Wednesday, January 11, 2017

why you gotta be so mean?

it's the strangest thing.
when you put yourself out into the public eye you have to be very ready for what might come back.
love. hate. and everything in between.
i am an incredibly private person,
but there are still parts of my life i am willing to and enjoy sharing with each of you in this space on my journey to whatever is next.  
and thankfully, for the most part, the reception to this blog has fallen on
very kind and enthusiastic ears over the past years.

unfortunately, this isn't always the case.
someone very close to me was recently on the brunt end of some incredibly insensitive remarks.
even taking it as far as mocking a very serious & trying mental illness my loved one battles.
of course, it was done online.
because people will say anything when they're hiding behind their big, bad, computers.
and do you want to know what the cause of the initial attack was?
a simple difference in opinion.
a difference in OPINION.
not a fact.
i mean, no one's out to prove the world isn't round here, people. opinion.

funny enough,
i was on the phone the other night with a gentleman who was initially calling to ask me out on a date.
{yes, guys, it's still nice when you CALL to talk to us}
as we started talking we ended up on the topic of politics.
it became very clear we didn't vote for the same person,
and we had very stark differences in opinions.
but we dug right in and 
proceeded to discuss these points of view for the next 15 minutes.
it was fun, it was thought provoking - it was great conversation.
but at the end of it, my initial thought was,
whelp, there is no way this guy is still gonna ask me out to dinner.
which was, of course, very closed minded on my part by automatically lumping him 
in with that my way or the highway group mentality.
he proved me very wrong when he then
asked me when he could take me to dinner.
after accepting the invitation i made some joke about how surprisingly easy it had been 
to differ in opinion with him,
to which he remarked that it was because we are adults.
what a concept, huh?
i am at a loss for when we decided as a modern society it was okay to hate people because of their differences.
haven't we been working toward the opposite of this for the last century?
why is it suddenly okay to be mean because you're "right" and the other person is "wrong"?
and why is it okay to lump everyone together?
as if one person's point of view suddenly dictates an entire group.
all police are bad.
all rich people are selfish.
all poor people are lazy. 
all liberals are entitled.
all conservatives are uneducated.
all white people are hateful.
all black people are angry.
all asian people are smart.
{although, to lighten the mood a bit here, that last one might actually be true, y'all!} 

because on my path to learning about others,
this is what i've come to understand...

so you're an atheist?
great, i'm a christian.
i don't think any differently of you.

so you're a democrat?
great, i'm a republican.
i don't think any differently of you.

so you're a vegetarian?
great, i can't live without crown burger.
i don't think any differently of you.

so you're a cardinals fan?
great, i'm a cubs fan.
i don't...uhh...actually, i do think differently of you.
{kidding! i don't think any differently of you!}

so you're a water only drinker?
great, i'm a diet coke addict.
i don't think any differently of you.

so you're pro-choice?
great, i'm pro-life.
i don't think any differently of you.

so you think spending lots of money on shoes is dumb?
great, i most certainly do not.
i don't think any differently of you.

so you think amy schumer is funny?
great, i can't stand the woman.
i don't think any differently of you. 

so you live in a cabin in the woods?
great, i think skyscrapers are God's gift to the world.
i don't think any differently of you.

so you liked obama?
great, i didn't.

so you love playing video games?
great, i'd rather be at a museum.
i don't think any differently of you.

so you think sports are dumb?
great, i think there's hockey in heaven.
i don't think any differently of you.

so you love the mountains?
great, i love the beach.
i don't think any differently of you.

so you think oprah is full of crap?
great, she's my north star in life.
i don't think any differently of you.

so you love going out drinking on a saturday night?
great, i've never had a sip of alcohol in my life.
i don't think any differently of you.

so you don't agree with anything i've mentioned in this post?
great, i do and that's okay.
i don't think any differently of you.
the point is...
there is no right or wrong here.
we are all doing the best we can with what we've got.
it's when we refuse to accept differences in thought and opinion 
that we become as closed minded as the people we often are trying to stand up against.
fighting the good fight includes acceptance, tolerance and love.
for all opinions.
being "right" shouldn't be what's important.
but being kind sure should be.

so as 2017 kicks off, let's go for it, 
shall we love doves?
let's have the maturity to say, 
hey! i may disagree with you, 
but that doesn't mean i can't see the other great qualities you bring to my table,
and i can't love the hell out of you still.
let's grow and learn from each other.
we may never agree on everything,
but then again,
that would be like being in a room with everyone wearing black pantsuits,
when i'm more of a hot pink tulle skirt with manolos kinda gal.
our unique qualities in mind, body and soul are what make this world a pretty great place.

because being mean?
it's so 2016.


1 comment:

  1. Jessica - I just love ya, girl! You always find THEE best way (see? I'm learning, lol!) to say something and in the most creative way! (Oh, and BTW: I'm giving Diet Coke a try!) ;)