Don’t Be A Dick
My apologies if your name is Dick. You and Karen are really having a tough go of it these days and to the point of today’s blog — we all need to be a little kinder.
It amazes me what passes as decent, kind and/or human behaviour these days. If you take to bullying someone on social media because they don’t align with what you have accepted as truth — that makes you worse than the injustices you think you’re fighting. Understand, we can’t move forward as a society until we figure out how to be kind to each other. To respect another person’s opinion or decisions is the highest form of acknowledgement. To purposely deride someone on this very public forum and to further allow your friends to join into the fray says a lot about who you are.
There is a lot of information being thrown at us right now. There is a lot of confusion and with it — fear. Wear your mask, don’t wear your mask, social distance, don’t social distance, go to work, don’t go to work, black lives matter, all lives matter, get a vaccine, don’t get a vaccine, be inclusive but only to a point, be tolerant except when there’s justification to not be tolerant, listen to the news, don’t listen to the news, listen to me, don’t listen to them, stand up, sit down, shut up, speak up, know your place… know my place.
“Listen! Goddammit, listen! Why aren’t you listening to me? Why are you listening to them? I’m the moral authority here. My commandments come from having a complete knowledge and understanding of everything that’s going on in the world…your opinion, is shit. Your opinion is dangerous. You’re killing me with your thoughts. Just stop. Maybe you need to stop existing altogether.”
As we head into what soon will be the second wave, I implore you to be kind. We have seen the professionals; those with the elected authority pull us in many different directions over the past 5 months. There is no playbook and unfortunately, those in charge don’t always get it right. But they have the authority as elected leaders and we are obliged to follow their direction until such point as our very lives are at risk. And that’s just it…we don’t know. Sometimes, civilizations head to the slaughter with the very best of intention.
We are heading to another wave. Make no mistake. Mainstream media in the United States has let us know and this means we will follow, as Canadians — as responsible citizens. We can’t say what the future holds. If we listen to history, we know the 2nd wave of the Spanish flu was far more deadly than the 1st. This could be the case today. There is little doubt we are on the precipice of shutting down the world again, for our own safety. We know there are contradictions at every turn. We live in an era of unfettered information gathering and the ability to find literally anything we want which will align with our beliefs. The now perfect storm is going to pit us against each other. We will all find hills to stand on and our very dangerous egos will result in cruelty we maybe couldn’t have fathomed a mere 6 months ago.
With a projected 8% contraction in the Canadian economy this fall, with most businesses being re-shuttered and with the potential for a complete socioeconomic collapse; we will need to be able to rely on each other more than ever.
There is truth in everything. To deny this and treat your fellow human with disdain is to deny this one absolute. Nobody in your world is less than, unless you make them feel that way. By your own decree, you cannot impose your will on another simply because you believe you’ve picked the right side. Besides making you look arrogant, it leaves no room for error. At what cost will you shun another so you can be right or, make it appear so for those who support and possibly imply you’re morally superior? This is the onset of fascism. It really is a slippery slope.
So, the next time you want to shame someone, take a breath and instead - start a conversation. Listen. You may not like what you hear but that’s OK. Give that person a chance to say what’s on their mind without trying to crush their spirit simply because you want to make a point. Lately I hear a lot of people claim asking questions is dangerous and if you’re not qualified (what that looks like would make most unqualified) you should just stick to the narrative and shut your mouth.
There’s a lot of room in this small world for big ideas. We don’t and we shouldn’t have to agree but let’s make room. Life is too short to throw away perfectly good human beings, don’t you think?