Dad here; as most of you know, this page was started six years ago as a respite from all the constant negativity everywhere on social media. Charlie and I have averaged three posts a week during those six years, and somehow the words just keep coming, but somehow that has recently changed. We haven’t been able to formulate a post for the last two weeks.
Here’s how it goes: we wake up in the morning with a great train of thought percolating in our cranial coffeepots. We then pop on Facebook to get the ball rolling, and immediately get sucked into a whirlpool of raw sewage and just that quickly, all positive energy is gone. It’s like trying to paint a beautiful picture while in the midst of a bloody battlefield, scorched earth and eviscerated bodies all around. But instead of bullets and bayonets, the weapons employed on this particular front are hurtful words from ALL sides. The lack of mutual respect is appalling. If you have ever used in place of civil discourse such divisive terms as Libtard, Trumptard, anti-masker, “just wear the damn mask, bitches!”, snowflake, Uncle Tom, and a million others ad infinitum, then YOU are the problem. Regardless of what piece of cloth you do or don’t have on your face, you are spreading a virus much more dangerous than any our species has ever seen:
The infection starts as condescension, then progresses into self-righteous ridicule for those who’s opinions differ no matter how slightly. Within the right (wrong) electronic petri-dish, the disease develops in to a case of full-blown hatred, with those afflicted contaminating others like digital Typhoid Marys. Much like my favorite line from The Last of the Mohicans: “Magua’s heart is twisted; he would turn others into what twisted him”.
If it wasn’t for Charlie’s page and my own business page for Bravo Home Inspection, I would shake the Facebook muck from my feet and go another path, as the current toxicity of this medium is astounding. And I was recently fully prepared to do so, continuing the posts only from Charlie’s blog page, thecharliebravostory.com, even though I know that it would drastically impact the visibility. But recently I saw a post that caused my thinking to shift just a bit:
“You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”
We all have a mission; mine is no greater than yours, but neither is it less. I can no sooner walk away from my destiny than you can yours, but Lordy, I sure want to some times. I feel like a much smaller, paler version of John Coffey in The Green Mile: “I’m tired, boss. Mostly, I’m tired of people being ugly to each other. I’m tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world every day.”
Now, let me tell you something good. I took a 25 mile bicycle ride last Saturday along the Arkansas River Trail. It was brutally hot, but I was blissfully unaware that Blue Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter protesters were clashing just a few blocks away on the steps of the state capitol. As I was finishing up, I noticed a group of police officers in riot gear formed up at the Clinton Presidential Library in case the violence spread to that area. The Bible says that “fools rush in where angels dare to tread”, and I’m pretty sure I lead the league in rushing; as drenched with sweat as I was, I rode up to the cadre of cops.
I was in the process of telling that I appreciated their service during a time when their profession was taking an undue amount of flak, when one of the policeman, a black cop at that, shocked me out of my shoes by calling me by name. I won’t use his own name here, but those that know me will know him; he was an old friend that I havent seen in twenty years. It shocked me to the point that I dropped my bike and we in turn shocked every one else in attendance by hugging and pounding each other on the back, social distancing be damned. I came up short on that deal, as it’s hard to compete in the pummeling department when your opponent is much larger and wearing body armor and you’re clad only in sweaty Lycra.
Did this “chance” encounter change anything? Well, it might not in the large picture, but I assure you that it sure did for me. It showed me that there still is a brotherhood of man, regardless of skin color, job description, religion, etc, one that cannot be broken if we choose to meet on common terms, vulnerable and not seperated by the false security of a keyboard and a harsh electronic screen.
we be of one blood, ye and I.