We Are Toxic

Our country has absolutely no concept of treating anyone equally or even respectfully. It’s not just about gender, race, religion, or political thing. People have no longer understand the concept of being respectful. So there is no way we will gain any version of equality in this county until people can figure out how to be respectful towards each other.

Here is an example of something that as posted by someone on Facebook:

Image may contain: text that says "to wear of mask? all got Wanna know because home, spending your taking vacation vacation, BRINGING THAN week because unemployment. working quarantined, essential, life of it? while doing bitching, LESS week in collected $800 nothing. all of this been in this shit every single for months haven't worn mask. So y'all up and watched news listened to the bullshit governors congress, buckled down and helped keep up and running and kept food on table, literally LESS money. Now you want to dictate how live my life 4 months into this crap? Hell fear is YOUR problem. Not mine."

Someone I know posted this in a public forum we share after I had been unemployed for months, collecting the additional $600.00 per week, while wearing a mask to the store to protect other people. The entire post is an angry and almost spiteful rant about how I was living my life.

The person who posted this and I have already talked about this post, and we are fine. I still love them and hold nothing against them. I am just using it as an example.

This post is just one example of a person posting or reposting without thinking of the people in their lives. They may be hurting or alienating someone they claim to care about because they can’t find a respectful way to express their opinion. Every feeling of anger and frustration in this post was valid. It is a frustrating position to be in, and the beautiful thing about our country is we are allowed to express how we feel.

Everyone needs to start thinking about HOW we do this.

I chose this post because its aim was a group of people of which I am a member. That means it was, however unintentionally, was aimed at me. There are so many more posts like this one.

A Democrat will say something nasty about ALL Republicans, lumping them all together because the Democrat doesn’t agree with whatever the loud ones say or do.

A Black Lives Matter supporter will post something hateful towards ALL members of the police force because the poster believes they are all guilty. (That point has enough grey areas for a separate post, so I am going to keep going.)

A person who wants to support their local police department will repost a thread that accuses all protesters of being rioters.

This type of behavior goes further with religion against religion, gender against gender, even societal position, and so on. At this point, I hope you get the idea.

ALL of this has to stop. I don’t care what side of what line you are on. ALL of these posts tend to point out severe issues that need addressing. However, the posts are so toxic to other people that the discussion will never start.

We all need to climb off our soapboxes, stop yelling, and start listening. Generally, every side of an argument has valid points, but everyone is so busy shouting, “I’m right! You’re wrong!” and hurling insults, nothing will ever get changed.

I have an example. I know people are bitter about the unemployed getting that extra $600.00 a week because they, as business owners, did not get any help. I admit to not knowing all the details, but it seems to me there was not enough action to help protect small businesses during the shutdown. Their perspective is I got help while being allowed to stay home safe with my kids while they still had to risk themselves and their families for nothing.

It’s all about perspective. There is no way to make everyone 100% happy. That’s how compromise works, but we have to be willing to compromise.

Did I need the extra income to keep my rent paid and my kids fed? Yes.

Did my friends also need extra financial support for their families and businesses? Yes

Does that make it alright for either side to hurl insults and rude comments at each other, however inadvertently? No.

This post was supposed to be about equality. People need to treat EVERY person who is different from them for ANY reason or in ANY way as equals. It has to start with the simple act of thinking before posting something on Facebook, or Twitter, or wherever people are posting things these days.

If we, as a society, can start just treating our friends, families, and neighbors with respect and decency, then think about how far it will go.

So, think before you post that quote or picture that insults an entire group of people. Is there someone you care about this is going to hurt? Is that post worth damaging the relationship you built with that person?

Our differences are what make us who we are. There is no reason we can’t be proud of those differences and work, not fight, for equality while being respectful of those differences.

The next step in this is taking responsibility for our actions and our words. We are human. We are going to screw up. Particularly when navigating highly volatile situations.

When we mess up, say something wrong, accidentally hurt someone, we also need to apologize. Sincerely.

It can’t be, “I’m sorry but…”

It needs to be, “I’m sorry. I handled that badly. Let me try again,” or, based on the situation, “I’m sorry. I should not have said or done that.”

Then, the offended party needs to forgive and move past it to make progress.

Oddly, this shouldn’t be as hard as we find it to be. These are things we all learned in Kindergarten. Don’t be mean. Apologize.

Is that so hard? Why not try? It will be worth it in the long term.

Take some time to think about it. If we want equality, we have to start with decency.

– Just One Mom

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