I’ve written several versions of this post, deleting a few because the message wasn’t quite right. I started down the path of political divide, but those water were quickly muddied.
Let’s be honest for a minute. We aren’t being as nice as we can possibly be to our fellow humans. It’s very easy to think that others are the assholes, but it’s much harder to look at our behavior.
I realize that I can do little to change the deep-rooted sociopolitical views of anyone who has them. These beliefs have been developed over time and are based on their experiences, upbringing, education (or lack of), demographics, and more. It’s an uphill battle.
Instead, I would like to address those who tend to align more directly with my views.
Wait JLev, are you calling me an asshole?
The way that we communicate with people is deteriorating and it’s ugly. We cannot expect others to understand compassion and not practice it ourselves.
Here are JLev’s Random Rules for Not Being an Asshole: Left of Center Edition
Memes are Mean. Yes, yes, I’m referring to the Trump baby balloon and the like. I appreciate the representation in the UK for the opposition to the Presidency. However, sharing photos of it is childish. It is not productive and does not represent any facts. Is it amusing, yes. But it’s just not nice and does not set a good example.
Stop mocking Trump’s orange appearance. It is in poor taste to make fun of anyone’s physical appearance, no matter how ridiculous it is. This takes away from the real issues and is petty and mean. Stop it, you are not Stephen Colbert.
No name calling. Yes, both sides are slinging words like snowflakes, x-tards, you get the picture. No one liked name calling on the playground in school and we don’t like it now. Get angry about issues. Take action, but be an adult.
Double check your tone. This goes waaaaayyyy beyond politics. Everyone is on edge and hypersensitive these days. I am NOT a fan of sugar coating anything (although I enjoy the candy coating on M&Ms). If you are sending a text, an email, posting online, leaving a voicemail, talking to your significant other, or even your dog, give an extra thought or two to how you are communicating. But also don’t add smiley faces when delivering bad news. That’s just passive-aggressive and you’re being an asshole.
Let someone cut in front of you in traffic. Yes, maybe they are a crappy driver, but this doesn’t make them a bad person. Again, people are on edge. Go out of your way to be nice. We need it.
Admit when you are wrong. Not only is this good for relations with your significant other, it can help when you are trying to convince someone of an alternative perspective. Admitting fault builds trust. Digging your heels in when you are plain wrong just makes you an asshole.
Learn the issues and don’t attack. It’s important in any debate to know your shit. You may find out that you actually agree with someone “on the other side.” And even if you don’t, discuss the issue, not the person. This might be the hardest thing to do. I understand how absolutely infuriating it can be to see someone who with beliefs that include hatred or just plain denial. It can be mind-boggling, but don’t fight hate with hate.
That’s all folks. Go out and be good humans.
P.S. If you have more conservative beliefs, these apply to you too. 🙂 (legit happy face, don’t try and call me out)
P.P.S. Was this harsh? I’m still working on being less of an asshole too.