This week … was miserable.
I’ve been sick with some virus or bug that’s been making the rounds for starters, and I’m a miserable sick person. I whine. I complain. I have no tolerance for anything. My brain ceases to function. My patience … Ha, who am I kidding? When I’m sick I have no patience. Food tastes like cardboard. I don’t want to move. … the list could go on and on.
Then, my son’s cat died during the night. We found her curled up at the bottom of the stairs like she’d simply fallen asleep. I cried immediately, my heart just seized up, I couldn’t breathe. It was so so sad.
And then there was the question I innocently and politely asked on a group Facebook page that turned into the battle of Armageddon. Really, I think my question was simply used as a catalyst for forging a break that had been in the works for quite some time. You know those kind, the ones that hang on that no one really wants to push so everyone sits around staring at each other, seething silently, slurring one another behind closed doors, waiting to pounce.
One of my writing group members told me they were going to get me a silver spoon and have it engraved for “stirring the pot”. Which, being honest here, made me laugh and upset me in equal measure. I seem to have a long-running knack for opening cans of worms so the award wouldn’t be unprecedented. However, for me to have stirred this pot, I would have to be able to time travel. I honestly didn’t know there was a pot to be stirred in the first place and the ultimate war was waged about things that had happened long before I was involved.
The thing is his comment was a ‘one-off’. He said it sarcastically, we didn’t make an issue of it, it wasn’t mentioned again but those few little words keep bombarding me with tiny spears. I feel really guilty for causing an issue between all these people simply because I asked a question – but it makes me mad that I should even be in this position because I did nothing wrong and the whole thing could have been cleared up with this little thing known as:
Yeah, that thing we all learned in Kindergarten. Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Ask permission before you use something that belongs to someone else. Treat others as you would want to be treated.
Or … you could call it … compassion.
You know, I get it. It’s hard to be compassionate towards everyone. Some people make it extremely difficult to do so. They’re like lightning balls covered in porcupine quills. How do you even approach them? But … still … aren’t those the people that need compassion the most? (I feel like Cindy Loo-Who in the Grinch pleading for compassion for the Grinch here. )
In this case I think the issue comes down to ideologies, life views in other words. At least, that’s what it was made into. Kind of the old generation gap going on. One group holds rigidly to their conservative middle class white male dominated viewpoints on the world while the other holds rigidly to opposing all of that.
Which leaves me in the cross hairs.
I was raised upper-middle class white Christian conservative from a well educated family. I have a college degree in a professional career. And, as I’ve said before, I’m not twenty-something any longer. So, I understand their viewpoint on the world.
The thing is, I’m not that. Call me the “black sheep” or “wild one” or whatever you want if you need to define me in some way.
But … even though I agree with most of the thinking of my group of friends and share their world view on many many issues facing us, I am not about opposing those who don’t share our view. I’m not about isolating myself from the opinions of others who don’t see the world like I do.
Because doing so … is the very definition of prejudice.
How is the fight for gender, race, and sexual orientation equality any better than the fight of the right wing conservative Christians if we aren’t willing to accept everyone? Including those who oppose us … I can’t argue against prejudice if I first choose to be prejudiced. It’s that simple.
And that is the very reason why being told I “stirred the pot” upset me. I’m not an activist. I’ve blogged about it before. I have no desire to be one. I just want to love other people as they come to me. I just want to show compassion to everyone. I just want peace.
But this week wasn’t the week for that. This week was miserable.