It turns out that I do comment on trending news topics more than I care to admit. It is such a fine line to not let political happenings infiltrate my inner peace while also fighting to secure a future I want my children to experience. In fact, where is the line between,
“I don’t care about politics because it’s all crooked,” and
“Someone has to care because eventually this will impact me or my children or their children’s children or their children’s children’s children.” Okay, you get it.
To be honest, I haven’t found that line. Nor am I sure it even exists. And I want to be mindful that I’m just not another blogger contributing to the already deafening noise because, I don’t know if you have noticed, but fuck, it’s been loud out here.
My way of straddling this impossibly thin line is going to be that I’m not going to comment on the most recent SCOTUS developments. That news and those pages have already monopolized allllll the media sites this week. To do you one better, I am not even going to provide my opinion on the matter. In fact, I’ll quote my father in law here and offer you this:
Opinions are like assholes: everyone has one and they all stink.
Wise man. Anyway.
I truly have too much learning to do on all sides of the spectrum and my feeble opinion would be a disservice to the magnitude of the topic.
But I will say that my initial gut reaction was along the lines of:
With a side of:
Fuckity- fuck- fuck. Fuckity- fuck- fuck.
*sung to the tune of “thumpity- thump- thump” from Frosty the Snowman*
Okay, so why are we here then? Because there is something that I want to talk about when it comes to the kind of emotions that are elicited when we are talking about human rights. You know emotions like anger and hatred and divisiveness. As we have seen over the last… What? Six years? It can break up families and relationships. More that than, it can break people.
I don’t know, I kind of think that when you take away people’s options, you take away their hope.
Whoops. I inserted an opinion. But it’s part of the point so hang with me.
Losing hope. That’s when the shit hits the fan. Ultimately, I think that we are all casualties of a war that is based on political motivations and religious ideologies. It seems like we are losing control over what the world is doing to the collective ‘us’. We can spend our emotional energy and precious time debating the value over what we think is happening or we could explore ways in which we can actually impact what is happening.
I choose the latter.
And because I have been feeling the call to soften my heart, then I guess it would be prudent to mention that it doesn’t matter which side of the debate you land on because, in my opinion, these suggestions are valuable to all sides (since it seems we must take sides in all the things, but I digress).
Anyway, here are some actions we can take to help move us from social media activism to actual activism- if we are so inclined.
Money talks. Look, I run a non-profit. Awareness is great but it doesn’t pay the bills. And if I’m being completely honest the hope in raising awareness is that it will lead to donations. As much as I wish it wasn’t true, money makes the world go round. Money is power. So, put your money where your mouth is. Donate to organizations that line up with your theology. I cannot overstate this enough: if you really want to see change, you gotta collect dem dollars.
Sign out. Stay out of the comment sections. No seriously, log off. Don’t read responses to emotionally charged posts out of curiosity. It will take you down a rabbit hole of emotional drama you can’t even see coming. I’m serious. Stay off of social media.
Okay that’s all well and good but I am a realist. I reluctantly accept that social media is where everyone goes to share their everything including their stinky opinions. So, if you must be involved in the online debates, then stick with accounts that are neutral and provide information on all ends of the spectrum. Feeding our minds with more of what we already fear and worst case scenarios will only increase our anxiety and our anger towards each other. On the flip side, feeding our minds with information and opinions that reinforce ours, well that does the same. Branch out.
But not so much that we are overcome with too many emotions.
Because when we are too overcome with emotion, we become too paralyzed to engage in productive ways to initiate change.
Reputation Matters. Dig in, friends. Like get yourself a shovel and really go to town shoveling some dirt. What I mean is do your research. Read reputable sites. Write down all your questions and then go looking for answers and get your answers straight from the horse’s mouth. Understand the system and the language and what it all means and what it is all saying so that you can make an informed decision on how you can proceed with your impact. Don’t go off the hype of others words or the emotions of social media posts. Like, if you don’t know how the Supreme Court works (I mean, I don’t) then find out. And don’t find out from Judge Judy. Find out from the laws of the land. You know what I mean? And, if you don’t know what is happening in different states and why people are concerned about this situation, then look that up too. But not your BFF’s shared meme about pro-life or pro-choice. Find an actual, reputable news source and take it from them.
WWJD. This one is for my Christian friends. That’s an acronym that dates back to my middle school days. Do we all still know what it stands for? Now I know it’s weird to drop like 15 F bombs in a blog post and then launch into a spiel about Jesus. But like I’ve said a time or two before: I am a cussing Christian and maybe one day I will be called to cleanse my mouth. However, that’s not true for me in this moment. So, if it really bothers you, then I invite you to pray for my soul. Otherwise, fuck it and move on.
It seems that these types of situations all come down to our personal moral compasses and value systems. Let me tell you how many times I have found myself feeling righteous and committed to an ideology. So much so that I didn’t even want to be around other people and their opinions that disagreed with what I knew to be right and true. I mean, my heart was convicted and so I convicted e’rybody.
But over the last year, I have found myself being convicted of something greater and that greater conviction is to love others fiercely.
And I do that by listening.
I mean my gut reaction is still to bring out all my weapons of defense. And when I’m ready to fire back with how the comment I just heard is an abomination to society, that’s when I know it’s time to pause.
Believe it or not, it is always in the pauses and the prayers where I hear a soft whisper. And it’s a whisper that says something to the effect of “drop your righteousness and listen because what you’re doing here is not creating a peaceful aura around you.”
And I kind of think that the Prince of Peace promotes peace so you can draw your own conclusions there.
I invite you to actually go back and read scripture. Stop and actually pray for guidance. There is One who actually knows the outcome of this mess and we spend so much of our faith thinking we know what He says that we forget to pause and listen to what He actually says.
If you slow down enough, I guarantee you will discover what your actual role in the healing of this broken world entails and I can almost guarantee, it won’t be what you thought.
Alright y’all. I am sure there are more suggestions on how we can transition our feelings from a sense of helplessness to acts of hopefulness. I know sometimes it seems like if we don’t have the power to change everything then what is the point in changing anything? Well, here’s the point, dear friends:
It is only in the midst of the anythings that we can end up changing everything.
Last thought for today: I saw this meme on social media.
Oh yeah, random side note, I’m back on social media. Well, Rebel Housewife isn’t and that blog with all the details is currently saved in my drafts folder. I’ll get to it and share the ‘hot gos’ eventually, but anyway.
This meme. Every once in a while something online will take me in with its power. It will make me pause. And it makes me think. And then think some more. And it ends up impacting me in a way that I want to honor.
Here is said online thing.
So, I guess this is my way of screaming. I want to encourage all those with falling tears that we can do something. And it will matter a hundred years from now.