There is a time and a place for everything. It is important to learn when and where you should utilize your voice.
I write some fairly inflammatory statements here on the blog. I use a lot of sarcasm and rhetoric. I try to maintain a bit of humor in my words to down play the fervor and anger that many people carry close to their hearts. I understand that for many of us, there are issues that play more powerfully on our minds than others. There are always topics that trigger, deep within us, a primal, powerful anger or fear. It is in the times when these emotions emerge, that we must utilize our most important of gifts, restraint.
It is important that we have the dialog, that we discuss our concerns and fears. It is important that as many views as possible be brought to the table, or we will fail to advance beyond the control of the verbal minority. We cannot continue to move forward if we allow blind rage and seething anger to control what we say. The moment can become so heated that we forget ourselves. If in those moments, we fail to remove our own ego from the equation, we continue to do injustice to our beliefs.
You never convince anyone that they are wrong by merely insulting them.
We can all fall prey to it. There is a part of each and every one of us that just wants to say, “If you can’t agree with me, you must be stupid.” That thought, that emotion, is vastly more damaging to our selves.
When we enter into a discussion, be it over politics, religion, or ice cream flavors, we should strive to do so in the appropriate place and time. I don’t expect our Congress to have meetings to decide ice cream flavors, and I don’t expect my friends to decide policy at ColdStone. It is along those same lines, that I say this:
If you wish to discuss what I have to say on my blog, please do so here, on my blog. There are comment threads for every topic. If you want to discuss that topic, just comment. If you wish to discuss the topic outside of this blog, be sure that you are doing so with people who want to discuss it. Please, do not angrily rant at one another in unrelated public forums. Do not send emails to someone who reads my blog ranting at them for reading my blog. Do not accuse one another of racism and ignorance on someone’s Facebook page over something I wrote.
If you have something you want to say to me, say it to me, otherwise, shut the fuck up.
We should not stand for someone indulging themselves in an inappropriate forum. One of the fundamental problems with politics in the United States, regardless of political philosophy, regardless of party lines, is that our political figures are incapable of removing themselves from the equation. Being right because you say you are right is as valid an argument as someone saying you are wrong because they say your are wrong. It works with 3 year olds, because they aren’t mature enough to handle the idea that there isn’t always a right or a wrong. It doesn’t work with adults, and when you make that claim, it only solidifies the view that you are, regardless of your age, a petty child.
Choosing your battles is part of adulthood. Its time for the US as a Nation to move into adulthood. Puberty is over.
I owe one of my readers an apology.
I’m sorry that my writing spilled into your life. It has never been my intention that bickering and childishness be the result of my urging everyone to speak their mind. I was irresponsible and idealistic in my belief that by creating the dialog, we could all discuss our ideas without anger or ego.
EDIT: It has been pointed out to me my own hypocrisy in this article.
Above, I left in the sentence, “If you have something you want to say to me, say it to me, otherwise, shut the fuck up.”
I’m calling attention to it, because it shows that all of us can allow the emotions to rule our words when we otherwise would not. However, the reader that pointed it out to me was correct. It was wrong of me to allow those words to fall out of my fingertips.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The words on this blog are directed at myself as much as anyone else. Its time I remember that by choosing to step into public light, I actively chose to remove the armor of anonymity. When someone rants about my words, or cuts me down for my assumptions, they are not doing so on a personal level. To them, I am a faceless group of letters on a page. I am no longer any different than any other pundit.