The wonderful gift China gave to the world has made a recent resurgence in the Land of Smiles. The government of Thailand has temporarily shut down most entertainment venues (bars, theaters, etc.), and has declared some provinces as “red zones”, with restrictions on travel to and from these areas. So far, Chiang Mai isn’t considered a red zone, but television has once again become my primary means of entertainment. Since this all began, there’s been a total of 10,834 cases, with only 67 deaths, if the numbers can be trusted.
So far, it seems as though 2021 is as much of an asshole as was 2020. Unfortunately. Between the pandemic and politics, normal folks like us can’t catch a break. I’ve made a conscious decision to disengage from politics – at least for a while. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be our new president/vice-president combo. If you voted for them, I’m sure you’re optimistic for the future; if not, you might as well accept it and move on. In either case, it’s time to stop with the vindictive comments, the finger-pointing, the condescension, and petty social media posts. What’s done is done, and all you can do is wait for the next election to roll around. Until then, why don’t we do something unexpected? Let’s let go of the petty BS, and stop obsessing about politics. There are plenty of other things to talk about.
Remember when people could disagree about something, and it didn’t mean the end of the relationship? I recently made a post about how I felt about student loans. I’ve had them, I’ve paid them back. I immediately received comments from people who feel differently about the subject. That’s okay! Everyone has a right to their opinion, and has the right to express that opinion. Who knows, if presented with a valid argument, I might even start to see the other side of the issue. Unfortunately, one person, someone I’ve known for more than 20 years, decided to “unfriend” me, just because of that post! It’s not going to change my life, or belief, but I can’t help but feel sad at people’s unwillingness to allow someone a different point of view. Every day, I hear people preaching tolerance, but in reality, people are becoming less and less tolerant.
Before social media, people had to learn to get along. If you were to blurt out insults at a co-worker, or fellow student on a regular basis, people would think you were insane – or at least a jerk. These days, insulting someone, or making an empty threat seems to be commonplace. Of course, it’s not done face-to-face, it’s all done through social media. Maybe it should be re-named “anti-social media”!
I’m sure not too many folks will read this, but to those who do, I’d like to issue a simple challenge. Find at least one person who you know has a different point of view than you, and just out of the blue, send them a nice message. Maybe you can reminisce about a fun time you had together, back in the day; or mention how their last kid/pet photo was cute, and made you smile. Don’t choose a person who would expect it, but someone it would surprise (or shock). If you wouldn’t mind, share how that goes on this post.
It makes me sad to see what we’ve become as a society, but I truly believe it’s not too late to turn it around. It may take some swallowing of the pride, and turning of the cheek, but isn’t it worth it? It would sure be nice to see people talking to each other and not at each other. Imagine going through a day without speaking, hearing, or reading a sarcastic or cynical comment. Is it too late for that? I hope not. As I get older, I see and feel the benefits of having a clean conscience, and letting go of bad feelings and grudges. When I was younger, I could hang on to anger for years; these days, I tend let things go. I’m not saying I don’t have regrets. I do. I just don’t want to add anything more to the pile.
Let’s try to leave the majority of the bad crap back in 2020 where it belongs. It’s still January, and there’s plenty of time to change course for this year. Concentrate on helping one another, and being TRULY tolerant. Make an effort to decide whether it’s really worth it to make that scathing rebuttal to a post someone shared. Is the hilarious meme you just read going to be funny to all your friends? It’s all up to you, but for me, I’m going to make an effort to be a swell guy. Help me make 2021 better, even if it’s just for one person, for one minute. If it’s negative, just let it go!