Last week I wrote a blog consisting of two words. When I put it out there I thought I was being so brilliant. Why say too much? I still feel that way to some extent. All the noise, all the rhetoric, all the pontificating and preaching from our teachers, our journalists, our pundits, and our politicians can be overwhelming, and frankly overkill. Most everything said these days becomes a venomous diatribe against a person, an entity, a religion, or a political affiliation. And no side is better than any other when it comes to hate.
I was trying to rise above the fray. Boil it down to an essence. “Be nice” seemed to encompass it all. It was poignant even. Aren’t I witty? Aren’t I wise? But then a friend asked me if I was ok. She was so used to reading many words from me and began to wonder where’d I’d gone or if I was going soft. She was right to wonder. My blog last week wasn’t sage wisdom; it was a copout. I wasn’t brave enough to say the things I wanted to say because I was afraid to alienate fans or infuriate one side or another in this quagmire of a separated nation.
The title of the blog last week was Keep It Simple. Seemed to me the lone words “Be nice” summed it all up. And when I reposted for the Weekly Blog in Review I invoked something from the bible on purpose — “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – hinting to people that many of our actions today are quite far from the godly nature they are calling upon in the name of religion. All people are doing this. All people are invoking the names of their own Gods to justify their actions. And nowhere does it say in any religious text that it is ok to damn others, regardless of background, beliefs, or deity. If people think that’s what a sacred text says, then they are misinterpreting it or morphing it to fit their needs. Fractious groups from all religions are doing this. It seems every side has its splinter group that is out for blood. We shouldn’t let their rallying cry temper our opinion and knowledge about every person associated with any particular group.
Planned Parenthood, Gun laws, Gun violence, Terrorism, Fear-mongering, Trump, Religious fanaticism . . . I have deep opinions about all of it. But I choose to be prudent about what I say on big, broad, political issues like this. Because of the public role I have as a spokesperson to different companies and charities I choose not to tell anybody what they should think. My blog was never meant to be, nor will it ever be a place to read about political fights and world news. And even more than that, I would never profess to have a handle on what are actually extremely confusing, deep, and complex issues. I have the humility to realize I probably know so much less than I think. None of this is “simple” folks. I choose to promote acceptance.
That being said — and already I feel out on a limb here — I want to take a moment to implore everyone to find common ground, anything at all. As human beings we have so much more in common than not. I’ll take the criticism for sounding cliché. Our skins are different, our religions are different, our cultures are different; but we all bleed, we all cry, we all fear, we all love, and we all dream.
It’s human nature to want clear, definitive answers, but these are muddy, complicated times. We must be open to understanding one another across our country and across the globe. Enough with the inciting, enough with the bigotry, enough with the scapegoating and blame. There is no simple solution to any of it.
In the name of hope, peace, and all that is indeed holy, I will state something else obvious and simple this week . . . Just be kind.
Happy Holidays everybody!