I can barely come online lately, I can’t stand watching people tear each other apart over things that either don’t affect them personally at ALL or a week ago they never even thought about. I feel like politicians and the media have somehow brainwashed the masses into thinking they have to be on one of two completely imaginary “sides”, it keeps people running in circles and filled with rage. And it distracts us all from reality.
You know what reality is? We’re all a bunch of tiny humans in a vast universe, practically blind and deaf and dumb, scrambling to survive and make sense of our baffling and ever-changing surroundings. For the most part, we all just want the same things: for ourselves and the ones we love to be happy and healthy and have enough resources to thrive.
Every time you start to feel your Social Justice Warrior heart or your Good Christian Patriot heart swell with anger at what those bastards on The Other Side are up to this time, maybe take a second to look around and see which Gepetto is twiddling your strings. Take a deep breath. Maybe take the time to read an actual book instead of some alarmist blog linked from somebody’s badly spelled and over-exclamation-pointed Facebook post.
For instance, perhaps before you decide that God is punishing us all with hellfire and damnation because those uppity gayhomofags are celebrating being treated like equal human beings, you should take out the Bible and read some of it. It’s both extremely enlightening on what God actually said about marriage AND a little frightening to realize how many of you would have been stoned to death alongside the gayhomofags for a multitude of equal sins that you’ve conveniently forgotten.
On the other hand, perhaps before you decide that some racist wackjob murderer displaying a Confederate flag means that this flag must be obliterated from existence lest our delicate eyes burst into flames at the mere sight, try reading some actual history. The past, much like the present, is messy. Humans are never just one thing, they’re multifaceted beings capable of simultaneously holding conflicting views. Aside from that, I’d love to hear about a single instance where trying to erase history made the future a better place.
And these are just the manufactured outrages of this week. I promise next week will bring shiny new ones and we’ll all convince ourselves these new hills are the ones we must die upon and the cycle will continue ever onward.
My point here is that I feel like we’ve forgotten what being American really stands for, what freedom really means. Instead we’re just a bunch of sticky toddlers screaming and kicking the back of the car seat because we’re not getting our way. Freedom doesn’t mean you get things all your way. Freedom means you compromise. Freedom means you should be willing to fight even MORE fiercely for the rights of someone you completely disagree with, because someday you might find yourself on the disadvantageous side. America isn’t meant to be neat rows of mindless drones goosestepping with locked arms. It’s a seething, messy, gorgeous crazyquilt with loose threads and rich layers. The needle is rising and falling, the pattern is still being made even as I speak, guided only by the whim and spark of millions of diverse souls. I personally wouldn’t have it any other way.