Well thank you Irene Brooks! This is the best compliment ever! You made my day today!
I like to think, and I like to make others think as well. I am so startled by how rapidly thinking is deteriorating and devolving in so many of our social systems, that whenever I engage in social media, I try to push people back into the realm of reason and thought.
It is difficult these days. Everyone is stressed and upset about so many things…and then there are others (especially on social media) who are in and want to pull others into their own personal misery and battles. There are people who literally troll the sites, looking for a fight, looking to express anger and hatred (but really to be heard- why else would they be doing it?) I often have to remind myself, that even the most hateful, racist, sexist, xenophobic trolls, are people who, if you took the time to hear their whole story — their real, true whole story- you would understand how they arrived there. Not enough love, basically. So, in approaching people, any one in the world really, I try to be guided by the closing line to every yoga class — Namaste, which roughly translates to: the light in me, recognizes the light in you. Imagining every one I encounter as light (admittedly with some pretty crappy packaging sometimes!) allows me to reach across huge divides. When I look at people, first I look at what makes us the same, and of course it is that spark of life and light. Just being able to recognize that in everyone, makes conversation with everyone easier.
Some people make this hard. Really hard. Sometimes I can’t do it. Because of one of my comments regarding Let them Fucking Die, someone placed Kathy griffin holding a severed black head as a response to me. I blocked them. And…I had to figure out how to do that, but I did block them, because I can’t recognize the light in such an individual.
I really don’t want to engage with someone when I can’t recognize the light in them, because I know that engagement would be futile. And it doesn’t mean the light is not there. It is. It’s just that I know that I am not spiritually evolved enough to recognize it, so I can’t help this sort of person.
But most others, I can engage. From a very young age, I’ve sort of been forced to be a bridge, from this group of very different people, to another, starting with my family. I’m black — but, one side of my family, is very typically black, and the other side, is light, bright, and damn near white — and those two families operated very differently. I had to be skilled at going back and forth between the two, as I had no other choice. This sort of need to to act as diplomat and negotiator has presented itself, over and over again in my life. Sometimes I don’t mind it. Sometimes I do. It can be tricky.
When Son of Baldwin wrote Let Them Fucking Die, I came across that title and thought to myself, Jesus! What in the hell? But then I read it. I understood his points. People, all people, need to think about the consequences of disregarding the sanctity of human life- and ultimately, Son of Baldwin, got white’s attention, by implying, what if it was your life, to be cavalierly disregarded? They didn’t like that question, and really hated his answer. Let Them Fucking Die. It’s pretty harsh. I don’t know if he really means this. I don’t think he does, but even if he does, I can see how he arrived at such a place. I think you can too.
But we both know there are consequences, to this however. In these times of extreme polarization, I keep trying to reach out, keep trying to appeal to reason, the middle path. Most people are largely uninterested. But I am. Because I know that’s the way through this madness we are all seemingly caught up in. We can’t lose our ability to relate to those who hold different views from us; because that leads to war. And unfortunately, there are those who do want war. But they are crazy. War is hell, and some how we have to keep reminding people of this as well.
I am hopeful, that sanity will prevail, in the end. I don’t know why I am hopeful, but I am. So I keep plugging away, doing my part on social media.
Any way I do so appreciate all that you said about my discourse! I try to think about things through a variety of lenses and perspectives, and get others to do the same. I try to find the common ground, and help others to do so as well. You make me think, I just may be getting it right.