I find myself getting into debates or even arguments on social media (and sometimes real life too although people provoke me less often in person; it’s easier to be vitriolic hiding behind a keyboard, I guess) and I find myself wondering if I really should.
There are some things I care a lot less about these days, I’m trying not to care too much about spelling and grammar anymore. I mean if the sentiment’s good then that’s what matters, right? Some things really get on my nerves though and I can’t seem to shut my typing fingers up, and the question is – should I?
Is entering the debate pushing my blood pressure up, greying my hair, deepening my wrinkles and stressing me out? Quite probably.
Is it all for nothing? Maybe.
Will I change anyone’s beliefs? I don’t know.
Sometimes I think maybe I should just shut up, let it all roll past, concede it’s not my problem. And then I think of that famous saying:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Attributed to Edmund Burke, I must find out more about him. He sounds like a sensible chap.
I’ve studied history and understood the impact of people staying silent, taking the ‘well, I’m alright so better not rock the boat route’. I’ve seen a lot of bad and unnecessary stuff happen in this world during my own 38 years here. I realise that by the time it gets from seeming kind of ropey to being really awful, that standing up to it is both tough and potentially dangerous.
Before it gets to that point, and hopefully it won’t get that bad in my beautiful homeland of Scotland, but just in case I am going to disagree, as loudly and eloquently as I can, with those that diminish the rights and humanity of others.
I know I’m viewing life from a pretty privileged perspective, quite frankly I’m alright but I won’t let that stop me rocking the boat or standing beside/standing up for those who are getting a raw deal.
I will say that it is wrong that in a country as wealthy as ours that people are committing suicide because of poverty, that children go hungry during school holidays because they rely on free school meals, that parents suffer malnutrition to feed their children. Meanwhile politicians get large payrises and spend enough on a single breakfast to keep a child in school meals for a week.
I will stand up and disagree when anyone says that someone else should not have the same rights as them because of their gender, their sexuality, their race, their need for asylum or any other variety of discrimination. I will argue this point until the cows come home. Sexism and fatism are the worst I experience personally. I’m cis, straight and white but I want to be a good ally and if I can do better then I’m up for swallowing my pride and listening.
I will not silently condone cruelty, abuse, fraud by the very people we elect and rely on to steer our country through times good and bad. I will not agree that we need ridiculous, outdated and oppressive systems like a royal family or a house of lords.
Often, in work and life, people have said to me; “You need to learn to say no.”
They’re right and not just about taking on too much – I have to say no to all this shit, and I’ve barely scratched the surface in this blog. I say NO! No to the inhumanity and lack of empathy that is all too common these days.
And then what? Do my damnedest to back up my words with actions of compassion and kindness. I won’t always get it right, I know. I’m going to try though. Maybe we can change the world a little bit, each of us in our own little way.