Some days I feel more than others. Some days I feel more than I wish I did. Some days I don’t wear my feelings, they wear me out. Today.
Saw a post earlier that stated how ridiculous we are at our outrage at the senseless stalking and killing of Cecil the Lion when there are so many “more important” things going on to be outraged about, i.e., cops killing black people, Bill Cosby’s nefarious behavior, mass shootings/citizen terrorists, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton. The other day some TWITS on Twitter had the nerve to remark about the latest theater shooting that “only 3 people died” in this one, and that it wasn’t “as bad as the one in Charleston.” “ONLY!”
Personally, I think it’s ridiculous that someone thinks we have to choose ONE to be concerned with and outraged over! This is the problem. Some people just don’t get that LIFE matters, and like it or not we ARE connected – whatever your ethnicity, gender, animals, plants. We (humans, of course, not plants and animals – because I know someone is going to say it) are killing each other off with guns and other violence, pesticides, depleting our precious wildlife… ALL of this is laying waste to humankind. Yes, each issue has its own set of problems, but it all ends the same… an irreplaceable life or lives lost and GONE FOREVER.
So pick one or pick several to be outraged over. They are all important, and to refuse to hear someone else’s experience with it is a fault on you, not them. It is the proof that screams that one life is actually more important than another; that one life is less important than another. They’re the same, just sliced differently from where one stands.
We’re killing each other, directly and indirectly. It’s shameful that life, in all its shapes, forms, colors, and sizes is not honored. It’s shameful that we even put ANY value on a life that is actually PRICELESS. We put value on a life form, and then we make one life more or less valuable than that one. It really all just makes me heart-sick. But no one is listening; everyone is too busy defending who they think they are when they should be listening.
All of this is important, yet:
You aren’t your badge.
You aren’t your gun.You aren’t your color.You aren’t your size.You aren’t your sport.
You aren’t your trophy.
You aren’t your penis.
You aren’t your breasts.
You aren’t your political party.
You aren’t your job.
You aren’t your degree, or lack of one either.
You aren’t your sexual orientation.
You aren’t your hair. (Just ask India Arie 🙂 )
IS THIS REALLY ALL YOU ARE?
One of my favorite quotes by Zig Ziglar sums this up nicely: You may not be what you say you are, but what you say, you are.
I would hope we strive bigger than any of those things on the list. The list does not complete a person, but we defend those things with our very lives, and sometimes with someone else’s.
You see, if you only have a problem with certain lives being mistreated and/or killed, but don’t have the very same regard for others, then there is an issue with your humanity, i.e., when you’re outraged over a black man being killed without cause by a police officer but you have no regard or even celebrate when a police officer is ambushed, when you are vehemently against abortion, yet you think we shouldn’t help feed our homeless or think they should be jailed; when you’re in an uproar over the terrorist slaughter in Charleston recently, but you think that “only three people were killed” in that Lafayette theater; when you are up in arms over police officers being ambushed and killed, but you turn the other cheek to the obvious problem of black people being murdered by authority figures; when you protest how oil and big industry is ruining our health and climate, but you fail to see the importance of trophy hunting and poaching on the very same environment, etc. I could go on, but I’m sure you see the point. If you still don’t, well…. Any time we make a particular life/lives more important than another, we by default make the other less than. On the flip side of that, any time we make something less than, we by default give the other more or make it more than. I think we would have to search long and hard to find a person who can overcome this on all levels, but my hope is that we all do our best to overcome it anyway.
All this is not to say that there isn’t a real problem in this country with guns and violence, with police brutality against people of color, with mistreatment of animals and our environment, violence against children, etc. But it does show that there is a very fine line between rallying for a cause and becoming like the opposing side in our thinking. We all have biases. It’s vitally important to know that, and to know what our individual biases are. Even more important, we should be willing to look for and see them, then act responsibly about them. If we are so busy defending our cause that we fail to see the effect on the other side, or we fail to even acknowledge that there is a problem we have truly failed, and in a bigger sense than our cause.
Every time I see a piece on some type of gun violence, I then see a piece on gun control, and then I see people who I once thought were fairly reasonable lose their minds over defending their guns. FAIL.
When I see a piece on police brutality against a black person, I then see a piece on how police are in a dangerous job. FAIL.
I have read many pieces on trophy hunting lately, and then I see pieces and posts about how hunting is a right, and then other pieces on how silly it is that we worry about the animals when #blacklivesmatter, or how Iran is going to blow us up. FAIL.
This is similar to having a conversation or argument with your spouse about how dangerous it is that he doesn’t use his turn signal when he/she drives, and then having them bounce back at you that you always forget to lock the house up at night. Both issues are important, and one is important to you and the other to your spouse. The issue may be related to a degree, yet they are completely separate issues. And here you are, each trying to make your issue more important than the other, when each has its risks and possible poor outcomes. Each of you, by making your issue the more important one, are letting your spouse know that their issue is less important or even not important at all. How would that leave you feeling? Are you caring at this point about the other issue as much as you should? Probably not! We’re so busy defending our stance, that we fail to see the broader picture, and we fail to assign any value to the other side. I wonder, because apparently I can only wonder at this point, what it might be like if we all just put down our swords and listened to each other? What if we placed importance and priority on the needs of the other? Would we lose something? Would things actually get worse? I don’t believe so. This is a super simple concept, yet we FAIL. We make efforts to get our views heard, we get shut down, and then we get louder and/or possibly violent. What would happen if we lend importance to someone else’s issue? What would happen if we dared to stop standing in defense of our beliefs and just listened without feeling threatened that we were going to lose something?
When we indicate that we think one person’s cause is not as important as our own, we are doing the very same damage we say others are doing to us. In other words, comments about #bluelivesmatter are made to counteract, yes counteract, #blacklivesmatter. And it does just that. Because you have a cause that is (literally) vitally important to you, you may think that it is more important than others, i.e., Cecil the Lion and other hunting/poaching interests, #AllLivesMatter, terrorism in other countries. This thinking, however, contributes to the problem, and in the end will assist in eradicating mankind. Yes, it’s that heavy! Any time we make our cause more important than another, we are in competition, and we are saying essentially that the other is not as important as our cause or existence. When we defend our badges as law enforcement, we just made someone else’s life less important. When we belittle another’s essence, we may as well scream out, “I am more important than you!” “You are less important than I!”
We are destroying each other. We are killing off our eco-system. So when you make ridiculing and/or discounting comments and posts about those that are concerned about trophy hunting, pesticides, blue lives, black lives, etc…. whatever is different from your concern that is largest for you now, you are assisting in the eventual demise of us all.
Here is an example. If your spouse or significant other says there is a problem in the relationship, whether you agree or not, whether or not you even noticed, then you have a problem present.
Why must we choose one over another? This is not a mental health issue; it is an issue of MENTALITY. This is not just a human issue; it is an issue of HUMANITY.