Saturday, June 11, 2016

I Don't Know

Even as I start typing these words at you,
I still don't know.
This is kind of a draft,
a stream of consciousness.

I guess that's what I get to do on my own blog.

==

We pride ourselves in knowing,
and making sure everyone KNOWS we know.

And then surrounding ourselves with others
who also know what we know.
So we can KNOW together.
Shun those who don't KNOW.

Election cycles are rough.
We think we know everything.
We are smug in our knowing.
We can't WAIT to tell people who don't know.

Eventually all this collective knowledge-sharing
turns into shaming
and half-truths
and lies.

We want people to KNOW WHAT WE KNOW
no matter what the cost.

The snippets of OBVIOUS FACTS
completely out of context
do not help me KNOW.

And often reduce very complex issues
to one-liners
that are just accepted?!

Because whew.
We KNOW this.
How convenient.

==

I have a very bleeding liberal heart.
You probably know this.

But my personality also hates extremism.
Even in my heart of hearts,
if I KNOW what you know,
you won't see me fight in some sort of
all-or-nothing way,
because every side has
very nuanced circumstances,
and backstories
and context.

I want the winds of change
to come blow us to a new world,
a new way of loving each other.

But for fuck's sake,
you don't do that
by pushing everyone down
and rushing ahead with your sail
and making fun of them for not following you.

This loud shaming that our way is the only way
discredits all the people in the middle.

All the people who could most benefit from our KNOWING.

If you want the people in the middle to sail with you,
you need to properly discuss with them
in real, meaningful ways
that this sail is functional,
beautiful,
the way to peace.

Actually, any sail can do, even a less fancy one.
We'll all land somewhere together
over on the other side eventually.

Extremists rarely lead the way to change.

What DOES help, is gently coaxing the middle people
to the next safe place.

It's so hard.
And it's slower than you want it to be.

But not everyone can KNOW like you know.
You need to accept their research time.
You need to accept that we are very rooted in traditions
and lifestyles and families and cultures
that painted a very specific life for us
for years,
generations,
centuries.

And shaking from those traditions is not everyone's nature.
We are all wired to progress (or not progress) in very specific ways
at our own speeds
for our own safeties.

Shaming us does not move us.
It more firmly roots us where we are.
It makes us retreat.

==

I love my trans* friends, my cis friends,
my gay friends, my lesbian friends, my hetero friends, my everything-in-between friends,
my atheist friends, my religious friends,
my rich friends, my poor friends,
my gun-toting friends, my super-radical friends
but I just don't KNOW how to get us all on the same page together.
And I don't know if it's possible.

What I DO know is shaming each other in an attempt to get someone to change their stance
is not the right answer.

And some of us are just kinda stuck being how we are because of our wiring.
We are wired to seek different things in this world
and put value in different things
and we can't change that about each other
without utmost thoughtfulness and care.

And really, for change to happen
someone has to WANT to change,
and mostly, we don't want to change,
but we have to get to that decision on our own.

If you ever want to talk to me about why gay marriage is so important to me,
or gun control,
or access to safe abortions,
or have questions about transgender folks
or just..anything you're wrestling with because everyone is fighting on the Internet right now,
please ask.

I don't really know answers, either,
but getting thoughts out loud
can help start sorting them out at least.

-C McG

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