Respecting diversity ( a rant from my muse )

Respect for diversity is good, its even better as respect for diversity of thought.  ~ X Quote

If you have followed me from the beginning, somewhere I MUST have pointed out that I believe it is my parental duty to teach only two things to teach my daughter.  The second lesson is how to make good decisions.  In a nutshell, one of the principles of making good decisions is to not get your advice from an echo chamber.  The council you seek is important.  How you weigh that council is important.  You need advice from your friends, AND your enemies.  Diversity of thought is not just good behavior, its a brilliant principle of living a life guided by wisdom.

Let me say this in simple words…  Being sensitive to some people does not give you the right to be insensitive to others..  We call that being a jerk!  It seems that somewhere down the road of instilling respect for diversity, a moral high ground of opinions was established and any thought contrary to the selected line of thinking, was considered fair game for disrespect.

Now while the word “moral” is still fresh, I need to go off on this tangent.  I don’t believe in morals.  I believe in ethics.  Moral behavior tends to be more about proper behavior but ethical behavior seeks equity  as judged within the context and values of the parties involved.  Read my lips..  “moral anything” is bullshit!  Go fling your cow patties someplace else.

I am not a fan of hatred either.  Even of people that “deserve” to be hated.  You have to understand that hate is a poison and a disease.  It hurts the one who holds it and if a person is not cured of their hatred, eventually hatred will kill its host.  Step one is to free yourself from moral superiority.  Then any other sense of superiority.  The right path is a healthy dose of humility and respect for diversity.

One question I wish I could answer is:  When did it become OK, to hate people that “deserve” it?  I think it was so slow a process, we never noticed it happen. Like the infamous frog in the slowly boiling water, we were just too stupid to see it or jump out of the freaking pot.

The war of the sexes was when I first started to notice.  Maybe ten years ago, many a commercial made fun of men. It was part of the process of marketing to women..Hey! Its a huge market, so its OK, right?  But who decided that hating on men endeared the average woman to your products?   Blonde jokes and men who don’t stop for directions..  We pick at each other and don’t give it any thought at all to it.  Racial, religious, aging, fat people, rude people, where do we not feed a secret prejudiced?  And who the hell gets to decide the criteria that makes a person fair game for hatred?  Does anyone not see the foolishness of these thoughts?  Some days I just want to yell… let me off.  The diatribe is just so venomous.

And when the hell did we start thinking that giving respect was somehow weak or foolish?   You must give respect because of who you are, not because of who you are giving it to.  Respect can be lost though, and what do you do then?  You cut that influence out of your life.  When you see dishonesty and hatred, distance yourself from it but do it with a carefree heart.

Or.. and this is a really big can get into the face of really serious oppressors and demonstrate your capacity for love and patience.  But that is a dangerous game.  There are some very dangerous dangers haters and suppressors in the world and it is right to be careful and cautious.   Some places are more dangerous than others. We sometimes forget that our values are not universal.  You can’t judge what others will do, based on what you think everyone should do.

Keep in mind that if  you are free to protest where you are with relative safety, than you are already in a pretty good place. Its the places you are not safe to protest, that need the most work.  That is so logical it almost shouldn’t need to be said.

I wouldn’t recommend for example, that women stage a peaceful protest in a country steeped in Sharia Law.  But… if you really want to fight oppression, shouldn’t you do it where oppression lives?  Wouldn’t it warm your heart to see a little girl power in a Sharia Law country?  I mean if it didn’t turn into a stoning and blood bath, it would be nice.  If my reference to Sharia Law makes you think I am picking on Muslims not so.  I dislike oppression and hatred from anyone.

I Googled places not safe for women to travel alone. Would you believe that India and Mexico were both very high on the list of places where women that travel alone get raped?   Look these are just statistics..I am not putting emotion into it.  I would love to see real hatred faced with peaceful protests in places that really suppress freedom. Take Russia’s open hostility to gays.  Now there is a place to go and peacefully protest, if you want to really want to stare down oppression of LGBT rights. 

It takes real courage and commitment to go into a lions den and face down haters without giving in to hate yourself.  Most people are better suited to just distance themselves from it, and even then they have a hard time doing so with a light heart.  If you can face hatred with love, bravo!   Its a rare individual who can walk away from hatred without wearing some, even more rare to face it boldly with love.

And what if you are the person who hates the haters?  Whatever your twisted logic, then you are part of the problem. Round and round it goes.  Hatred and more hatred.  You have to be the person who stops it.  Each person who just says no to hate, who’s message of tolerance and love comes through clear in their protest,  is another finger in the dam.  If you can not protest with love in your heart, don’t fucking do it.

If you value respect, and diversity, and honesty, that does not mean that you must give bullets to your enemy.  Freedom sometimes gets deadly serous. The refugee crisis is proof that more people choose to distance themselves than fight back.  Anyone can choose to resist being pulled in, resist interacting with them.

It may help to let yourself see the sad pathetic, hate diseased person they are.  You may need to see this first, before you can send love and pity their way.. from a distance of course.. because they probably won’t understand and possibly hate you even more.

In stark reality, if a person wants to kill or convert you, you have three choices.. kill them first, or convert them first, or distance yourself.  If you are backed into a corner though, then it is self defense time and all rules of ethical behavior are off.

It’s strange that to protect ourselves from that which we do not believe in, we must sometimes adopt the methods of the very people we disagree with.  Life is really fucking strange at times.  I wish we lived in a world where more people embraced diversity and love.  Strangely, this forum, the internet, has that capacity to make the world one large melting pot, to bring us all closer together..

Why this subject, and why now?  When I started writing I haven’t a clue.   Something told me I should have this rant so I did.  It seemed to align somewhat with recent news but not on either side of the political coin.  I believe in serendipity.  Things happen for a reason.  Somewhere, somehow, this rant makes sense.. I just don’t know why yet.. and maybe I never will.. But I trust that things have a way of happening when they should, even if we don’t understand the bigger picture.  So I listened to my muse.   Wow.. got all metaphysical on you.. sorry.. I’m done with the sharp words.. If you need me, I’ll be the one in the corner playing with knives instead. I’m complex like that.  Carpe Diem my friends..  Go be someone’s great day.