It’s over! But it’s only just begun. If you’ve been following the events in our nation for any length of time, and by that, I mean more than six months, you may be feeling a bit exhausted. I know I am. So, I thought I’d put together a quick list of why I’m feeling this way and what you can do to help! I promise I’ll do my part to help you! So, with that said, here’s my, Top 5 Things I’m So Done With.
I’m exhausted by the endless blogs and posts that offer, Three Things We Must… or Seven Keys to… as if we could boil down the complexities of life - like healthcare, race relations, gender bias, abuse of authority, gentrification, and hegemony - to a few bullet point solutions. If global and national events were that simple, perhaps we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. And by “mess” I’m referring to the gaping social divide evidenced in our latest U.S. elections. Stop with the life coaching! I’m ready to see men and women arise in robust action!
You’re free to express yourself, but stop throwing tantrums.
I’m exhausted by the skewing of the First Amendment by those who demand that must I listen to their position. No, I don’t! I completely agree with freedom of speech, as defined by the Constitution and the Supreme Court, especially when it’s not my position (yes, I meant what I just said). But I’m not supporting whining, rioting, looting and insulting others in the name of free speech. Sometimes, your free speech isn’t worth the cardboard it’s written on nor do I have to listen. You’re free to express yourself, but stop throwing tantrums.
I’m exhausted by the absolute hypocrisy of the entertainment elite, like Madonna, who thumb their noses at any standard other than their own. If there was anyone in the entertainment industry who sexified music and used feminine sensuality for gain, while being applauded for it, it was her. Like a Virgin topped the charts when I was in high school - yeah, I’m that old - yet without remorse for past conduct, she steps up to the mic at a women’s rally and criticizes others for unacceptable behavior. Uh, Madonna dear, you kinda fueled it. If the entertainment elite want to point fingers, they'll need to take a long, repentant look in the mirror first.
A long time ago, when the Twin Towers still guarded lower Manhattan, a good friend of my wife’s was at the airport to pick up her husband. Back then people without tickets could go through security to meet travelers at the gates. A security guard asked her to remove her baby from the stroller to inspect. “What? Do I look like I’d put a bomb under my baby?” she spouted. Instantaneously, she and her child were whisked away to a back room for three hours of questioning; her husband oblivious to her location. If that comment, nearly 30 years ago, elicited that response, the use of a public “metaphor” about blowing up the Whitehouse should evoke at least that level of scrutiny, in 2017.
Ugly can't defeat ugly.
I’m exhausted by those who dismiss the pain and marginalization of others as perceived or inconsequential. Until we’ve taken the time to try and understand what others have experienced, we need to check our words and attitudes. I watched as hundreds of thousands of women across the globe gathered and marched. I agree with some of their concerns and positions. I cannot, with a clean conscience, dismiss them. I grieve when my Black and Hispanic brothers tell of the horrific treatment they’ve experienced. But I’m indignant when people fight against intolerance, bigotry, and nastiness with the same. That, my friends, is hypocrisy. So many “movements” with solid, substantive positions disqualify themselves by implementing the same exact tactics they accuse their opponents of displaying. Ugly can't defeat ugly.
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9
I’m exhausted by the social justice warriors who lambast others as bigots and intolerant haters while acting just like or worse than those they loathe. It is possible to stand up to injustice and still treat people with respect, speaking the truth in love. Jesus called the hypocrites of his day, “whitewashed tombs” but he ultimately resolved the issue by sacrificing himself in a brutal display of love.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. Matthew 23:27
Those who call for tolerance, equality, and justice must practice them regardless of what others toss their way. When you stoop to another’s level, you’re just stooping, and your underwear shows. Years ago I got booted off a Twitter string by someone advocating tolerance because I didn’t use the correct language and lingo necessary to be accepted. I wasn’t challenging them, I agreed with their position. I was ignorant, not arrogant. Talk about hypocritical!
You can stand against unrighteousness and injustice without selling your soul.
So, how can you help me? Don’t do any of the things listed above! If needed, show some teeth, but live life with integrity, honesty, and respectability! You can stand against unrighteousness and injustice without selling your soul, smashing windows and being foul mouthed. There’s no need to belittle others, condescendingly growling at them because they don’t believe what you do or refuse to listen. Improvise, adapt, overcome, but do it in a godly way. For a graphic depiction of this acidic behavior, check out the article and video of the couple booted from a plane this past Saturday. Thank you for illustrating my point, Ma’am.
Stop trying to improve your life by changing “these three things” and do the harder work of being honest, transparent and brutally introspective of yourself, so you don’t do the five things I’ve listed. If you want one thing to do, I suggest mastering this:
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
That should keep us all busy for a while.
Next week, the Top 4 Things For an Outstanding Life!