Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What is Going on Here, People?

I haven’t much enjoyed looking at Facebook this past week. 

So much so that when I was trying to come up with a topic to discuss today, my mind kept leaning toward cute baby animals.  Like bunnies, maybe.  Yeah, I should write something about bunnies.  There’s nothing controversial about bunnies, is there? 

There has been so much rancor and discord on Facebook (and other social media outlets, too, I’m sure), that I have had to shut it down at times because I’m so tired of it all!

If you’re against the recent Supreme Court ruling, you may think I’m going to complain about all the rainbow-colored profile pictures.

And if you’re for the ruling, you may decide I’m complaining about all the bible references.

But you’d be wrong on both counts.  You see, my complaint is that people are so far left or so far right, there is no room to come together.  A little toward the middle, people – there’s lots of room in here!

There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy debate. After all, it’s how ideas are formed and opinions are made. Or maybe solidified.  But the rhetoric I’ve seen on Facebook does nothing to allow the possibility of seeing the other side.

Has anyone read someone’s post and said, “Hmmm. I never thought about it that way. I think I’ll change my mind.”  

Yeah, I sincerely doubt it.  I’ve never seen two people who are on opposite ends of the opinion spectrum on a topic change their minds after a debate.

But if we are able to keep an open mind, we may learn a little more tolerance. 

I have never personally identified with the LGBT community because I have never had sexual or romantic feelings toward a member of my own sex.  So I can’t really understand it.  But I know people who are gay and they tell me their lifestyle is not a choice - it's who they are. So who am I to condemn that? And is it my right to pass judgment?  I don't think so.

And I truly don’t see how two members of the same sex marrying could possibly harm me in any way. 

When someone argues that the purpose of marriage is to procreate and propagate the species, I personally can argue against that. 

When my husband and I married, it was simply because we loved each other.  I was nearly 50 and he was almost 51 and we sure weren’t marrying with the intention of procreating.  Yes, I had always wanted a child – and thought that I might even have one or two of them earlier in my life – but it simply wasn’t meant to be.  And, believe me, having a child after 50 was definitely not in the plan!

So should we not have been allowed to marry?

There are many things that I don’t personally identify with, but it doesn’t mean I can’t try to conjure up a little empathy.  Everyone in this life walks a different path.

I mean, I don’t “get” Caitlyn Jenner, either.  But that doesn’t mean that I can’t support her quest for a little happiness. 

To each his own, I say. 

Nothing Caitlyn Jenner does is bothering me.  I don’t watch the Kardashians and I doubt I’ll watch Jenner's reality show, either. But that’s my choice – I can either be a viewer or I can switch the channel.

But I don’t have to write nasty comments all over Facebook about it, either.

By the same token, I don’t see why those who believe in a higher power and in organized religion are being condemned these days either.  

The beauty of our freedoms as Americans means that we are allowed to have an opinion.  I get that.  And I don’t believe anyone should be muzzled.

But I’d really like it if people could tone it down.  Just a little.

After all, I believe there are so many other, more important, issues going on in our world.  Like the friend who personally knew one of the victims of the shooting in Charleston.  She is in mourning for her friend right now, as are many, many people in that community.

There are people in hospitals fighting for their lives and others who have lost that battle and their family and friends are now grieving.  And it may sound trivial to some, but I also know a number of people who have lost a pet recently, too.  But to them, losing a four-legged family member is not a trivial matter. 
So it seems to me like there is a lot of sadness in this world. 

And it seems to me that this world could be a little brighter, a little happier and a lot less stressful if we were all a little more tolerant of one another.

Yes, that sounds simplistic.  And, no, I don’t have the answer because I don’t believe there is any one right way to believe and one wrong way.  

And in no way am I attempting to jump into the fray of controversy. 

I just wish that people could learn to practice a little more tolerance and patience with their fellow man. 

If not, then I’m going to start writing about cute bunnies from now on.  Just bunnies.

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