One thing facebook did to drive me crazy was to try to force every last human/ecological/economic/political condition on me. Now, I'm the first to believe that people can make a difference. But I learned by watching others how little one person can do if they do the wrong thing.
Here is an example. During the 2008 election, the city of Redmond, Wa, had protestors. They pretended to be against the war. Their SIGNS said "End the War". They never actually said "Vote for Obama because he will end the war as soon as he takes office". But that was what they meant. This devoted little clump of people stood on the corner along the busiest part of Redmond Way every Friday. Sometimes, they even met back up during the week. They stood there throughout the fall, through rain and even sleet. With their stupid signs. Yes- I said it- their stupid signs. They didn't need to stand there- Obama was a lock for the state of Washington since the population density on the left coast here is quite dense. Why did they do it? Because they thought they made a difference. But they didn't. Now, a good researcher would say- Lynn, how do you KNOW they weren't useful? Well, I know that because AFTER the election, they disappeared. So far, they have not returned. The war went on, still goes on in Afghanistan, may ramp back up in other spots- and yet, not one of these people has returned or made any difference whatsoever. Did they waste their time? Probably not. Because they provided entertainment for some of us, and they felt supremely self-righteous when they returned home sopping wet and frozen because they did it for their "cause". Sign carriers always feel very self-righteous.
So Facebook tried to make ME become a sign carrier- sign this petition, repost this, become one of the caring, the interested, the ridiculous. This is the sadness of Facebook to me- that people who join it wind up believing that they are making a difference- that they are the self-righteous, caring people who can convince all of their friends to take up their banner. While it is true that many of us don't like violence against women, child abuse, animal abuse, sex trafficking, homelessness, abortion, pollution, chemicals in our foods- Facebook reposting and commiseration is NOT EVER going to change that. They can rile you up about it, but otherwise, it is just words in the ether. I am shocked at the people who think some social network is going to band us all together to do the myriad of causes that show up. And I'll tell you why- because sign carrying doesn't work because it DOES NOTHING. Now, if Facebook users picked ONE issue and signed up 10 million people who wrote letters to Congress, gave money to the cause and got up off their rears to protest- that might work. But the rest is illusion. And it is the kind of illusion that makes people believe that they are SO important and their dissenting friends are, at the very least, amoral and uncaring.
I'm not a sign carrier. I'll tell you what I am here on my blog: I am a human- a good kind of human who wants everyone to do their best and have what they need. Not what they want- what they WANT is their problem. But what they need. I want people who commit crimes that hurt people or animals to go to prison for life so I don't have to worry about them hurting anyone or anything I love. I want society to support pregnant women and reinstitute the adoption and love of American children first. Having been adopted, I felt different just being a hazel eyed child in a blue eyed family. I can't imagine how a Chinese child feels being adopted by a white family- not that it is wrong to have done that, but no one can understand how that child feels about being so different. Except for the other children adopted into families they don't resemble at all. All the love in the world will not change what that child knows in their heart. I know that is true because I have been in so many adoptee groups over the years and the foreign adoptions are the people who feel most disconnected. We think that adoptees should be so grateful, but that burden should never be the child's problem. I feel we should give support to help keep families together. I don't think abortion should be used as birth control because I believe that any cell that divides and multiplies is alive. And we shouldn't work so hard to save tiny animals but not respect life enough to save a pregnancy. I believe in gun control only in so far that everyone who uses a gun should have to have a license, provide a fingerprint, and pass the same kind of test that a driver does. I don't believe you can keep guns out of the hands of the criminal or crazy. But if a child gets in possession of your gun because it was where it could be found, then the adult should be charged with the crime if someone is hurt or killed. I believe in the revival of state mental hospitals where homeless people with schizophrenia should be kept regardless of their (or the ACLU's) wish to roam free. We have a duty as a society to keep people safe- on both sides of that coin. I don't believe bicycles should have rights over cars- I worked in an ER, I can tell you that that is a fantasy. I believe in bike lanes, I just don't believe it does a bicyclist any good to believe that accidents won't happen to them. I believe that Christians deserve respect- they do a great deal of this nation's "good work" without charging for anything. I believe in profiling at airports. And I believe in common sense. There- those are my signs. But I know that asking YOU to carry my personal signs is ridiculous and maybe even offensive. In Seattle, some of these little signs, if actually held in public, will get the tolerant people to try to find you and throw things at you!
So here, away from Facebook, at my table with my faithful India Rose at my side, I carry my little signs in my heart. And it is a much lighter load than it was 9 days ago.
Have a beautiful Thursday. Thursday is always one of my favorite days of the week..
India getting warm in the sun and cooling off in her iMac.