I saw this the other day.
And I thought…unless you are kneeling because you believe that people like yourself are being disenfranchised or the target of discrimination, then don’t.
What if we took that at face value, considered that belief or cause and gave it the same value we give certain things WE take for granted? Freedom for one.
We all want everyone to consider our cause our belief. SOME want everyone to fit into their box of values, my values, my belief, my right and wrong.
Guess what…that can’t work. And I don’t like the word can’t. Turn the table and imagine the person in your site that you are saying should shut up and play, or shut up and sing…turns that phrase on you. Do you really want all freedoms to have limits, restrictions and have levels of acceptance or approval beyond what they are? Honestly, why are you or better, what gives you the right to tell them to shut-up, stand up and be silent? Would you heed their ask? I think not…I know not. The reason you would not kneel is your right. A question, have you read and truly dug in to even try to understand this opposition? I mean really, really listened to understand?
Sometimes in life hard decisions are made. I believe that decisions that are potentially, life changing or affirming for most, are not taken lightly and great consideration is given. I’m also not so naive that I don’t believe that there are a few that aren’t. For someone to risk everything for a cause. That deserves more than mine or anyone’s judgement. It deserve the same consideration I would expect for my belief. Nothing less.
I make decisions for myself based on what is right and good for me and what will hurt no other. I am very certain that there is at least half of the country who believes or feels that some of my decisions are wrong. For individual personal decisions, I don’t believe in right or wrong. Or maybe more, not for me to say right or wrong. Now when I say this, please do not think or feel that I am in anyway more than or better than. The decisions that I make, 100% of them come from my heart and a place of compassion that I can only hope others hold for me. And for those who do not know me, I don’t think you get to say who you think I am, what I am or call me names that are derogatory and in the vain of names that I am certain you would not like to be called. Rethuglican, Libtard, names wrangled to some unsavory version, Obummer, Drumph, tRump, even snowflake. I mean seriously…really? Sticks and stones…. It’s not 1817 or even 1917. It’s 2017 and we can’t go back. And I’ll take snowflake any day over the alternative.
I can only know my immediate circle of people. People that I engage with daily or weekly. I can’t know anyone outside of that circle, or bubble if you prefer, that I have not had direct contact with. I can’t know how any other person experiences life in their space, shoes, world, what ever you choose to call it. I can’t know the hurt that is caused by some of the decisions that some make when they take a stand for something they believe in. But if I call out that person or persons, not fully understanding or having some level of compassion for them, then anything I might say against them is a judgment that I am now, or should not allow myself to espouse.
Some financially support this group or that group. Some strike out and march or write many, many, many letters in support or in opposition of a cause. If you are so certain about everything that you believe to be true that you believe to be good, and that somehow adds to the dismissal of another, try to think of an equivalent for yourself. What might send me to a march or protest? What might send you to your knee?
I am not a person of color. With that I have been given certain liberties that many do not have, period. I do not know what it’s like to be a person of color and see red flashing lights in the rear view mirror. I don’t know what it’s like to be a person of color and have someone follow me through a retail store. I don’t know what it’s like to be a person of color and have assumptions made about me by people I have never met who cannot know me.
People say respect this inanimate object because it means this, or respect this group of people with no thought of who is being disrespected. Maybe even inadvertently. No one owns respect. But I do know that it is earned. Know one owns freedom more than anyone else. Know one really get’s it just because. But I believe that some do. To say or be disrespectful to someone who is doing something you deem disrespectful…who owns that? Who owns that contradiction? And what makes you the authority on their cause? I don’t see a lot of understanding here. I see no thought truly given to the topic, just lots of anger the hints true discrimination and dismissal. In my humble opinion.
We will never ever agree on everything. Someone said a while back, “slow down”. Stop, think, what is it that get’s your goat, get’s you fired up that you take a stand for? Dig deep. And why is it that someone else also taking a stand for something that has gotten them fired up, is wrong? Keep in mind, what is right for you might not be right for me and what is wrong for another may not be wrong for you. That is the world. We are vastly different, with vastly different experiences living in the same space. More or less. And unless someone else’s stand for what they believe is right for them and their family, if it does not physically, economically effect you; with the tables turned would you want them to tell you, you are wrong and how dare you?
Don’t know who said this, “Don’t you dare shrink yourself for someone else comfort. Do not become small for people who refuse to grow.” We unfortunately are not living in comfortable times. But we all hold the heart and potential to minimize that discomfort if we stop, slow down, listen and consider another with an open heart. Yes, don’t shrink. But don’t expect anyone else too and don’t be small.