You know that feeling you get when there is something you really want to say, the words are right at the tip of your tongue, but you just can’t articulate what your mind is spinning around in your thoughts through words? No? Am I the only one? Maybe, but this is my blog, so you get to hear about it.
In case you haven’t noticed, the world seems to be really crazy right now. Like off the Richter Scale crazy. There are so many issues that are fighting to have top billing on my outrage/opinion meter. Immigration, discrimination, harassment, the economy, Democrats, Republicans, religious rights, who is right and who is wrong, and don’t get me started on Team Bethenny or Team Carole (Real Housewives humor)!
And here is the thing – I have an opinion on every single one of these issues. I think it would be hard to believe that someone as talkative and opinionated as myself wouldn’t have an opinion on these things. My thoughts on so many things are right there – at the tip of my tongue – but I find myself incredibly reluctant to vocalize ANY opinion on ANY issue these days. It is so scary out there. Not only scary, but also fraught with potential to hurt, disappoint, or anger any number of people on any number of topics on any number of days. (Well except for the whole Bethenny and Carole thing – I’m firmly on Carole’s side of this thing, whatever this thing is – so I guess I can take a stand for something).
I am finding that (especially in the world of Social Media) we are all just screaming into the wind of a hurricane. Our outrage is so consuming that it just spews all over in unedited, limited character, tirades that ensure only one thing – these rants will never, EVER, EVER produce meaningful conversation or a change of heart or mind in anyone. So we are basically just talking to ourselves. Or screaming at ourselves, as it were.
I expressed an opinion on Twitter a few weeks ago. Big mistake. One I won’t be repeating. The topic? The One and Done policy for NCAA/NBA drafting. Talk about kicking a hornets’ nest. The names I was called for expressing an opinion which diverged from some other individual’s thoughts! I was horrified; I was embarrassed; and I was tempted to launch back at those who had “come at” me. In that moment I could feel myself justifying anything rude, defamatory or hateful that I could come up with – because, hey they started it! I scared myself a bit. And then deleted my original tweet. At this point in time, I can’t imagine and instance when I could ever be tempted to venture back into those shark invested waters. It was horrific.
What gives me pause however, is that there has to be a happy medium. I am 100% confident that I have friends with whom I fundamentally, to the depth of my soul, disagree with on any number of issues. Somehow we still remain friends. Now, I will say that, there are friends I have with whom I can share these disagreements and have a meaningful dialogue, and I have friends with whom it is best to stick to kids and school trips, menus and budget woes, and what books we are reading. Both types of friendships are valuable. But never in either type of friendship – have I ever been called names, yelled at, demeaned, talked down to or disregarded. You know why? Of course you do – because friends don’t do that.
But on the flip side of that coin, is the reality that there are serious things that need to be addressed, discussed and (Please, God) fixed. How do we have those conversations and compromises to make progress, if we are a. screaming at the top of our lungs into the wind or b. too scared to poke our head out of shells for fear of an ax swinging down to decapitate us? The answer to that is – I literally have NO IDEA! I am feeling quite hopeless about it. It doesn’t feel like there are any grown-ups in charge anywhere. It feels like a world where the loudest, most audacious, most emotion-stirring voice gets to be in charge until a louder one shows up and shouts them down. And if your loud-mouth and my loud-mouth don’t agree – then God help the other, because either or both of us don’t deserve to live. It’s exhausting and demoralizing and so, so, so frustrating. It’s enough to make you want to just cower under the bed and pray for the end of the world. But that is not productive.
I’ve had a lot of friends ask me why I don’t post much on current events or political issues. And this present, vicious climate is why. Having spent a good portion of my life submerged in these things, I, of course, have pretty strong opinions on pretty much all of them. But the truth is – I like my friends. I’d like to keep them. I’d like to make more friends. And if in that process, someone has a question or topic they want to discuss, then we can do so as friends. I’m open to that. But I’m not screaming into the hurricane and adding to the noise. It is just a waste of time and energy – and let’s face it, no one is listening to anyone but themselves anyway.
I’m sorry to leave this on such a down note. I was going to post an interview I saw yesterday that seemed to be a bit more calm and measured and respectful, but when I copied the link to post, I happened to read some of the responses and quickly decided that I’d likely provoke rather than improve the dialogue. And so back inside my shell I shall retreat. I guess my hope lies in the individual interactions of well-meaning people. I’ve got to believe they are out there. I’ve got to believe that disagreement does not mean the end to discussion. I’ve got to believe that one side is not completely righteous and the other completely evil. There are very few examples in history that someone or something is all completely one or the other. I’m not 100% right and neither are you – but neither are either one of us 100% wrong.
Just the thoughts in my head today.
See ya soon.