Something controlled my hand when I awoke on Friday morning and turned on the news.
I usually actively avoid listening to trumped up horror stories (aka The News, which has been Opinion for so long it’s discouraging), but on this day I heard about a head on a stick followed by terror attacks on a beach in Africa where some people were just trying to dip their toes in a pool or the Mediterranean Sea.
The beach in Tunisia just happened to be where one of my friends was, joined by his mother, on a tour of Africa that he’s taking for the rest of the year as part of his nearly complete mission of visiting every country in the world.
I say he’s a friend, but actually just like many of us these days, he’s a friend I’ve never met. I ran into him because he’d visited and liked my father-in-law’s hotel in the Caribbean where my husband lives and my kids are visiting for the summer, and they had posted his review.
I doubt anyone will be storming the beach in the Caribbean with firearms hidden in their umbrella, but I can imagine it as well as I can imagine it happening in Tunisia.
There were three terror attacks making news yesterday morning but no one on my Facebook newsfeed was talking about that. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, was posting rainbow flags across their photos, mocking Justice Scalia, and saying how wonderful it was that SCOTUS had made gay marriage legal. No one much mentioned the decision the day before which made States into states, regarding healthcare, unless it was to poke fun at Scalia’s dissent.
The week after the Charleston church murders, I had already been walking on eggshells with my black friends who posted a lot about racism and how whites cannot be part of or understand racism because skin color cannot be hidden, amongst other reasons to exclude me from the discussion.
Prior to that it was comparisons between transgender changes, with or without the accompanying metamorphosis from one gender to another, to a lady who was white passing as black.
It is quite enough, already.
Everyone had stopped hearing anyone who has a differing viewpoint from their own, or who they think is a Republican or a Christian. They have shut their ears.
I know this because I started many discussions with people by saying,”I agree with the outcome but I am terrified of the methods and means to get to it.” What will happen to the Constitution? What happened to separation of power? Since when is the POTUS a monarch? When did the Supreme Court become the Legislative Branch?
No one heard me.
They all started arguing with me over the healthcare law or gay marriage rights.
I’d say,”I don’t have a problem with the result. If we are going to have a crap version of a healthcare law that is an attempt to get everyone care, it might as well be equal regardless of the state you live in.”
I’d get an argument back in support of single-payer systems, or diatribes that went on in a straight 20 minute dialogue about how I am unfair because I don’t think everyone has a right to not go bankrupt because they get sick.
Did you hear a single word I said?
I’d say,”I support the right of any adult to marry any other adult legally in this country. Now everyone who wants it will have the opportunity to get a divorce and join in the hetero fun.” Joking, a little, because at this point I am battered and beaten up.
What I’d get back is an article on Politico stating that gay marriages are better than straight marriages.
I’d be smiling over the cute photos everywhere of gay people kissing at their weddings while I was hearing.”Just because you are a conservative Republican and don’t want people to have equal rights with you…”
I may not be black but I am by birth a Jew. My whole childhood I heard about how no one could tell by looking at me because I was blonde haired and blue eyed. I always thought my Russian Jew nose was a dead giveaway but I digress.
I am not Jewish, though certainly I have Jewish blood running through my veins. I am not a Republican, though I certainly like fewer laws forcing me specifically to live my life in a prescribed way. Labeling can be a nasty business, because it says you and I are not alike. It says that it’s not good enough that we’re both human.
Humanity is at stake.
If you are a person who has ever said “we are all one”, I want you to take a very hard, close look at your thoughts and what comes out of your mouth in the coming days.
Is it a coincidence that huge news over human rights regarding marriage came out, and the President treated us to Amazing Grace at a funeral, on the same day as all of the terrorist carnage around the world was happening and we mainly seemed to ignore it?
I wondered why I kept seeing more and more people being surrounded by their relatives who have passed on. In particular I’ve seen a lot of Holocaust victims and survivors who subsequently died, around the living.
So oft repeated that to you it may seem trite, it is a Truth:
Celebrate your victories, but watch how they are won, lest it deplete your rights in the future.
Who are you fighting? Is it your Democrat or Republican friend? Or is it someone who is standing on the beach gunning you down for trying to get a tan? Okay, that’s not their reason for gunning you down, but you were just minding your own business, existing yesterday while today you’re over the rainbow bridge.
If you are arguing politics with your friend, you probably have no idea how close Democrats and Republicans are ideologically in this country, compared to others in the world. So close, they are like matches in the same matchbook.
If you ask and you listen, you will see that mainly everyone wants the same thing, but they would go about it in different ways. Usually differences are about economics, when you boil it down. HOW we pay for it, WHO administers it. How much control an individual has over it, or not.
These are all privileges of living in this country but it is certainly not the same worldwide. We are so insulated I wonder some days if anyone remembers that.
Usually I avoid politics like the plague especially on social media where it is generally for fun and silliness, like sharing cat photos and vacation pictures and uplifting messages, not a news source or a forum for political debate. There is a reason why technology has brought us together as a global family, so let us remember and hold sacred our humanity.
Most of the people who I follow for their intuitive blogs or astrology reports have an extreme political point of view which is the diametric opposite of mine, so I take the best of them and leave the rest. I invite you to do the same here.
Regardless of your point of view and what you are willing and unwilling to do, just look around you and listen with open ears if you haven’t been doing much of that lately.