Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thursday Thoughts: Practice What You Preach

I had a different post planned for today. I wanted to work in something about Easter being on the way. I wanted to write about sunshine, and how happy it makes me, how good it feels just to be outside soaking up the warmth of the sun, enjoying the brightness of the fresh life all around me. I wanted to celebrate spring.

And I will. But not today, because yesterday I saw something that disgusted me. Yesterday I saw something that insulted me.

Yesterday I saw hypocrisy.

But before you go any further, let me go ahead and give you this RANT WARNING. I don't usually talk about things this passionately here, because this IS a professional space. I don't usually talk politics in a very open way, because I believe that in general, your views are none of my business, and mine are none of yours. I believe there's a reason political voting is meant to be done in secret - in order to PREVENT the very division my country is currently suffering from. But I just need to step up and say it - to those of you out there, on EITHER side of the political scene, how about you stop spewing poison all over everyone else, and you shut up, and you start practicing what you preach?

Get ready, or feel free to click away and come back tomorrow. Because today, I just gotta rant.


And I mean, really - don't get me wrong here, okay? I'm guilty of it too, and I don't actually know anyone who isn't. We all like to point out the flaws in others, we like to point fingers and place blame. We like to think our sin isn't as sinful as the sin the other guy just committed.

We all like to think our shit don't stink. (And yes, I know that's bad grammar. I'm from the South. That's how we say it.)

"Woah, who put sandpaper on your toilet seat, Brandi?"

"Who pissed in your Cheerios?"

"Damn, girl - what chapped your ass?"

I am SO. SICK. of being lumped in and misjudged just because my viewpoint is different. I am SO. SICK of being assumed to be unhealthy because I'm plus-sized. I am SICK of being assumed to be racist because I'm white, or BIGOTED because I'm Christian. I am SICK of being assumed to be less professional because I CHOSE to publish my novels independently instead of seeking or accepting offers from publishing companies I didn't feel I could trust. I am SICK of being assumed to be HOMOPHOBIC or ISLAMOPHOBIC or any other freaking -phobic just because I am a conservative woman with conservative views.

I AM SICK OF BEING DEPLORED BY THE DEPLORABLE.

I am SICK of having people talk crap about me and people like me because I see things differently from them, because I have a different way of doing things than them, because I speak or think or behave in a different way than them. And yet they spout this sort of meaningless drivel constantly:
  • "Safe Spaces!" - but not for the people who disagree with me.
  • "Mine is bigger than yours! My brain AND my heart." - because I'm obviously better than the people who disagree with me.
  • "Don't be afraid of the 'other!'" - unless they disagree with me.
  • "We must all be accepting and tolerant of others!" except for when they disagree with me.
See the theme here?

But you know what? If you're on one side, you can go on and on about "phobias" and "the other" and "tolerance." And those on the other side will keep coming back with "Bergdahl" and "Benghazi" and "Monica Lewinsky" and "murder" and "corruption" and a hundred other words.

But there's a better way. So if you're poisonous and hateful to the people who disagree with you, then watch this. If you really mean what you say about compassion and kindness, then watch this. If you have a minute to spare for true tolerance of the other side, for true open-mindedness, for honestly trying to work together, then watch this. If you TRULY feel that we need to offer compassion to each other - even those who disagree with us, such as those from different backgrounds, those with different sexual orientations, those with different religious beliefs, those with different cultural beliefs (those with different political beliefs?), then please. Watch this:


And then read this, the comment I left on this video when I first saw it four months ago:

"This political season in America has been stressful, and I have felt an almost personal sense of loss over certain vloggers and bloggers, etc, that I have loved following for a long time. There's a lot of hatred on both sides, but a great deal of the poison IS on the Democratic side ... all this talk about compassion and loving one another and being inclusive and tolerant - but there is NONE of that coming around these days, and it's disheartening. I've unfollowed and/or disconnected from several people, not because they disagreed with my politics, but because they are poisonous and militant about their view being the only possible "right" way to go, and I simply lost respect for anyone who can preach love and tolerant inclusiveness while being filled with self-righteous hatred for others. All that to say this: thank you for NOT being one of those people. Because I pressed play on this video knowing that I would hate it, and that it would change how I felt about coming to your channel. I just knew it was gonna be a bunch of hateful stuff and dramatic anticipation of the end of the world. I knew this would be the last of your videos for me. And I am SO GLAD I was wrong."

And then, just sit down and think for a minute. Really think about what SHE said, and about what I said. Because it's true what they say - you draw more flies with honey.

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38 comments:

  1. Oh man, politics can cause so many problems. My husband and I differ in our views, but we respect each other enough so we don't get nasty. I do not understand the people who get nasty.

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    1. Me either - I don't understand why people can't disagree without becoming poisonous about it.

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  2. Politics the season have caused a lot of anger and division which is really sad because we all need to work together . I try to stay away from politics and enjoy time with family and friends without getting too serious and I think it's great advice to think before you act on posts that could hurt someone's feelings

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  3. Living in the Washington D.C. area we are bombarded with it. I'm so over politics and people getting nasty with their views!

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    1. Oh I can only imagine. It's crazy, isn't it?

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  4. I try to avoid political speak. I have a different viewpoint than many of my friends, and I too got sick of being told i'm wrong or people getting down right nasty because I happen to have a different opinion than them. This is a very heated topic still, and I don't see that going away. I remember during the election getting hell from both sides of the aisle.

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    1. Me too. It's just a mess. Now I really understand why voting is a secret thing - but that's sad. It's sad that we can't discuss respectfully without being horrible to each other.

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  5. You know, I'm over 70 now, and this is the first year that the political area has made me a reactive... Why, because of the hatred spilled by one of the candidates in particular... I'm not sure exactly what your point was, given the other responses, but I think your own rant helped me to understand you... Sooo, my question is...to show compassion or love, must we not speak out against the hate that is clearly spoken? Here's one who has never read your blog before, but I'd like to see more of your thoughts...I try to keep my blog professional too, but... Jesus got mad when the money makers were selling in a place of worship...isn't that a lesson as well? Just wondering...great article!

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    1. Good points all - and yes, I do think we should stand up and say something when we see injustice or when there's something in the world we feel is ugly and want to work on. But I'm just shocked and amazed that there are so many people preaching tolerance and love - and yet these same people refuse to tolerate viewpoints different than their own.

      It's like saying that since you're a vegan I can't eat bacon ... that's just not okay. It's okay to ask me not to offer YOU any bacon, but it's not okay to insist that I can't eat bacon just because you don't. And if you expect me to respect the fact that you don't eat bacon, then I deserve the same respect, don't I? We don't have to agree, we just have to respect each other's stands.

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  6. Usually I avoid political talks.Election season is always stressful in any country...

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  7. Stay strong girl. Politics always makes people crazy.

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  8. I tend to avoid political conversation, like you said our opinion is no one else's business. Stay strong and hold your chin high.

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  9. Talking politics is always a minefield! But if we don't do it we will never know how it affects us all individually. Great post honey!

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    1. Thank you! I agree - it's so polarizing. On the one hand, it's good because it means we care enough to be passionate, but on the other ... it's tearing my country apart, and it breaks my heart to have to watch it.

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  10. The internet has made it so much easier to be biased and outright mean when expressing our opinions. Plus the election season lasts way too long. Hopefully next time around we can all remember this article and be nice.

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  11. It really is a shame the state your country is in. And people do need to work at just being honest and not judgemental.

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    1. Well because that's the thing. It's okay to disagree, and it's okay to be different - this country was BUILT on that belief. But to attempt to dominate to denigrate others just because they don't see things the way you do (not personally, you understand, just figuratively speaking here) is the worst level of hypocrisy, especially if your message is one of compassionate acceptance.

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  12. Amen! I generally would explain my political beliefs as financially conservative, but socially liberal. Which is VASTLY different from most people down South who are super conservative in everything. But I keep things to myself. I don't go on spewing my views on someone just for the sake of doing so - however I will speak up when they are blatantly wrong about a topic or are being completely rude. It is so so so important to realize, that regardless of what your beliefs are, we are all just people. Why put one another down just because they don't agree with us or us with them? We need to learn to respect one another's beliefs, and understand that there are those that don't believe the same we do. And that that's ok.

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  13. it's hard to do what we say sometimes. it's like we can give great advice but can't do it. i try but often fail.

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    1. Me too, and I get that. It just sucks, how hateful people are. Like, you can't make someone come to your side by being so horrible to them that you actually drive them further from you. It just doesn't work like that.

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  14. This is also why I don't feel comfortable talking about politics these days. The past election was different, the internet was too much active and there's so much hatred going around from both sides.

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  15. I don't have an issue voicing out my opinion ,of course, before I judge I also think about what kind of person I am. I don't want to be a hypocrite. The theme of the day everyday seems to hatred and it's really becoming consuming and toxic.

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  16. I couldn't agree with this more!! Everyone has the right to their own opinion, just don't down others at the same time.

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    1. Exactly, and that's what brought this post out. I'm just so sick of people being so nasty to each other. Like seriously, friendships are ending and families are feuding over differing politics, and it's just gross. I know someone whose husband was told that he'd be disowned by his family depending on which way he voted.

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  17. Everyone has their own opinion and opinions. I wouldn't let anyone else's opinion interfere with my own. As far as politics if everyone is not on the same page there will be many disagreements.

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    1. I don't think people necessarily have to be on the same page all the time - but I do think it's important to hold respect for people even when they see things differently. ESPECIALLY if acceptance and tolerance of differing viewpoints is your message and your mission.

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  18. I don't mind differing opinions, they are actually very necessary for a Democracy to work. What is disfunction's that both sides should find compromise, but don't because of hostility in the air and opinionated journalism. Just report the news and keep your opinions to yourselves.

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  19. I couldn't agree more. Interestingly enough the most toxic vitriol I encountered during the last election cycle came from people who supported the same candidate that I did.

    I make it a point to try to understand the opposing viewpoints. How can we ever convince someone to switch their allegiance if we don't try to understand where they're coming from?

    For attempting to explain (and deconstruct) the opposing viewpoints I was repeatedly called a troll and threatened with expulsion from groups. How can we ever have meaningful dialogue if we are only interested in hearing our opinions restated?

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    1. Oh I totally believe it. People on both sides of this last election were totally toxic and horrible to each other - although I do want to say that I don't think there's a need at all to "convince" someone to change viewpoints or "switch allegiance" at all. I truly feel that we need to get to a place as humans and as adults where we can honestly agree to disagree. We should be able to say, "I like blue ... but it's OKAY that you like red," or "I'm gay and I need your support ... but it's OKAY that you aren't and can't support this truly," and other such things. The worst of the hypocrisy is that so many of us are saying these two very conflicting things simultaneously, which are:

      1. "It's great that we're all so different and diverse and varied, and we should include EVERYone and ALL viewpoints."
      and
      2. "You MUST think like me and see like me and be like me - and if you aren't and can't and don't, then you're WRONG and BAD - which makes you in your differentness the enemy."

      Oddly, the most polarizing people I've encountered have been the people most loudly preaching that inclusive acceptance of all people. It's just sad.

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