Not sure if this is a rant or what, but I’m experiencing some righteous indignation on behalf of some people I know, in person and online. It seems like folks are really, really bored right now, and I get that. It’s winter and many of us are pretty isolated.
Just because you’re bored and you have an opinion about someone’s beliefs or actions does NOT mean you are obligated to share it with the rest of the planet. More important, you don’t need to tell people how wrong all the things they think and do are. Really, you do not.
Yes, people we know do stuff that bothers us. And, I have nothing against talking about things people, in general, do that bother us. I do it, as you may have noticed, and am doing it now, as a matter of fact.
However, just because you have the TIME to send a long email, text, or IM to someone spelling out exactly how wrong their beliefs and opinions are, it doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it. Think about it.
If you are happy with the religious path you have taken, which after all is a personal religious path, would someone telling you how wrong it is do anything other than make you think less of that person. It certainly would not change your religious beliefs. That happens between you and your deity or deities. No one has a right to call your beliefs into question (even Scientologists, ha ha).
If you have expressed your personal thoughts on a personal platform (blog, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) about politics of your country, policies in your area, or issues that need to be addressed, that does not (or should not) open you up to diatribes, name calling, meanness, or threats. Sure, people can express disagreement or other points of view, but why be mean about it?
Does insulting someone or disparaging someone’s beliefs EVER EVER EVER get them to change their mind and see your brilliant point of view as correct? (Hint, the answer is, “no.”)
Suggested Alternatives to Giving People a Piece of Your Mind
If you get a strong urge to tell someone exactly what you think about their life choices or viewpoints, here are things you can do that don’t involve attacking them with your scathing words:
- Donate money in their name to your favorite cause. That always feels good. I’ve done it!
- Write the horribly misguided person a long letter by hand, on a piece of paper. Then stomp on it really hard to get your frustrations out, followed by violently wadding it up and throwing it in the trash.
- Take a long walk around your property while muttering dark and foul thoughts about your target, until you get distracted by something naturally beautiful and you start feeling all sorts of oneness and your hostility dissipates (works for me).
- Call your best friend and declare that it is time to vent. Rant and rave and complain your head off. The friend will say soothing things. Then you will agree that there’s no point in telling the wrong-thinking person off; they just won’t get it.
- Wait until Festivus, then stand by your Festivus Pole and air your grievances. That will be okay, because it’s a holiday activity.*
By the way, it’s FESTIVUS! Let us air our grievances!
(*The article I link to above explains how Festivus is the perfect pandemic holiday and is pretty cute. Also, if you Google Festivus, there’s a Festivus pole in the margin! Hilarious!)