“It’s not for me to say,” I said these words a few years back to a person who used to be my friend at that time. Obviously, she is no longer a friend. In fact, I said these words at least twice. In response to a question which I believe, is one of the dumbest questions anyone can ask. (Yes, there IS such thing as a dumb question). She asked me “What do you think?”
Why do you need to know what I think when the subject matter has absolutely no bearing on my life? It wasn’t about me, my decisions, my actions or non-actions, my family, or anything else. It was a question she asked me that had everything to do with her bad decisions. She wanted my opinion. To be honest, she wanted me to side with her and say something like “Yeah! Why not?? Life is short! Have fun!!”
I didn’t. I simply said, “It’s not for me to say”.
I suppose in some sense this was my way of saying “I love you, you are my friend, and you will not like my answer. I absolutely guarantee you will not like my answer so don’t ask again.” Only she did ask again. Twice. As I was beginning to text (yes, it was all done via text) my true answer she called. Which was good, as the novel I was beginning to write was just that – very long. I don’t believe in sugar-coating, or beating around the bush. Ask me twice and get the same answer. Ask me a third time and I will answer truthfully. This is who I am. Anyone who knows me knows this to be true. If you don’t want the truth, only ask twice. Three strikes and here we go!
So what is this blog all about today? I never know that answer as I begin to write. Mostly I write because if I don’t, a stifling angst begins to set in. I get moody, crabby, and overall fidgety. So I go to the gym to see if I can get rid of the pent up thoughts through sweat and exhaustion. It’s a temporary fix, but the need to speak my mind is still there. Crouched down like a panther waiting to pounce. So writing is my ‘fix’. It doesn’t fix a thing, but I can breathe after it is all out on paper.
So here I sit wondering what to say next as there is so very much to say! Each topic in my head is controversial. I have to believe there are others in this world who think as I do. Yet we no longer feel “safe” in voicing our thoughts.
THERE’S a controversial word! SAFE. It is my thought that unless you are ‘other than white’, a non-US citizen, non-gender conforming, march in “movements” (or that you even believe in that sort of thing and not find it just a little more than mildly annoying), not part of any hashtag-type “movement”, or that your thoughts and beliefs will either jeopardize the jobs of your family members or bring crowds with torches to your home, then you are not safe. This is my thought. Did I miss any controversial topic there? Yes, yes I did. Guess what? I have opinions and thoughts about those too!
Those of us who have differing opinions than the masses are better off not saying anything lest someone jumps down our throats. If we say nothing, then we are “part of the problem”. Apparently, if we do the yoga pose ‘downward dog’, then we are contributing to white supremacy (here’s the link to THAT article: Yoga)
If we say nothing, we are part of the problem. If we say what we believe, it is assumed we are uneducated and part of the problem. Our thoughts and beliefs turn into what others assume are our thoughts and beliefs. Words are put into our mouths that – more often than not – are completely inaccurate.
There is no such thing as honest dialog now. People have forgotten how to agree to disagree. Then they say – based on all their knowledge – “lives are at stake with your views”. Guess what? Lives have been at stake since the beginning of time!!! Who can say whose life is more important? The correct answer – in my opinion – is no one. There should be no belief that one life supersedes another’s.
Which brings us to another question. How did we get to where we are today? Seems like so many things are spiraling out of control.
This brings me to a list I have generated titled ‘Things that should not be discussed at family gatherings’: abortion, gender fluidity, LGBTQ everything, religion, women’s rights, men’s rights, autism, inclusion or lack of, #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, birth control responsibility, #BlueLivesMatter, rape, gun control, white supremacy, race issues of all kinds, body shaming, history, welfare, food stamps, addiction, Rebel flags, bathroom rights, end of life options, body cams, service animals, male privilege, double standards, walls, immigration, politics, health care, Obama, Hillary, Trump, Reagan, The Patriots, and flatulence. Well, to be fair, flatulence is sometimes funny.
Obviously this is not an all-inclusive list. It seems that should we discuss any of the above-mentioned topics, real anger appears. Real, raw anger with perhaps a touch of “self-righteous indignation” (I love that description). People never speak thinking they are wrong. You would be wise to remember that.
For those claiming tolerance, I have seen otherwise. Many (some would argue most) are only tolerant of those whose viewpoints reflect their own. There is no middle ground. So the word negates the action – or vice versa.
How do we fix this mess? I have no idea. Clearly, neither does anyone else. From what I can see, things are getting just plain ridiculous. So I will continue to write. Like that will solve anything.