Tuesday, June 2, 2020

What I Believe

A rare personal post this time.

I may be able to write fiction, but I have a terrible time putting my personal thoughts and feelings into written words when it comes to important societal issues. I’ve seen people on social media saying that if you have a platform, it’s important to speak out now, but my platform is small, and I’m doubtful that many people who see the world differently than I do follow me on social media or read my blog. And even if someone of a different mindset sees my message, what good would it do? If they’ve held onto their point of view this long – after everything that’s happened in America over the last few years – how can I get them to even think about what I say, let alone change their minds? Still, for whatever small amount of good it might do, here’s what I believe. I believe humans can accomplish more by working together than by being in conflict with one another. I believe that people matter more than things. Things mean nothing. People mean everything. I believe in seeking the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people. I believe making a better world serves everyone in the long term, whether you’re altruistic or self-focused. A better world is a better world for everyone. I believe this is a position that’s equally supported by emotion and logic. I believe people should never stop growing mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and that it’s our responsibility as sentient beings to seek to be the best version of ourselves we can be. We should never be afraid to question our beliefs and we should do so regularly. I believe we should never be afraid to change and never be afraid to apologize when we’ve wronged someone. I believe we should listen more than we talk because we learn so much more when we do. If you can’t listen, it means you believe what you have to say is more important than what anyone else has to say, and that means you’re either self-centered, arrogant, foolish, close-minded, ignorant or any combination. I believe humans are never finished growing until we die (and maybe not even then). I believe all human beings should have equal rights in all things and be treated with dignity. I stand with people of all races, all gender expressions, all sexualities, all religions, all backgrounds, all anything. I do not stand with hate of any kind, with those who believe certain people should be excluded or oppressed or marginalized or disenfranchised or brutalized or killed because they aren’t the “right” kind of people or living the "right" kind of way. I do not stand with willful ignorance. I believe it is wrong to exploit others, in any way, for our own benefit. I believe that everyone should support our LGBTQ family, and I believe that if your response to “Black lives matter” is anything but “yes,” you need to do some serious work on yourself. I believe if you need a gun in your hand to feel strong, you’re weak, and if you get off on the power of holding a gun and can’t wait to use that power against others, even if only to intimidate them or impress them, you are an extremely sad and potentially dangerous person. I believe I can speak only for myself and of my own experiences, and I cannot speak for others. I believe I was fortunate to be born white and male in a time and place where that puts me automatically at the top of the power structure. I’ll never fully understand all the ways this benefits me, and I’ll never be completely free of the attitudes that I was taught by society as I was growing up, but I will keep on trying for as long as I live. I believe in doing what I can to help others and using my privilege to make the world a better place. I am not religious. I don’t care if there is a god or an afterlife. I believe in doing the right thing because it’s right, not because some powerful being will punish me with hellfire if I do bad or reward me with a cosmic lollipop in the end if I do good. I believe in extending my hand to all of you to shake, holding out my arms if you want to come in for a hug, and if you turn away from me, and from the rest of us, that’s your choice. But I believe you will live a small, lonely, and ultimately empty life.

I never close comments on my posts, but I've closed them for this one, for obvious reasons.