It's important to be honest with yourself about your agendas, even, and perhaps most importantly, the subconscious ones.
"Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully." Richard Bach
I want to believe that when I research and write and share, I'm doing this to enlighten, illuminate, and inspire people to dig deep and seek truth. And yes, I am doing that. Still, as I watch the shit show continue to get shittier, I'm starting to feel like media influencers, both traditional and online, are relishing it all just a little too much. By amplifying everything that spews from the fingertips of 45 in his daily #twitterontheshitter tirades, by sharing every shitty blog post, Tweet, or story about shitty people who say and do shitty things, by shining a spotlight on the cesspool, aren't we in some way giving all of this power? If we stopped giving this power, wouldn't these things have less impact?
When I write passionate rants on social media or thoughtful blog posts or share pictures and words and stories about abhorrent situations, what's the purpose? Am I preaching to the choir, am I seeking to shift hearts and minds...
...or am I looking for our fifteen minutes of fame?
I think if I'm honest, no matter how noble my intent, I am in some way seeking attention. I'm hoping for likes, shares, retweets, comments...the elusive viral post that garners a larger audience. I think most people who create content are seeking these things. After all, you need an audience to watch your cable news shows. You need people to click on the links to visit your website. You need headlines that grab eyeballs and posts that elicit responses.
At what point am I complicit in encouraging the behavior I am castigating by sharing it? If the media and online content creators stopped shining an unrelenting spotlight on the alt-right and the antics of this corrupt administration, what would happen? Would they lose relevance? Would they lose power? Would they slink back into the darkness from whence they emerged? How do you find the balance between sensationalism and story telling?
"Hatred is corrosive of a person's wisdom and conscience; the mentality of enmity can poison a nation's spirit, instigate brutal life and death struggles, destroy a nation's tolerance and humanity, and block a nation's progress to freedom and democracy." Liu Xiaobo
As for what is happening in this country, I am appalled. An immoral minority has been empowered by a racist, hateful, corrupt regime that seeks to normalize, sanction, encourage, and celebrate these attitudes and behaviors. It is my sincere hope that every twisted individual who is a member of these terrorist organizations is exposed, including the individuals in this administration. We do have to call it out, and call it what it is, White Supremacist Terrorism and Radical Christian Extremism, Neo-Nazi, KKK. It is hateful, violent, evil ideology and behavior. These people are a threat to everything decent, moral, compassionate, and good. No matter how they've spun their vitriol to make it more palatable to the hardcore supporters of 45, or how often they attempt to deflect attention by pointing fingers at others, they are guilty.
"Before I can live with other people, I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is conscience." Harper Lee
All if this is true and it needs vigilant, constant push back. Yet, this is where I'm struggling. What, exactly, is my agenda?
I'm still figuring that out. A lot of people are under siege right now and I'm not sure if my seeking attention, even if my intent is noble, is the right thing to do. I think it's time to listen, to support, to lift up, to encourage, to amplify, and allow other voices the space to break through the noise. I'm going to dial back a little, be mindful of my message, fine tune things and strive for substance, and keep a close watch on my own agenda. I want to be sure that I am not promoting hate under the guise of promoting love.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." Martin Luther King Jr.
You get that upon which you focus, I don't want to become the thing I despise. I don't want to feed the beast and risk turning into one myself. Honestly, it's not about me, it's about us.
"The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love." William Wordsworth