But here's the thing, and I've said this thing all along...unless every single person on your friends list thinks, feels and believes all the same things, then you are bound to offend somebody, somehow, someway if you post about controversial topics, regardless of the care or tact you put into expressing those thoughts.
When I first came to Facebook, reluctantly, I never dreamed of posting inflammatory political or religious or social content. To me, Facebook seemed like the internet equivalent of a cocktail party; fun, light conversation, nothing too deep or thought provoking, nothing too personal, nothing to send one careening down that slippery slope of inappropriateness with all the other social pariahs. Just chit chat. Superficial? Yes. Deeply satisfying? No. But for me that wasn't really the point of Facebook. Being so far away from most of my friends and family, it was a really brilliant way to stay in touch, make new friends and find like minded folks. Which I have.
But apparently, not everyone felt the same about what was appropriate Facebook fodder, and soon my feed was inundated with derogatory posts about a President I voted for and believed in, posts about how my lack of faith made my life hopeless, immoral and not worth living, and posts about pretty much every single life choice I had ever made was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. At first, I wasn't so much angry as puzzled. Why do people seize any and all opportunities to pander their own personal or spiritual agenda? Why can't it just be fun and light?
I didn't know why and I didn't know how to avoid or solve it, so I just lived with it.
But here's the thing about just "living with it". After a while, it begins to stick in your craw. You really try to take the moral high ground, but it begins to be a very lonely and pretty angry place You begin to feel seduced by the "What's good for the goose is good for the gander" mentality. You want to fight back. Prove a point. Take a stand. So you do. So I did.
It hasn't gone well. I will even go so far as to say...it was wrong of me. I proved no point. I fostered no understanding. I brokered no peace. If I did, it was lost amid the more spectacular and deafening clash of divergent ideals. The moral high ground might be a barren wasteland of human contact, but it's a lot quieter. And a lot less bloody.
I have found over the last five years, that Facebook either moves me to tears or makes me tremble with rage. And some days both. Some days, it has truly made me despair for the future of humankind. Some days, it has made we weep at the sheer beauty, grace and kindness generosity of our race.
I can't take that kind of emotional roller coaster ride, folks. My real life is tumultuous enough. I don't need that in my virtual life as well.
But still...I do think it's important to discuss our differences, hash out our disagreements and reflect on how to exist with one another in a world where diversity of thought, faith and race are fast becoming the cultural norm. I just don't think that a place where your great Uncle Herbert the Grand Dragon White Supremacist or your three times removed cousin Louise the Snake Handling Faith Healer or your Gay High School Math Teacher turned Transsexual Doomsday Prepper all swim about together in a vast bubbling cauldron of morality, philosophy and spirituality...is necessarily the most constructive place to do that.
I still have a lot of stuff swirling around in my mind and my way to dealing with that still is, and always will be, to set them down on paper, to exorcise them from psyche and then read them back until they begin to make sense. And let's face it, I'm just not the sit down and shut up type. I blame my mother for that. So although blogging isn't the trendy thing to do anymore, for me it's not (now) about fame or notoriety. I've just realized this blog is probably the best place for these words, these thoughts, these questions and these ruminations. Things were a lot better when I was here and I was anonymous. I can't re-anonymatize myself. But I can resolve that this blog is a better medium for the heavier, more controversial and potentially offensive stuff I might have to say.
So I would like to extend an apology to anyone and everyone that I offended pissed off, alienated, or insulted. I tried to be tactful and respectful, but what I know from my own perspective is that sometimes just expressing a thing is enough to make someone feel judged and disrespected and that even the most innocuous statements can harbor intentions that aren't really there when emotion are high and tempers are flaring. The reverse is true as well. I have taken offense when none was meant. It's hard, when no facial expression, no body language, no tone is present to help convey our thoughts and intentions.
I do think we accomplished some stuff in those bloody battles. You didn't change my mind and I didn't change yours. But you made me think. You really did.You continue to do so and you continue to give me the perspective that I need to understand you and everyone else in this world. I hope you can say the same about me.
I don't think we can live together and never acknowledge or remark upon all the ways that we are different. Who would want to? I don't want to pretend that everybody is the same. I don't want everybody to BE the same. What a boring place this world would be if that were the case! What I want, and I feel that everybody wants, is just to be allowed to walk my own path without feeling the crushing pressure of your shoulds and ought to bes. I want to be judged by my actions rather than my demographic. I want to be respected as much for my differences as in spite of them.
But sadly, I'm not sure that is possible. So I'm reclaiming this space to rant, rave, rail and bemoan all the things that get under my skin. On Facebook? I'm gonna talk about recipes and post quotes and discuss books and movies. And makeup. Expect LOTS of makeup posts.