It’s a crazy world.
It’s a crazy time to be alive.
Especially in America.
But is it really as bad as a lot of people think? Is it worse?
I can honestly say that Twitter makes it sound like we are on the verge of WW III/Civil War II. (And I’m not talking about a Marvel film.)
In fact, can we talk about Twitter for a second?
I’ve seen some of the most vial stuff boiled down into 140 characters or less of hate. All these mini hate bombs going off. Hurled from both sides.
In fact, there was one thread comparing the “alt-right” to Nazis. The thread started by showing a newspaper article from the 1930s asking Jewish people to be more respectful of and “nicer” to Nazis. Of course, we all know what happened as the 1930s progressed and then into the 1940s. So, the point of the thread was that the left shouldn’t try to be civil to the “alt-right”. They shouldn’t try to build bridges. They should shame people and make them feel like they aren’t welcome anywhere in the United States or the world. There was tweet after tweet of people saying how they will get their friends together to mock and shame anyone who is alt-right and everyone wrote about how they are done with being civil.
There really is no other way to put it.
First of all, I get that the recent separating children from their parents at the border is atrocious. There are people who are close to me who kinda seem like they are willing to defend this. But I see no way it is defensible. Children should only be taken from their parents in extreme situations. Period. Never. Ever.
But, as horrible as that is, it still does not make the President or anyone who is alt-right a Nazi. I was scanning through the tweets trying to find one person who would say what makes the alt-right as bad as the Nazis. Seriously, what?
Do people realize the slippery slope they’re on by saying these things? I mean, we have members of Congress calling for mobs to be formed and for people to be shamed and ridiculed publicly.
And it’s not just the left saying dangerous things about the right. The right is guilty of it too. Just look at how people are defending what we’ve done to children.
But the level of discourse is getting to be out of hand. And it needs to stop.
Because it’s making people feel like victims. It’s making people feel desperate and powerless. And people who feel powerless and desperate and like they don’t have any control over their well-being, will do powerful, desperate things that are out of control. Some people. Unhealthy people.
And it seems like more and more people are becoming more and more unhealthy.
And nobody really cares about the truth. They only care about being right. They only care about feeling like they are better than the other side. And that is a huge problem.
So, here’s some truth.
At the end of the day, there are no sides. We are all human beings. Here in the United States, we are all Americans.
Fire is very rarely fought with fire. Maybe the occasional forest fire is fought that way or maybe when there’s an oil well fire. But 99.9% of the time, we fight fire with water. We fight it with it’s opposite.
So, all these people who are so angry at Trump and the “alt-right”, the ones who are justifying their calls for mobs in the name of fighting fire with fire, have it all wrong. You don’t fight hate with hate. You don’t stop ignorance with ignorance. You don’t fight a lie with a lie.
You fight fire with water. You stop ignorance with education. You fight a lie with truth. And you eradicate hate with love.
And let’s just say the comparison to Nazis wasn’t completely off the wall. What evidence is there that the Nazis wouldn’t have killed so many people if more people had spoken out? In fact, more people may have been killed. But most likely, there would’ve been little change. The Nazis would have just pointed to the people who were acting out and used them to move their hateful agenda forward.
All these people on Twitter who claim to be on the correct side, better understand that they are judging people and punishing people based on their beliefs and their perceptions. They are choosing to do harm to people. Is that the side they want to be on?
We all need to listen to each other. We all need to understand that it is true: “United we stand, divided we fall.” And we need to know that most of us – almost all people – are good. We all have far more in common than some people think.
And the ultimate truth is this:
We are not powerless. We are in control of of our own thoughts and actions. And we all get to create our future.We all get to decide if we want to make the world a better place or not. And spreading hate by shunning people or forming mobs or any of that other ridiculousness is NOT making the world a better place.
We are not screwed. Not this world. Not the United States.
Yes, there are troubling things going on right now. But there has always been troubling things going on. Just in the United States… look at slavery. Look at what we did to the Native Americans (and continue to do). Look at the Civil War or the Depression or Vietnam. Look at Nixon being impeached.
These times are troubling. But they are not unique.
What is unique is our ability to communicate with so many other people. What is unique is that people are really paying attention now.
These are good things.
Now, let’s just take care of ourselves and each other. Let’s start with an understanding that people either believe what they believe because someone told them to believe it or because they’ve spent a lot of time forming an opinion. Either way, healthy discussions are the only way to help everyone come together. Not mobs. Not shunning people. Not separating people. Bringing people together.
No, we are not screwed. But we better be careful. Because we all have the power to make things worse. And things can get a whole hell of a lot worse in 140 characters or less.
But I believe in the goodness of people. And I believe yhat love and goodness will triumph sooner or later. I think we’d all agree, all of us, that we’d prefer for it to be sooner.