Things that make me anxious, part 11: Political Bullying
Let me start by saying that I am not going to use this blog to voice my political view, to try to influence anyone else's political view, or even to engage anyone in political debate. This might be the time to talk about politics, but it absolutely isn't the place.
Being a living, breathing, thinking human being in 2017 comes with its pressures and complications. One of them happens to be that we've had to deal with (and are dealing with) a fair amount of political uncertainty. Sharing ideas, views, problems and solutions are incredibly important, especially in times of uncertainty. Can we really not have conversations any more without becoming so aggressive?
So no, let's not talk about politics. But let's talk a little bit about respect.
You can have a voice, without shouting others down.
We are all entitled to our own views. You happen to believe in yours, that's fantastic.
Maybe you spent hours or days researching your views, maybe you plucked them straight from your gut. Maybe you are totally disengaged with "the system", maybe you have every reason to be. Maybe I don't share the exact same views as you. But if you have chosen to trust me with your beliefs and your views, I should be able to hear them without SHOUTING* at you.
You should be able to hear my views without shouting at me. Maybe we disagree completely. Maybe our views are even offensive to each other. Maybe we'll walk away and think each other are idiots. Maybe we won't.
Perhaps we'll have an adult conversation about politics. Perhaps we'll take it in turn to talk about our own fears and ideas and passions. Perhaps we'll even come up with a new idea together. You don't learn anything new by talking. You learn by listening.
Even worse than disagreeing with people, don't tell people to STOP talking about it. Maybe you're not interested in politics, or maybe you're just not interested in anyone's views but your own. Well I'm not sorry, that's your problem not mine, you bloody narcissist.
If you don't want to talk about politics, or the world, or art, or jam making - just fucking don't. You don't have to silence everyone around you just because you're not interested. Do you stand up in the middle of the room shouting "YOU'RE NOT A CHEF! STOP TALKING ABOUT FOOD!"? No. No you do not. You don't have to be a politician to talk about politics either, douche. We all live in this world together, don't we? Just like we all eat food.
I happen to enjoy talking to my friends about the world, and hearing their perspectives. I find it refreshing to see my news feed full of political opinions, as opposed to the usual stream of cat videos. But that's just me though, which is why I don't spend every weekend trolling your cat vids like a lunatic.
It can take people a long time to build up the courage to say something, especially if that something is important to them, or if they fear judgement. It can be scary to speak up, (especially if you have anxiety) and absolutely nobody has the right to shut you up.
So listen; and you'll learn. Talk; and you'll inform.
We really don't need to share the same brains to share the same conversations.
*For the purpose of this blog please include ALL CAPS and social media shaming or trolling as shouting.