I wrote a blog entry, and it was going to go up today… but, I can’t release it. I started re-editing it, and I realized what I couldn’t bring myself to hit publish: it spoke against my beliefs. No, not my religious beliefs – though my personal beliefs are an extension of that – but, that of my personal beliefs, and the goals I hold in this world.
I wasn’t kidding about my vow I made a bit less than a week ago: I will seek to increase the peace, love, and respect in my community, my state, my country, and the world. (That’s just one line of it)
So, I had written this long post – I’m not even going to get into the actual subject – and I came back and edited it. Somehow, it just wasn’t right, and I couldn’t figure out why. I pondered it over and over, and it just couldn’t gel in my head.
I ended up posting something on Facebook that made me realize what was wrong – I posted a snippet of a Rush song:
“And the men who hold high places
must be the ones to start
to mold a new reality,
closer to the heart.”
And a little bit of explanation of why I liked it. Then it hit me: part of the reason while I liked the Facebook message rather than the blog post I was making was because it was positive. See, I’m tired of people posting things from a negative standpoint. Heck, half the time you can spot political and religious lie meme pictures simply by looking at the tone; it’s it’s negative, there’s a good chance you really need to dig deeper into what was said. It doesn’t matter who the target or source was, in the back of my head, it triggers alarms asking “what’s this person’s agenda, and what’s the lie or half-truth here?”
Obviously not all of the posts that are negative are lies. But, there’s a pretty good chance. And, here’s the thing – I hate those negative attacks on everything. I don’t care if it’s Republicans, Democrats, Atheists, Christians, Homosexuals, Stay At Home Moms, or whatever – I’m sick of them.
My blog post wasn’t being done from a standpoint of positivity, it was being done directly from a standpoint of negativity. And, ya’ know what? I really don’t want that to become my habit. I don’t want to spend my time telling people “you’re wrong, here’s why you’re wrong, and here’s why I’m right.” Because, it’s not true when it comes to ideologies, politics, and religion. These things don’t exist in a mutually exclusive environment. I have friends who follow Native American traditions. I follow Messianic Judaism. Which one is right?
The answer is irrelevant. I have a book that says my path is right, and faith that my path is right. But, it’s not a binary problem, or a zero sum game. Just because I’m right doesn’t mean they aren’t right, too.
What’s right and wrong is our responses to each other’s beliefs. I’m a Republican (who’s somewhat disgusted with what his party stands for at the moment), a good number of friends are Democrats. Does that make them all wrong? Nope. That makes both sides right, and we need to find the strongest points where each side is correct, and meld them together to form a better system. I’m for less government, done more tightly. But, I adopt the concept of of social support for those who need it – where I see we need less government isn’t welfare programs or education. Were I see it is in a lot of other areas that are just a waste of money.
And, that’s where I need to start from. If I want to help foster peace, respect, and love in our society, not hate and negativity. Now, don’t miss-understand – I’m not perfect, and there’s plenty of people I have a hard time having “love in my heart” for them. And, there’s going to be times where I poke fun at a person for being blatantly stupid. But, I’m going to try and keep it just that: poking fun. I’m going to try and approach situations from a positive direction as much as possible. I’m going to personally strive to not spread hateful memes and pictures. And, if you talk to me in person, you’re probably still going to hear some stupid stuff come out of my mouth from time to time that goes against my goals.
That doesn’t mean I don’t get to be angry from time to time – there’s a pretty easy line to see between anger and hate most times. But, even that I’m going to try and minimize.
There’s some topics I’m just not sure how I’ll approach from a positive viewpoint, but, I’ll try. If Martin Luthor King, Jr can stand in front of a group of people who would have taken up pickforks and torches with a single word from him, and instead speak to them about not being tempted to do wrongdoings, and to uplift their spirits while at the same time speaking about the oppressions they felt, maybe some day I can learn to do the same. I’m not half the man that MLK was (nor do I have millions of people listening to me, not will I ever), but, there’s nothing that prevents me from trying to learn the same talents. I’ve had some good teachers along the way who’s lessons – some intentional, some not – I should make sure to take to heart.
And, never mistake a positive message for being wishy washy. Some of the greatest speakers learned to make a point about something negative in culture while still keeping it positive and up-lifting.