It’s been a roller coaster from hell the last week or more. Personally, I’m good. Bipolar stuff is fairly steady, and work wise, I’m truckin’ along with my career path. Working on that in a few minutes, actually. From here I diverge from my usual work/mental health stuff to a topic that’s weighed heavily on my mind for a while. I always said to myself I’d never go there, but I’ve gone there. Not for personal reasons, not to promote an idea or belief but to describe what I think and feel is impacting me. To some this might be hypocritical but keep in mind, I’m writing this in my own blog and you’re reading it by choice. Big difference. So, here we go.
What hasn’t been good is social media. I know, weird, but I’ve uninstalled apps and removed myself from news and media in general because it is quite literally killing my spirit. There’s so much noise. So many feelings and no facts. So many left, right, sjw’s and groups like antifa have nazi-esque responses to literally anything they disagree with based on feelings only they have. How is this right? I even dumped my cbt and Buddhist feeds because they were so interspersed by hate speech I couldn’t handle it anymore.
I’m a straight white guy, so in most of these ads, “news articles” and comments I’m under attack. It doesn’t matter if I’m right based on fact, or laws, I’m evil based on their feelings, and I don’t have a right to speak, I shouldn’t be allowed to, basically, exist and anything I do or say is based on a white privilege patriarchal ideology.
This isn’t even anything I participate in, just ads I see, cherry picked news and posts made by (who I thought were decent) people I follow. I know they’re the minority, and most people don’t believe it, but when you’re bombarded with it inadvertently and so frequently it just gets to you as a personal attack. Soon it’s all you notice. So….. Fuck em. I unfollowed them and logged out. I don’t even read tech news anymore because of slanted views on the most ridiculous things they’re forced to provide because the parent company is forced to promote it.
What a sick, sick society we live in these days. The illness is social cancer. Where’s the conversations? Where’s the patience? Where is any sense of understanding and willingness to challenge our beliefs? Instead it’s about slamming as many left or right wing ideas down as many throats as possible.
I’m a good, honest man. I’ve supported women all my life not because I was told to, but because I never thought otherwise. I just didn’t. Nobody told me women were supposed to be better or worse. Nobody taught me anything at all about that. My first musical influences were black and usually female and I didn’t think twice about it. I didn’t know they were supposed to be different or better or worse than me. My best friend is gay as fuck but so what? His name is – – – – – – and he’s my best friend. He’s got my back and I’ve got his. For decades I’ve referred to people as they or them or their in business NOT because I believe this gender binary nonsense but because sex, sexuality and gender have absolutely nothing to do with business or anything else outside of the bedroom. That’s my personal belief. Nobody cares what you identify as when we’re talking about your account or finances. It really doesn’t affect a single damn thing.
According to all of this hypocrisy going on, I’m supposed to know and care about all of this and be loud about it. I don’t want to be loud about it. Change is not affected by being the loudest. It’s affected by people like me, correcting someone in a decent way, communicating my disapproval of their behavior and standing up to someone when they want to challenge that correction.
For example, I remember a situation where a female employee was having a problem with the system and the client she was helping was an impatient, rough looking bearded guy, being rude every chance he got for reasons only he can explain. He looked at me and made a comment about women being inept. I could have a) agreed and laughed with him at the expense and humiliation of my employee or b) kicked him out for sexism and defended my employee. Well, guess what. I did neither of those things. What I did do was assure him that she was absolutely more than capable of doing her job, but the system was being stubborn and it wouldn’t make a difference who was helping him. Just give it a minute it will be back online in a second and she can get everything done that you need. What happened? Her confidence in herself was boosted because she knew her manager didn’t blame her for the system. Her ability to help him increased because now she wasn’t stressed about the system. His attitude changed because he knew I was not going to step in and “save the day” as a man, and he had a clear idea that I was not on his side in that argument. His patience increased because he had no choice but to wait or leave only to come back later and take more time out of his day.
Well guess what? From that point on he would only deal with her, respected her and called her by name. Once, when she wasn’t there and I tried to help him, he actually DID leave and come back when she was back on her shift because they had that kind of rapport!!! The situation had all the ingredients for a lawsuit and uproar, but what came of it was a good, healthy, respectable relationship.
The same applies to immigrants. Admittedly, their names can be extremely difficult between the accents and the spellings, but when you’re dealing with legalities you have to have it right. It was hard sometimes, and embarrassing for me, when I’d have to ask them to repeatedly spell their names but by God I was going to know each and every one personally by the time I was through with paperwork. I took advantage of the extended time to get to know them, where they’re from, why they moved and understand their speech patterns. I might have taken more time than I should have with them but I felt like if I wanted to give good customer service and be a place they trusted and had faith in, it was time I had to take. That’s just me. No policy. No law. No bullshit. I taught the same value to every employee and if I saw anything outside of that they were coached.
This is me. This is millions of people, including the horrific white man. I am not an oppressor or racist or evil person and neither are they. I can name some really awful people that I know, locally, and they are neither white nor male but are some of the most vile, arrogant, ignorant people you’d ever want to come across.
Why are we being shouted down and told to shut up when we offer just as much support and have just as much value as anyone else? When it’s done with inclusion and a good attitude you have a foundation to support you, not a mob nobody wants to listen to. You can shout down any opposition and force them to submit, but that only serves to prove your weakness. If you can face them and stand your ground while still listening to them and showing tolerance, starting a conversation to explain both of your ideas and opinions, finding common ground, then nobody can say you aren’t working steadily towards a common goal based on respect and needs.
This society is very ill, and no amount of shouting will cure it. It only serves to spread the illness. Take time! Change does not happen overnight, and when it does it’s because of a totalitarian regime that will have it no other way, stripping you of your freedoms and forcing you to comply or else. This is where we are. This is the reason there’s so much unrest and small groups of people making noise and struggling to force change. Everyone is fighting, blaming, pointing fingers but nobody wants to stop and say, whoah, wait a minute, what’s MY role in this? What do I need to change about myself for this to be effective? Maybe my attitude? My words? Maybe my body language? Maybe I don’t actually believe half of what I’m saying and only do it for a reaction because a reaction is acknowledgment? What is my real motivation? These are questions that need answers by every single person involved. When they can answer those questions rationally, without feelings getting in the way, maybe we can sit down and talk but until then it’s like trying to reason with a 4 year old having a tantrum and they should not be heard. Ignore them the same way you do a tantrum. When they calm down and realize nobody cares, they’ll learn to communicate. Don’t punish everyone else by caving in and creating laws for their benefit just to quiet them down.
That’s why I’ve done away with social media. At least for now. It wasn’t easy because I do enjoy my feeds and spending time reading them. It’s toxic, though. I refuse to follow anyone that tries to force values I don’t believe in, encourage discourse to make change or blame anyone for a problem they themselves had a hand in creating. It doesn’t matter if you think they’re nice or funny or make good videos, if you subscribe to someone that makes comments or reposts things you disagree with, stop following them. Your subscription is your support in everything they post. It might not make much difference but you can rest easy knowing you made a choice that was right for you. I also refuse to use an app that has ads backing the attitudes of these people. I understand it’s a business and ads keep it going, but propaganda is not an ad and a feed that’s 90% Buddhism and 10% humour does not qualify as a user that wants to see those kinds of personal and political attacks. We all know they use algorithms to choose the ads you see, so why those ads and cherry picked news items unless they’re pushing them for an agenda?
I’m a good guy. Hell, I’m a great guy! I know I’m respected and cared about in my community. I choose not to be vilified for a cause.