Everyone’s got a role (though it can be hard to accept that)

August 16, 2022


I’ve come to believe that everyone plays a role in this world of ours. Even the people who make us uncomfortable. Who frustrate us. Or those we wish would just pack up the damaging misinformation they spread and go away.

Some are here to inspire so that we may aspire, like the friend I wrote about HERE.

Some are here to teach us facts. I mean actual facts, not alternative ones.

Others are meant to tug at our heartstrings and remind us that we are feeling beings. Even when life appears to have anesthetized us.

And still others are here for us to buck up against –and in that resistance, learn more about who we are and what we stand for.

I know some really nice people who hold political and other views that I can not understand or even tolerate. Those views are, I believe, ignorant and just plain harmful to the planet and its people. Illogical. Crazy, even.

But they are otherwise nice people. Good people, even, in other ways.

So what to do with that?

Is it even possible to be a good person AND so tone deaf?

Do I give them a pass because I know they are otherwise good?

Do I spin my wheels trying to get them to see reason and facts?

Or do I push back against the beliefs I think are so poisonous?

You already know that I almost always choose the last option. And I wonder why that is, because it’s largely ineffective means of change.

Am I too self-righteous? Is there such thing as too self-righteous in this world of alternative facts?

What damage is being done by allowing these misleading outpourings to go unchallenged?

What damage is being done by arguing?

Is there even any point to pushing back?

This is such a strange world and there are no easy answers.

The problem with the internet and social media is that they give everyone a place to air and spread views that can be really harmful. Science and uneducated opinion are put on the same level and that is never wise. Anecdotal evidence is presented as medical fact. Or close to it. And people generalize.

As exhausting as it can be, those of us who know a few things have an obligation to at least attempt to put on the record the real facts, not the “alternative” ones. At least that’s what I think. But boy, it’s an uphill battle.

Periodically, I’ll march into that battle on social media, and then, exhausted, retreat to rest for a bit, until the next chunk of misinformation triggers me. And then I do it all over again.

This isn’t how I expected to spend my silver years. And it may be like spitting in the wind.

I don’t recognize this world we live in, where facts are subject to interpretation or even denial. Where evil takes hold under the guise of politics. Where insurrection and even treason are considered simply differing opinions.

More often now, I find myself longing for younger days, when life seemed more innocent (or I more innocent of life) and the burden of life wasn’t so heavy for me.
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9 comments on “Everyone’s got a role (though it can be hard to accept that)
  1. Laurie Stone says:

    It’s challenging when someone you like has opposite views, especially politically. If the friendship is worth keeping, I guess we just have to tiptoe around the sensitive subjects. It’s still difficult.

  2. Diane says:

    You have become my beacon, Carol! Please know that those of us (ie. me) who lack your courage to be in the front line are right behind you, signing petitions and making our opinions known.
    You give me the strength to do that!

    • Well, I get that it’s not easy to step out there alone. But I know no other way. However I can encourage others, I am glad to do so. Of course, you and i hold similar views.

  3. Bobi says:

    I’m with Diane. I live in a very red area and find it terrifying to engage anyone anymore. I admire you and those who are chipping away at the insanity we’re engulfed in.
    I did try on another (non-political) blog to back up a commenter who called out another another commenter for dropping the phrase “gaslighting regime in charge” referring to the current administration, into a totally unrelated conversation. The commenter I backed up objected to politics being injected into the discussion. The person who responded to me told me I was too sensitive as “regime in charge” was clearly apolitical. How do you even respond to someone who doesn’t know the difference between a regime and an administration? And trust me, the person who wrote the original words knew exactly what he was saying. Unfortunately with social media, the voices of the under-educated bullies are the loudest.

  4. Social media has become quite the battleground in India too. I do try to say my piece now and then, but the hatred and the bigotry are scary. Given how biased our present Government is, speaking out, especially for those of us from ‘minority’ religions, can literally be met with jail time. Most recently, one of our best fact checkers spent weeks in jail for actually sharing facts!

  5. I was talking last night with a couple of like-minded friends about not even knowing how to start to push back on the craziness – the uneducated opinions, the (old white) patriarchy that thinks they know best, the lack of tolerance. I appreciate people like you who go into the fray! You give me hope.

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