I wanted to begin the year and the re-launch of this humble blog space with a light and airy post–something fun to evoke a smile or even a chuckle if we got lucky. Unfortunately, the events of January 6th at the U.S. Capitol has dictated a different mood for me today.
I wasn’t going to do a New Year’s Resolutions this year. I figured that 2020 was basically one, big, fat, horrible Resolution in its own right; and if that sock drawer wasn’t organized during a lockdown in a pandemic, well, it certainly wasn’t going to get sorted out anytime soon. It’s really time to move on.
Yesterday brought me to the actualization of the one Resolution I will make this year because it basically is the main lesson from the previous one–and that is to be mindful of the things I give head and heart space to.
I think our collective response watching probably took a similar path–disbelief, disgust, anger, sadness. It’s the next reaction of some that I have a problem with, so please bear with me while I attempt to articulate it.
If you watched the raw, live video of what was occurring in real time, you probably felt one of the emotions I have listed above. They were the type of images that lay you bare–it was raw, and you couldn’t look away because it wouldn’t let you–history was unfolding and you knew it in your soul that there was a responsibility to bear witness no matter how difficult and nauseating it was. So when only mere hours later some people on social media, television and even on the House and Senate floors, started adding layers of baseless explanation and gross misinformation to absolve themselves and their wordview of blame–it was a second assault on our collective conscience.
And if I look at it honestly, arguing with people–even friends and family–for the purpose of justifying their warped politics by way of my heart, head and energy is not just a waste of those finite resources, but it lends credence to even the most ridiculous conspiracy theory no matter the obvious reality that we all just witnessed firsthand. It is a mistake to equate civil conversation, discussion, and exchange of ideas with those who are determined to change your mind using propaganda, hate and fringe crazy disinformation. I’d even go one step further to suggest that there are even some who purposely seek to be proven right by adding layers of confusion and false equivalencies to drain you and make you doubt what you already know is true. Absolution at your expense.
That’s a lot of words to say that in the end, there’s just truth. And I’ve realized over the hard last year that it’s my love language.
It turns out not be be everyone’s. But if you’re not fluent in that, is it my responsibility to translate? Must I provide the dictionary between fact and opinion? Being provocative as opposed to trying to incite? Be willfully ignorant under the guise of something else? I think I’ll pass.
Maybe I have a resolution after all.
Mastering eloquence of my love language.