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Monday, October 12, 2015

No More Invertebrates

I got a little hot this week, folks. I’d like to share with you the impetus for the foul taste that was left in my mouth, and this week’s blog.

I came across a picture of what appeared to be a monstrous black lump of coal being transported on an 18-wheeler truck bed. The caption for the post read: “I-90 will be closed tomorrow across South Dakota. They are hauling a 200 ton lump of coal so they can add Obama to Mount Rushmore. They couldn't find a 200 ton piece of shit.”

First, let me say that I am not here to defend President Obama or his politics and policies. This is obviously not a political blog nor am I a political activist in any way, shape or form. I am fully aware that the president did not receive the post and proceed to weep inconsolably at the desk of the Oval Office. What I am here to champion is common decency and more importantly, our need to stand up for its existence in our world.

I found the post to be offensive on many levels and I was itching to respond with a message that said just that. I was encouraged to just let it go so that I didn’t cause any unnecessary conflict. Lord knows I didn’t want to offend the offender, right?! Yes, initially I must admit that in my state of anger I did want to spit a bit of venom in the direction of the person responsible but I knew that would only leave me standing in the same hateful place as them. After a bit of thought and contemplation I found that I did not, and in fact could not, let this one slide. It felt uncomfortable and made my insides cringe when I envisioned a complaisant stance.

I set my temper aside and I crafted a very simple response that did not attack the attacker but called into question the necessity of their actions. Verbatim I said, “Really? Whether you like him or not, is something like this necessary?” My goal was not to change that person in any way but instead I chose to be the voice that challenged an act of childish cruelty. I made the decision to stand out from the crowd, the many others that found the post hilarious, and risk that I might be seen in a less than favorable light by the masses. That was okay with me because that felt much more tolerable than how I would see myself if I said nothing.

In school I learned that we humans are vertebrates and I believe that sometimes we need to use the backbone we’ve been given. It’s not always an easy or comfortable thing to call out an injustice, no matter its size, but we each must stand for something. When we choose to remain on the sidelines we are not innocent bystanders but instead become silent supporters of malice. I feel confident that each and every heart and soul on this planet calls us to rise to the occasion, somewhere at some time, and speak from our truth and not sit idle in fear.

While answering a call to action may not always get us friends, it most certainly will leave us with some semblance of self-respect.

Be well and happy.



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