I’m not linking to anybody or anything because we all know we don’t want any trolls around here. But it’s got me thinking about the whole fight against the "bad things" in the world. No question there are awful things out there. There is discrimination around all kinds of things. There are people who think they have the right to dictate who loves who, and whether those people can form a legal life partnership. There are those who think that they have a right to dictate what women do with their bodies and how they choose to approach reproduction (or lack thereof). There are children going hungry in our own hometowns. There are wars being fought with child soldiers. The list goes on ad infinitim.
Certainly people need to be made aware of these issues. I’m not suggesting anybody do an ostrich impression and ignore them. But fighting hate with more hate gets us nowhere!
The thing is, you’re not going to change someone’s mind by spewing a bunch of poisonous words and accusations at them. That immediately puts them on the defensive about whatever it is you’re trying to point out, which is not at all the place from which you can expect change. Mostly, once you’re past toddlerhood, shaming someone into true behavior change doesn’t work.
Far more constructive is to say, “have you ever considered that x might imply y?” They probably haven’t. And it might open the door to a rational, intellectual, discussion about the issue in a way that “you’re a total jerk for saying x!” does not.
And even beyond the notion of education and recognition is the idea of changing the world with your actions. It’s like those Liberty Mutual commercials (I’m ridiculously fond of them) about the whole chain reaction of people seeing other people doing the right thing and then changing something about their own behavior. Actions speak far louder than words.
If you base your actions AND your words from a place of Love, with an aim toward sending more positivity into the world, I guarantee you will have a broader long-term impact on the people around you than any argument won by spewing hate and shame.