Monday, January 30, 2017

Nice Guy Fail ... ?

Remember how I said I was going to be super upbeat on my Facebook page and only post positive stuff?  Well, yesterday I failed.

Lizard Boy told me about a TSA agent he works with who was spat on in a gas station parking lot.

Let’s examine this: An individual, presumably United States citizen, sees a man getting gas in a TSA uniform, and proceeds to approach and spit on him for something she thinks the President is trying to do.  This woman spat on a man who works in a thankless job day in and day out trying to prevent passengers on planes from being exposed to any malicious danger, and is concurrently spat on because of an executive order by a man he has never, and probably will never, meet.

I blew up a little.

You could argue that I made a bad situation worse.  But to quote Invader Zim:

Zim: I put the fires out.
Tallest: You made them worse!
Zim: Worse…or better?

Did I have the right to swear toward that woman on Facebook?  Absolutely.  Did she have the right to spit on that agent?  Absolutely…not.  Actually, that’s physical assault.

So now we have people committing assault because they are too ignorant to understand that individuals work for the government: people.  While they may represent a branch of the government, they aren’t the government.

There is a lot of protesting going on in the US right now.  Some of it has turned to violence.  Some of it is giving our country a bad reputation.

The truth is, there isn’t a right side and a wrong side.  As in every disagreement, there is value to each position.  Right now, though, we have one group of people saying – yelling in some cases – that they’re right and any other statement is wrong.

Part of what has kept this country from getting breaking down in the past has been the fact that our society encourages new opinions and ideologies, and doesn’t punish individuals for speaking out.  Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, “You can please all of the people some of the time, and you can please some of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” 
Therefore, it is a given that at points in our country’s journey, we are each going to be unhappy with an aspect of our government from time to time.

This should not be a surprise.

When I was a kid, this was the country where anyone could become the President.  The only thing that you needed was determination and the willingness to work hard toward your goal.  Today, though, it seems that is no longer the case.  Today, we have celebrities throwing tantrums and inciting riots because they don’t like the President.  We also have people protesting peacefully, doing the only thing they know to do to support people they feel are being marginalized.  One of these is a valid form of expression while the other is not.

I want to challenge my country to stop making an idiot of itself.  Before you repost something on Facebook, check a couple of unbiased news sources, like NPR or BBC, to find out the validity of it.  Before you stand in a group and block traffic to make a point, make sure that your sign says what you mean, and doesn’t simply slur other races.  Before you pick up a brick, or loot, or spit at another human being, stop and ask yourself, “Is this going to help the individuals of my country, or am I just throwing a tantrum and haven’t thought of a better way to express myself?”

I blew up on Facebook.  But in this case, expressing anger on behalf of an individual who was assaulted for the clothing he was wearing was the right thing to do.  It was as valid as standing with women who feel they have been marginalized, even though you your self have not felt marginalized. 

I’m challenging you, United States citizens and individuals of every nationality, to do the right thing.

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