I offer. And yes, let you know what I believe in.
And another thing with all this technological advancement and instant gratification. Stop expecting people to respond to you in a few minutes. People have lives that do not revolve around your social media or texting life—be respectful. My original racism comment was about 8 this morning—I went back on Facebook to post business pics at 6 pm…not only was I accused of admitting guilt because I hadn’t responded to the thread yet, but I had two emails from people antsy for replies on emails sent earlier in the day.
So as Einstein said in the quote I opened with, we have to change how we view the world, if we want it to change for the better. We cannot keep living in the past over and over, repeating patterns of our ancestors. We cannot keep skirting around important issues, because we’re afraid to speak our minds in fear of being chastised. We have got to stop being so politically correct!
If you want to read the article that inspired all of this, read here. And a personal thank you to my friends Suzanne and Steven T. Licardi (poet extraordinaire, read his works here) for defending me in that thread, and the kind personal emails sent after the fact.