If you follow me, you have probably clued into the fact that I’m a Democrat. And I have my own set of beliefs and ethics cobbled together from Carl Sagan, Camus, The Beatles, Quakerism, Star Wars and Star Trek, to name a few. That I struggle with mental health issues, and have a thing for history, film, and culture (and Morrissey 😁).
That may all seem very bland and vanilla to some, or radically Socialist or anti-religious, even Satanic, to others, and straight up weird to a few more. Well, I’m here to say that I like you all anyway. Because I believe in that most radical of ideas: toleration.
Do I think the “good of the many” mindedness of Socialism is in line with our human need for community? Yep. Do I see the benefits of free enterprise, individualism, and personal liberty? Totally.
At a time when everyone is alt, hard, or radical something, I catch hate for the the “D” on my voter registration card from left and right. While it seems whoever shouts loudest wins, I am probably the most radical person I know. Why? Because I want to like you. I want to be a good person. I hope you’ll be a good person back.
Look, I have had harassment charges successfully brought against my own neighbors over the “Culture Wars.” My Fiance gambled his 401k on a move to another state to escape the persecution. And I still have a helluva civil case against York Hospital and the YARPD. But none of this was due to the people in my community liking Donald Trump. They did it because they are assholes. Period. Trump was their excuse.
No one has to fall all over themselves to love every alternative lifestyle. You don’t have to like any particular culture. Or agree with every Twitter-crowd mood. All we owe to our fellow human beings in a free society is toleration. So long as the gay couple next door doesn’t rob your house, kill your dog, punch you in the face, or murder your grandmom, you just have to learn to deal with it. Gay couples exist. Black people exist. Country music fans exist. If they’re not hurting you, learn to be OK with difference.
No one is forcing you to appreciate hip hop or Blue Grass. But it exists, and it’s just music. Deal with it. That’s all.
It’s staggeringly simple. And every culture since we started this whole living together in groups thing has had one simple rule. Call it the Golden Rule, or whatever ever you like. Treat people as you wish to be treated. We are all separated by about 2 tenths of a percent from each other genetically. That’s the DNA. That’s the science. That’s the truth.
And we all want basically the same things. To be liked. To belong. To live a life of dignity with personal meaning. To have friends and family who care about us. You don’t need a weapon of war to do that. And you don’t need to understand what would make a person decide their internal gender doesn’t match their external bits. All you have to do is be kind, take people as they come, and nobody steals from, harms, kills, abuses or rapes each other.
No one is asking you to feel guilt, although I’m rather ashamed of my historically wrong-headed Hungarian heritage. (Really? You’re siding with the fascist aggressors again, Hungary!?) But would it kill ya to see things from the other person’s perspective? Especially if, ya know, someone is more likely to die younger than yourself, have bad health, be raped, land in jail, be killed by violence, be killed by their spouse, live in poverty, commit suicide, or get beaten to a pulp for existing? (Hint: It won’t kill you. But you might learn a thing.)
But on the other hand, please don’t pile labels on me. I’m down to hear your story. You can tolerate that mine exists as well. Remember your Avenue Q kids! “Everyone’s a little bit racist.” The Chinese hate the Japanese for their brutality during WWII. Poland is wary of Germany and Russia because they ceased to exist as a nation several times because of those two. And, yeah, sorry Germany, nobody believes you “knew nutzing.” And folks are still fighting over whose God is right.
You know what? If there is an Almighty Power in the Universe, I hope They have better things to do than worry about how many fingers you cross yourself with, or if you believe there were minor prophets after Mohammed. Like Bruce Lee.
I suppose it all comes down to getting over yourself, accepting that people will be different from yourself, and just being OK with that. And language provides us with one, perfect, and gender neutral term for those who insist upon insisting upon themselves: assholes.
We will always have the assholes among us. But we can celebrate the general goodness of everyone else, can’t we? Why do the assholes get all the play? Can we just ignore them or lock them away somewhere, so the rest of us can just get on with minding our own business, being reasonable, and kind to our fellow mortals and sinners? Ultimately we all end up the same, we don’t know how much time we get, and nothing is certain, but let’s try going easy on each other in the meantime. It’s only human.
– JL ✌🏼💚🖖🏼🎸
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