Fear, Anger, Hate, Suffering

Our daily vlog is always quite personal, but this one was a little more personal than most.

You can’t stop an idea (or ideology) from spreading — nor can you necessarily control whether or not that idea impacts you in a positive, negative, or neutral way. This “hate” which Diana referred to is a movement, not from any specific individual — and tolerance (with “love”) only allows such intolerance to flourish unabated.

If someone (without immediate reason) was slapping you in the face, would you stand there and take it? Would you slap back? Would you retreat? If they were slapping other people around, would you stand up for those people who weren’t sure how to respond to the threat? There is no right answer, though there is clearly a wrong worth responding to in some fashion.

But a response to hate is not hate itself — it’s a response to hate, it’s cause and effect, it’s a truth facing consequences. It’s a bear that mauls in defense after resting peacefully and being poked in the eye with a stick (reasoning with the unreasonable is unreasonable). It’s the Jedi defending a village from invaders who mean to do them nothing but harm (a hunger strike would not be an appropriate response in this situation).

You might say that I have an intolerance for intolerance. There are times that I step away from it (when I know it doesn’t matter), and there are times that I respond head-on because I believe in speaking and standing up for what I believe is a just position (when I think it’ll matter).

Asserting yet another false equivalence to perhaps assuage the feelings of guilt that one might have about the choices they made and the impact those choices had on others around them doesn’t fly with me. I think we can all agree that $20 is greater than $10? I think we can all agree that a cup half full is greater than a cup that has nothing in it? Some would have you believe otherwise — some seem to claim that they’re equal, the same.

You have some serious soul searching to do if you can tell me — with as much honesty as you can muster — that there has been an equal amount of hate coming from two sides in this election cycle. This is no longer about Republican vs. Democrat, right-wing vs. left-wing — it’s about standing with bigotry or not, standing with misogyny or not, standing with deeper deception or not, standing with white supremacy or not, standing with nationalism or not, standing with an imperfect democracy or not, standing with reason or not…

Standing with Diana, Jedi, and me or not.

It’s still your choice to decide what’s more important.

You cannot choose who endorses you, but you can choose to ask why they would. You can choose which ideology best aligns with your moral compass, and when the needle is clearly pointing North (Korea)… you have a choice to decide whether or not it’s time to take a different path or continue to walk side-by-side with known enemies of the state and violent discontents (like, for example, the KKK).

“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” What if your own hate is causing undue suffering in others? That’s the “hate” Diana is talking about in this vlog.

That’s the “hate” we have been forced to deal with in this cycle, and sitting silent to allow such violations continue is not an option that’s on the table for me. It’s too personal. It cuts too deeply. It flies in the face of everything I am and everything I choose to stand for. That’s not what I have chosen to become.

I happen to believe this country matters, I believe history matters, I believe experts matter, I believe intelligence matters, I believe that fact checking matters, I believe the system matters, and I believe my immediate family matters.

When you make a decision that leads to an action which doesn’t directly impact you, it’s easier to make that decision. You have nothing to lose, after all. But what if you also knew that someone else stood to lose something that you (yourself) would never want to lose? Is the choice as easy to make then? Again, there’s really no right answer.

But there are absolutely going to be consequences with your choice.