Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Don't Flee Trump - Embrace the Masses

I would like to formally apologize for supporting a toxic mindset of fleeing the country should Trump be elected. Many people are pondering similar action and I would like to plead with everyone to stay their ground. I do not wish to use war metaphors, but I lack any better words than to say there is a battle for the mind in this country. A battle for progression versus regression. A battle of superstition and mass hysteria versus scientific and rational thought. Such battles are never won by retreat but by perseverance. The battle is not actually with mankind at all but rather with concepts, ideas, and cultures that shape minds and alter opinions. It is akin to a sickness which grips our country and we need to stick around to mend it. And mend it we can. It takes time, it takes effort, it takes diligence, and, most of all, it takes a willingness to speak up kindly. And by speak, I truly mean speak.

The internet is a great place to obtain information and to present information, but I have come to understand that it is not the best place for sound discourse. This is best done face to face where the person we are speaking with has the opportunity to read our emotions and see our thought processes. Text is cold and generally unemotional. The reader, on the other hand, will add a significant amount of emotion from their own perception. Emoticons, word choice, and punctuation can help with all this, but let's face the facts: punctuation means squat to the mass populace incapable of using the proper your or  you're. A smiley can be sarcastic or friendly and bold text could be an important data point or just an ignorant remark of self-importance. In text, it is far too difficult to tell which is which and an opposing view will always be read with an air of stupidity. We need to engage people on a personal and friendly level where they can read our emotions and be more willing to hear us out. It is simple to brush off and scoff at a Facebook post, meme or email, but it is difficult to scoff directly in the face of a friend, family member, or even a stranger.

So I implore everyone, do not leave our country as it appears to crumble. Headway has been made time and time again and it continues to improve albeit slowly and sometimes with a few staggers backward. We can influence people for the better with the proper technique and we do not have to abandon ship just yet. Meet with people. Talk with people. Go out of your way to discuss the things that really matter. If we are kind in our disposition and regarded as generally intelligent, people who appear to be closed-off will likely still consider our words until such a time as they perceive it is their own conclusion. Sentiments run amok which people latch onto and make their own. As an entirely unrelated example, I have found so many people who believe they are unique for "realizing" that "no one" is considering the ethical and moral disposition of self-driving car choices. I assure you, people are indeed thinking about it, and yet so many people believe it is their own idea after conveniently forgetting that someone else first made the claim to them and it sounded good to log as a personal revelation. We are all guilty and we are all influenced by the sentiments around us. But we can be intentional with the sentiments we emanate for others.

Personally, I have had enough of the poo-flinging. I've had enough of the complaints. What are we going to do about it all besides run away? The people of this country need help. They need positive influence and role models. They need to see better ways with their own eyes. They need to peek outside their bubbles and hear opposing views from a kind face. We will get no where with insult and condemnation. Leave that for the masses bought-out by the media they consume so that it becomes clear which side is in the right: the kind side. Forget social media arguments and embrace the reality of a person. Recognize their need and the influences which shaped them. Be an artist and shape the world rather than allowing the world to shape you. Do not flee, but stay. Think. Reason. Relate. Educate yourself. And if it is not too overused and Hallmarkesque: Love, dammit.

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