And I'm ok with it.
It may not be the choice most other folks would make. That's ok. In no way do I intend to judge someone else by my choice. For me, for my heart, for my soul, for my brain, for my sanity.....severing those ties was something that I needed to be ok with...for a few reasons...
1) I know the status quo is to smile and nod and try to ignore people with different, possibly offensive views. And that's cool, I can get on board with that. Except when that complacency might end up with my kid dead one day. When I sit there and smile and nod when gun nuts go on and on about their "2nd amendment right!", I feel like I'm helping pave the way for another school shooting. There are some thing that I don't feel I can be neutral on, because important things are at stake. I think the "don't rock the boat" mentality is how we've ended up in the strangle hold of the NRA.....no one wants to get in fights or offend their neighbor. All too often people who hold those extreme views can't really be talked to anyways. So we all just sit and smile and maybe mutter things behind their backs, but no one stands up to the bullies. No one stands up for those who can't stand up for themselves. And then we end up with dead kids.
So you get into a discussion about Newtown or Trayvon Martin and people either get quiet or they get mad. And the problem doesn't get talked about or fixed and then another kid dies.
As I was writing this, a friend posted this on FB. Much better wordign than I ever could come up with.... "And to remain silent is to give tacit admission that we are okay with the cycle continuing."
2)On a more personal level....and I know some may not understand this.....people may not agree. That's ok. This is how I feel about it.
This needs to be personal. I believe we have done our society a disservice by compartmentalizing these tragedies, by distancing ourselves and ignoring that it could happen to us. I believe we are a worse nation for dismissing the sorrow of our neighbors.....even if they are neighbors we've never met and who live 1000 miles away.
We need to let that sorrow and grief and anger and pain be part of our reality. These aren't news stories....they are moms and dads and kids like your or me and the thing is........at the rate we're, one day it will be you or me that's the news story.
With that in mind.....your insistence on no change to gun laws in light of Newtown........your insistence that Trayvon Martin brought his own death on himself....your insistence that we are not a racist nation........the things you insist on defending are not only offensive, they are damaging. And deadly. They are dangerous to my children. And my neighbors children. And your children, even if you may want to ignore it.
I see a lot of comments and posts and news articles talking about logic and reason and how we should dismiss the heart of the matter....what happens when a kid gets murdered. And I firmly believe that we are making ourselves a terrible country by choosing heartlessness when it suits us.
This needs to be personal because I am not so delusional that I can pretend it might not be my kids one day.
Your defense of current gun laws, your defense of the outcome of the Zimmerman verdict are direct attacks on my child's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Maybe we don't want to think about it that way.....Columbine and Aurora and Newtown parents might not have thought of it that way either. Defense of these hurtful ideals directly harms my children.
You don't have enough respect for me, my kids, or our right to life. You openly advocate for things that support the status quo of children dying. So why are you my friend?
3) One last reason I've lost friends....lack of respect. People have been posting some shitty stuff. In the days after Newtown, before there was even a single funeral, I had friends posting memes about buying more bullets and making gun jokes. After the Zimmerman verdict, I had friends posting that shit about what a juvenile delinquent he was or memes about whiney liberals "pulling the race card" or saying crap like "The system worked! Yay!"
Have some respect. Have a little class. I lost a friend or two not because we disagree........but because I am not going to sit around while you gloat over the dead bodies of someones children. I'm doing us both a favor by not remaining your friend after you have the nerve to post that crap..........I lost all respect for you. I'm not your friend if I don't respect you.
I know I have garnered more than a few sideways stares this year. The past couple days have not remedied that. I think I've made a few friends uncomfortable. I may have lost friends I don't know about. I may have earned my way to the "ignore" list.
Over the past couple of years, one of the lessons I've learned is this: there is no value in keeping a "friend" who disrespects you. Who calls you names. Who insults you. There is no value in holding on to someone who hurts you and makes your life worse. I've mentioned before...it's all connected. I don't need to put those harmful thoughts and ideas in my heart, brain, and soul. I don't really need daily reminders that people think I'm stupid or beneath them. I know it. I accept it. It isn't really healthy to beat it into my own head daily.
What I've also learned is that I feel like a terrible human being when I keep people in my life just to avoid "rocking the boat". My gut tells me that it's not helpful or productive. Not for me, not for my community.
I want to be that zen person who smiles and blithely rattles off some very zen response and loves everyone even if they don't care if my kid dies or not. I want to be that person. Maybe someday I'll grow into that person. Although, as I approach my 40th year, I suspect that I am just not meant to be her.
So in the meantime...........I'm losing "friends".