Too Many Opinions. Too Much Virtue Signaling

I understand that this is a little bit of a rant. I know where this stems from and quite honestly, I’ll understand if you let this note go unread. But either way, I come here for a reason. I’ve made my commitment to do this every morning, so, ready or not . . . here it comes.

There is a difference between now and the beginning. I say this because I was different then. I knew much less than I do now and yet, I thought I knew more. I thought I knew which way to go or what to do. And so it goes. I was younger and thought I knew way more. I had to grow older to learn that I don’t know half as much as I think. Now I laugh because I wonder how improved this world would be if we all realized this at the same time. But hey, so it goes.
And so it goes that a smart man knows what he doesn’t know.
So then aside from being human, then what does this make me? Aside from this, aside from you and me and the learning curves of life and our society, where does this leave us and how does this impact the way we get along?
I am aware now. I am aware of the obvious. I am more aware of myself and more understanding of my past and my regrets. More than anything, I understand the one undeniable fact, that yes, we all have a past. We’ve all lived up until this point, and, if we’re lucky, we have more to live for than what we have now. This is interesting to me. Yes, interesting. I think this is a good word to choose. Interesting.

It is interesting to see how divided we are. It is interesting to see how split we are because of opinions and politics. We are at war now. We are at war at home. We are at war at work. We are at war between us all because no one can agree. You’re either with me or against me. No one can agree to disagree anymore. No, we have to fight about this. 

I know family members that no longer speak to each other because of their opinions over which president to vote for. I listened to a woman tell me about black lives and black culture, and yet, her skin was pearly white.
She was telling me about culture. She was telling me about unfairness. She was telling me about civil injustice and the need to rise up and do something. But yet, what has she done?
I showed her a picture of a car. I told her about the people in the car and how one above all was especially important to me.
The car itself was totaled after a head-on collision with an 18-wheeler. There was blood on the driver’s seat. This was the blood of a 16 year-old girl that died four years ago on this day. To believe that anyone could survive this wreck was simply incredible to me. I allowed this woman to tell me about my white privilege and white kids taking a joy ride. I allowed her to tell me that I don’t know what it’s like to have a child of color. This woman was telling me about the injustice she sees in this world.
This was interesting to me. Mostly, this is interesting because my oldest child is not white. I am white. The mother of my oldest daughter is black. I explained this. I explained the wreckage and how by some miracle, my daughter made it out alive. She was 17.

Do you have any children?
No, explained the woman.
Where do you live, I asked.
What’s the difference, she asked.
I’m entitled to my opinion, she told me.
You most certainly are, I told her. 

I explained the interesting part.

See, you told me I don’t know what it’s like to have to worry about my child because of the color of her skin. But you were wrong. I worried about my child because she is my child. The color of her skin is only one of her beautiful aspects.
You told me I don’t know what it’s like because I have white privilege. My daughter ran away and that’s why she was in that car. There’s no privilege here.
I continued to ask this woman questions. And meanwhile, where do you live? Who do you live with? What is your community like? Where did you grow up? She told me about her rights to her opinion again. And what are you doing about it? Talking?
How many people have you visited in a jail or in a hospital, regardless of skin color, just to see if you can help them create a better life for themselves?
Stop trying to virtue signal; it’s not becoming.

By the way, this conversation happened far before the BLM movement. This is not a new conversation at all. What is new, or perhaps growing more different and difficult by the moment is our inability to see clearly. 

I grow tired of all the virtue signaling. I grow tired of the arguing and the inflexibility around me. I’m tired of listening to the news. And I’m tired of the social inaccuracies. I’m tired of the religion, also known as politics, which is more mightier than God or any religion before it.
It’s not who you pray to anymore. It’s who you voted for. It’s not that my God is greater than yours; it’s that my president is better than yours. If you don’t believe me, there’s a cancellation campaign out there, just waiting with your name on it.

A kind gentleman explained that a bird needs both wings to fly properly. In relation to our world, there is the wing from the extreme left and the wing of the alt right; and in the middle, there is the bird that can’t fly straight because its body is being misled. 

I had a long talk with my friend at work. He comes from Mexico. We were talking about a story in the news where two different cartels fought and destroyed the neighborhood. My friend explained that the funny thing about this is he’s from Mexico. He lived there. He goes back to visit. And he has never seen anything like this.
He told me that this isn’t something that’s happening on every street corner but no one would ever believe this if they watched the news. He said the problem exists but there are more good than bad. But no one would ever see this because of the news they watch. I shake my head because it’s amazing how media and social media have become the editors of information. 

There’s a lot of opinion going around. I have my own opinions, which I keep here and to myself. I’m not interested in volleying back and forth with anyone. I just want to live a good life and improve with age. I am far different from when I began this journey of mine. I’m grateful to be here and grateful to say that I’ve earned my place at the table.

A young kid on the job once explained to me, “I’m telling you right now, if everyone in the world decided to smoke up at the same time for an hour, the world would be at peace.”
He laughed about this but then again, he just smoked so laughing was what he did. I laughed too though. Although immature and senseless, I agree. If we all did something together, maybe this would lead to something peaceful. If we went my friend’s way, we’d either be at peace or struggling with the munchies, but hey, it beats what we’re doing now.

I am going to end my rant here. I’m going to leave this here with you because, well, this is why I come here, to leave you with my thoughts.
I swear the world is a better place than the media shows.
At least I hope it is.

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