The year 2020 needs no introduction. It came in blazing with the COVID-19 pandemic and news reports went from crazy to ridiculous after that. If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it would be the fact that it’s been the most insane year ever—at least since we’ve been alive. It has been a great source of social justice outrage.
But here’s the thing: It would seem as if nobody can agree on anything these days.
We either think people are too outspoken about things, or not enough. We think people are paranoid, or that they don’t care as much as we do. You guessed it. I’m talking about the Black Lives Matter campaign and about whether to mask or not to mask—those seem to be the two biggest social justice issues of the year (so far).
We’ve become a society that uses people’s response (or lack thereof) to current events as a yardstick by which to measure whether we want them as friends, or not. If someone is not equally outraged by what’s happening as we are, we label them as stupid or uncaring. Simply put, they’re not worth our time and effort and they are bad people.
Is that the right way to go about life? Perhaps it is for you, and I respect that.
For me however, I think the opinion does not make the person. Then again, I’m one of the snowflakes who are happy to fall in line to wear a mask and do what the authorities tell me to do—not because I’m a stupid sheeple, but because I don’t see the point in fighting against a conspiracy theory that may or may not be a reality.
I have better things to do with what I can control in my life than to fight a piece of cloth. Besides, plenty of people are outraged enough to stop the eventual “herd-immunization” and chip implants. (I remember back in 1989 when churches were first warning against the social injustice in the form of the mark of the beast, which were imminent then. I also remember all the many ends of the world that have been predicted almost yearly since…)
You might argue that it is a fact, and that, my friend, makes it a fact—at least in your reality and in that of like minded people. I respect that.
Personally, the mask thing doesn’t affect me, as I haven’t been out of my house since the start of the pandemic. Am I happy that my husband and kids have to struggle to breathe when they wear masks when they have to go out in public? Of course not. But by the same token, I appreciate that other people are wearing masks, because in their minds, they care about my family’s wellness. I appreciate the efforts people are taking to curb the spread of this disease in the best ways they know how to do it. I cannot thank them enough for that.
No, I’m not willing to argue the efficacy of masks and the individual instances in which people may not wear masks. As with this entire topic, it’s a PERSONAL issue, based on INDIVIDUALS. But we live in a world full of very different people. Some know what they’re talking about and some don’t. I’m not arrogant enough to judge someone’s perspective of social justice based on their individual upbringing, beliefs, health, education, political persuasion, race, or any other factors that shaped their impression.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
Just because I’m not outspoken on certain topics, does not mean that I don’t have a sense of social justice—quite the contrary, in fact. However, there’s a very important reason why I don’t dwell on such topics—in public or in private.
The Currency of Time and Energy
Many times, I repost things on social media, just to delete it shortly after. Why? Because I realize that those are not topics I want to ponder on.
Many of my friends—especially more religious people—don’t believe it, but the energy we send out goes out into the universe, shaping our experience. No topic is immune or off-limits. When we invest a lot of energy in a topic, it soon starts to consume our time. When we spend our time (passion, energy) on something, it shapes our feelings, and eventually our actions. Perhaps it causes you to snap at a loved one, or lash out at a colleague, or to become depressed… Is that productive or life enriching?
On many issues, empathy can pull us in the wrong direction. The outrage that comes from adopting the perspective of a victim can drive an appetite for retribution. – Paul Bloom
If you have been spending a lot of time thinking about, discussing, and posting on social media about current events, you will likely find that it occupies your mind even when you’re busy with something else. It will make its way into your conversations, and it will occupy your time and energy.
There’s nothing wrong with passion. Believe me when I say that it’s exactly my passionate nature that stops me from giving certain topics a lot of bandwidth in my life. It’s not that I don’t care about it—quite the contrary. I care too much to allow my energy to perpetuate social injustice. Unfortunately, the majority of information available online today is used as a currency online. It is shaped by opinion and sold as fact.
There was a time when my entire social feed was filled with news reports of brutal murders, perpetuated by a certain group against another. Some termed it genocide.
I lived in crippling fear, until I changed my news feed preferences and came to a powerful realization: Just as you can edit your news feed preferences on Facebook to avoid seeing reports that have a negative impact on your ability to function at a high level (that enables you to be a catalyst for positive change), you can do the same in real life. More importantly, you can stop being a part of the problem.
There’s a lot of anger out there. Anger stems from fear. Now, tell me again: Are you part of the problem, or the solution?
Don’t misunderstand me: social justice is a great concept. But as keyboard warriors on social media, we merely compound the problem. We spread more hatred, fear, and ultimately anger. We don’t achieve much from a place of anger, other than to run out of steam.
Energy creates life, and I believe it would be irresponsible toward my family, my community, and the world as a whole to give up my position (keeping quiet and sending good energy) due to social or political pressures. For that reason, I will continue to celebrate the good, instead of fighting against what I don’t want to see, and bringing more of it into my existence.
If you believe that I’m not outraged enough, or that pushing, fighting, and protesting against what you don’t want to see will bring a happy ending, we have a different understanding of conscious creation. We have different priorities when it comes to investing our time and energy.
I’m good with it. Are you?
In a novel, my feelings and sense of outrage can find a broader means of expression which would be more symbolic and applicable to many European countries. – Antonio Tabucchi
Can you think of any more creative outlets for your outrage than your social media feed? Please share in comments below.