Friday, July 20, 2012

Blog #134: Wherein I get a little serious.

I don't typically post opinions I have on topics that are considered controversial, for many reasons. One, I'm of the belief that strong statements in support of any side of an issue (especially if the issue is divisive) in a public forum should be backed with sound resources supporting them. Otherwise they are just more noise. I would prefer not to add to an already noisy internet, but I often tend to lack the follow through necessary to really put forth the time to get something meaningful and eloquent written. So, my opinion gets kept to myself or shared in discussions with those close to me.

Another reason is that I often don't feel convicted enough about something to devote a whole entry in my already sporadically updated blog just to rail about how the world needs more of this and less of that. I try to keep it mostly pretty fun around here. Plus, I don't know if I have it in me not to take opposing commentary personally. Especially if it's done the way most people disagree on the internet these days. You guys, my skin is just not that thick. So, since I can't take the heat, as they say, I pretty much stay out of that kitchen.

In fact,  I often keep myself from even making a spelling correction online just to avoid the backlash. The other day I read one of my favorite blogs, and she had asked her readers which movies made them cry. After about 8 commenters mentioned how various movies had them "balling" I myself had to BALL UP in a corner to physically restrain myself from an all caps tirade: "BAWL. TO CRY LIKE A BABY IS TO BAWL. YOU ARE BAWLING NOT BALLING. STOP IT." But alas, I held myself back.


There is one thing that I feel very strongly about that doesn't need sources, or even much of an explanation. It shouldn't even need to be said and yet here we are. It has nothing to do with spelling or grammar (though, I still believe that the internet needs some help with that.). No, this is just me, making a plea for common decency, that will fall, I'm sure, on deaf ears.

The stories in the news and on the internet lately have been intense this week.But it's the commentary added to the links being shared on Facebook, the reactions in the comment section of the articles, and the overall attitude surrounding the way differing opinions are treated that has me troubled for humanity. And whether or not you believe that 2 men who want to be able to eat chicken sandwiches together for the rest of their lives should be able to teach a group of boys to tie knots and sell popcorn at Christmas time is irrelevant.

Can we all just take a minute and remember that even people who disagree with us are PEOPLE (unless they are Raiders fans.*) ? As in, actual human beings who, regardless of the way they feel about waffle fries and merit badges, are probably basically decent people (Unless they are Raiders fans*)? Can we remember that the issues we're disagreeing about are also about human beings? Not animals or monsters or aliens... but people who have feelings, dreams, hopes, and also are probably pretty decent for the most part? Because, the fact is, people aren't created or developed in a vacuum. A little bit of empathy, even in disagreement, to at the very least realize how someone got to an opinion (even an opinion you find abhorrent) goes a lot further in facilitating change than a personal attack ever will. I didn't totally mean to get on this soap box, and maybe I just need to take a break from reading articles about these topics (or at least from reading the comments sections) but I am equal parts fascinated and horrified at the way we choose to interact with one another. Maybe we should all just take a break from serious things on the internet until we can learn to respectfully disagree.

And for what it's worth, I believe it's none of my business WHO you want to eat chicken sandwiches with.

Thanks for reading. Now let's all have some margaritas and chill out.

*JK about the Raiders thing you guys. But seriously.

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