This hashtag mutiny against the anti-social behavior on social media has proved to be a sort of salvation for me this political season. As I see posts from both the right and the left from friends from long ago and new ones I remain reserved most of the time.
I'm careful with what I publicly like our part or whatever the new social approval buttons provide.
This task of writing about people I love and respect each day puts me in a different head space than in years past.
I see less reason each day to contribute to the "our team is moral and yours is a large group of evil dragons needing a good slaying" back and forth. Partly because o can't stand arguing and partly because I don't see the need to convince anyone else to think the way I do.
I'm not poo-poo-ing anyone else and their desired use of social media. Last thing I need to be is a self appointed hall monitor of the insta-twit-tumblr-book. (By the way, of you like that last work conglomeration feel free to pin it.)
This challenge of writing about someone every day for the year has also forced my laziness to take the bench and caused me to crossfit my way back into the joy of words and ideas. I'm not a great writer and I'm okay with that. In the company I'm creating with a couple of friends I tend to be the one who makes the skeleton scripts and then together we hash out the ideas to find the best possible words and sentences. I like that. However, the discipline of writing every day has made an impact on my creative mind. I've also said before that I don't edit these posts (save the occasional autocorrect that could prove to be embarrassing for the subject of the post.) so what you read is from my finger tips. Please don't judge me. The point isn't to craft a well thought out story or blog, rather to get the love out every day.
Today I was reading along on the newsfeed in Facebook and saw a bizarre post.
Here's the back story. A friend of mine posted the other day on his own wall the following:
"If you support Trump you're not a bad person automatically, you're just a bad person eventually."
Now, as I write that I can already hear the butts clinching in their seats and the flames bubbling up lava style on the nostrils of some of my friends. Please dear friends, please take a breath and realize this is not cause for war.
He posted it, most likely knowing that he's get all sorts of replies. A "get the popcorn" kind of comment thread for the on-lookers.
By the way, this friend of mine is Brett Miller.
Wow, that felt strange. I'm not sure I've ever called him that. I know him first and foremost as Mr. Miller.
Mr. Miller was the Speech and Debate coach at another high school in my home town. Our two teams would often travel together on trips out of town which is why I got to know him.
As a student I was fascinated with the way he carried himself. I watched intently to see the way in which he related with his students and I was always impressed with his thoughtful way of engaging all our impressionable minds as we searched for what and why the world was the way it was. It may seem strange that I'm writing about the other school's teacher instead of my own. She'll get a post. I have a whole year of this thing. She is one of the most influential people in my life so I'm actually letting that blog simmer on the back burner for a while.
Anyway, back the Br... Mr. Miller and his recent post.
I'm not all that concerned with whether you agree or disagree with the post. It's his Facebook page and I think we are all mature enough to realize that if you own the sand box you can do what you want in it.
Today though... Today. I got out of work and dos a quick perusal of the world according to my friends and saw another man, grown man... Professional type fella with a suit and tie kind of profile pic posted a similar post to Mr. Miller's wall but exchanging the Trumps with Obamas.
Let me clear, I'm not coming to defend Mr. Miller. I think he can handle himself just fine. It's more to the point of maturity and class that seem to be lacking in this anti-social click and share flatscreen we're all living in nowadays.
Mr. Professional suit guy may have been joking... Though it certainly didn't read like that. But this is less about the one fella and more about so many times when I see people I know to be sane suddenly and completely lose their shit online.
It doesn't matter if it's a couple of Christians explaining why their version of Jesus is the way while the other one's is "the way out in left field."
It could be a gun collector and enthusiast using big heavy words to let a concerned gun control fan know their place.
It's racism and #somelivesmatter and kill the thems and don't let the those in to the county and perverts sneaking into bathrooms and global wishy-washy-warming and rainbows are good-not the way you use them they're not and any chance to compare anyone at all ever with Hitler.
What I love and appreciate about Brett (Hey, looky there! I'm growing up a little bit!) is his desire for conversation, listening and learning. I appreciate his earnest seeking of what is right and good, not just for him and his situation but for others and theirs. When I think of times in my life where I've put other people's considerations into consideration I can't help but think it has in some ways been because of this man. This teacher. This friend.
And so today I give #thisiscrazylove2016 to Brett Miller.