When Ignorance Stops Being Forgivable

Blinding ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!

~ Leonardo Da Vinci

I believe in education.  I also understand that not everyone has the means and opportunity to go to university.  That said, not everyone receives a decent education at university, or might not remember if they did.  However, everyone does have the ability to educate themselves.  It costs nothing to read a newspaper, magazine, or hell – a BOOK.

I believe that no matter what your moral standing is, or what your religious upbringing was, you have a responsibility to yourself to seek out differing beliefs and views, if nothing more than to try and understand the world around you better.

I believe everyone grew up either poor, middle-class, or well-off.  Your circumstances may have changed or stayed the same as you aged, but your impressionable time as a child has a great impact on how you view the economy and social economics as an adult.

What I do not agree with is framing your life around what you believe to be true in your sheltered existence, and attacking others who experience things differently than you.  

I have a hard time reconciling the ongoing attack against the poverty-stricken in this country by those who align themselves with the 1%, stating things like “Why should those who earned their money be ashamed?”  The fact is, no one is shaming wealthy individuals.  What is being said is why do we as a country have such a high poverty rate, while a good number of those who are abundantly wealthy did not “earn their money,” but inherited it.  The thing is, it is typically those who never wanted for anything growing up (and who – even now – do not work), that have a real issue with the idea of helping the poor.

It isn’t hard to find out information about any subject these days.  A million years ago when I was a student, there was no internet.  I spent a lot of time in the library.  Many in my small town spent their time at the beach, the mall, or slutting it up in some guy’s trailer.  (Don’t get me wrong, I had my moments)  But in this day-and-age, you have the opportunity to Google something, to ask a question, to open a book.  Yet, with all the opportunities to educate ourselves, some still live in that small town and get their information spoon-fed to them from other individuals who report what they believe and believe what they report.

I joined Facebook 2 years ago.  It wasn’t that I wasn’t technically savvy or socially inept, I was prevented from participating in social networking because of my work.  Once I had a child and stopped working, I figured “why not?”  The past 2 years have been so stressful, primarily because of that damn social network.  People are so offensive, mean, cruel…and ignorant.  But like I said…there is no excuse for ignorance anymore.

If you believe all Muslims are terrorists, you are ignorant.  If you believe that all police officers are perfect angels, you are ignorant.  If you believe that Planned Parenthood kidnaps pregnant women to abort their fetus’ and sell them on the black market, you are ignorant.  If you believe that your political party is the only way to Christ, you are ignorant.  If you don’t know the definition of a word, and instead of looking it up, proclaim said word to be akin to Stalin-esque communism, you are ignorant.  Blindly walking through life, believing everything you’re told, not finding out the truth in anything, and not making any decisions for yourself is no way to live.

Today I un-friended one of my cousins on Facebook.  Not for family squabbles, but because of her continued battle-dress-ignorance and belligerent social attacks on anyone who believes differently from her.  Upon doing so, I was subjected to an hour of instant messages and text messages calling me immature.

Well, Aren’t You Special?

Pot-Stirrers.  Last-Word-Havers.  Drama Queens.  Thread Hijackers.

There are certainly more ways to describe this type of person, but you get the idea.  Doesn’t it seem like no matter where you go or what you’re doing one of them is there?  The scary thing is that they’re typically moms fueling the mommy wars.  Why is it that when you go out and seek guidance, counsel, friendship, or just a community, someone is always there to be contrary?  And boy are they.

Typically, the internet not only fosters these curmudgeons, but motivates an upsurge in their behavior.  There is something about the relative anonymity of the internet that makes mommies feel both invincible and free to say hurtful things that bring others down.  They feel as though no matter what the subject is, they simply must say everything they feel with no filter or thought for who is receiving their message.  They’re right – no matter what.  They know what is best for everyone in the world, to include you and yours – even though you’ve never met.

It’s easy to play into it.  Feelings get hurt.  Toes get stepped on.  You have to respond, right?  And you might.  But then you tire of the back and forth and realize you have to shut it down.  But even when you make numerous concerted and obvious efforts to do so, they still have to have the last word.  “I’ll stop now.”  “But this is what I meant.”  “But…”  You just have to walk away, ignore, stop commenting.

Lets be clear, if you start a statement with “I’m not trying to be rude,” you FULLY INTEND to be rude.  If you feel the need to say “forgive me for saying this,” you DON’T want forgiveness for what you’re going to say.  If you say something as stupid as “I’m not picking on you, but” you most certainly ARE picking on someone.

You need your opinion heard – NO MATTER THE COST.  If that means hijacking a thread with something that has nothing to do with what you’re on about; hurting someone’s feelings; unnecessarily calling someone to the carpet; or just plain being bitchy, that’s simply what you are.

When other people have to apologize for your behavior, you’ve simply gone too far.

Professional Facebookers

We all have one or two, or seven on our friend list. And even though their numbers are small comparatively, they tend to post the most prolifically. Of your 236 friends, “Anti-Everything-Ann” posts the most often, filling your feed with so much rubbish that you never saw your childhood best friend post the pics of her new baby. Every time you open Facebook, there she is, posting about how vaccines cause Autism; global warming is a hoax; and the US Government orchestrated 9-11.

Truthfully, had you known “Anti-Everything-Ann” felt the way she did, you might not have added her as a friend. But now you did, and un-friending her is – well – tantamount to telling her that you hate her. So you go on, and scroll and scroll and scroll until you see things you’re actually interested in. And then you see “Anti-Everyting-Ann” has posted something completely contrary to the things she was posting before.

Not unlike hookers, professional Facebookers will also sell themselves to the highest bidder. Ever notice that the most politically charged, morally superior folks tend to pull a John McCain every 4 years or so? They’re the GOP of Facebook. No matter who is in the White House – they hate them; no matter if we are at war or peace – they think we made the wrong decision; they want to carry their sniper rifles into Costco – but suddenly hate the NRA the second there is a mass shooting. You know the type…they believe their kid was disabled by vaccines – the biggest government conspiracy of all time. But you better believe they expect that same government to provide them free health care.

The thing is, you simply cannot enter into a debate with the Professional Facebooker. After all, they spend all of their waking hours researching (read Googling) and posting what they find on Facebook. Clearly they are EXPERTS in their chosen field. Any comment on their post is an invitation to argue. And the fact is – that’s what they want. They want to prove they know everything there is to know about this issue, and you are ignorant to think otherwise. Ever notice that the best Professional Facebookers are actually the least educated and/or experienced people you know? You think you remember “Anti-Everything-Anne” graduating from high school, but then you remember that development during senior year…maybe she got her GED, let’s give her that much. But really, we’re talking about individuals with ZERO education beyond high school debating issues against folks with advanced degrees in their scientific field of study!

All this time I was seeking answers, you had a degree in Facebook!

Facebook Friday

I’m new to Facebook.  There is no question that I’m not a social butterfly with all these connection media sites.  I spent many years essentially prohibited from using Facebook, so as soon as I quit my job, I signed up.  Only, I still don’t trust that site, so I don’t have any pictures of myself or my kid up.  I only have a few friends, and I essentially use it to follow what they’re saying and read about companies I like.

So when my timeline is littered with vicious political rants (by people who have no education and don’t even know how the government works), I find it difficult to enjoy using Facebook.  That’s why I’ve made a point to not friend my extended family.  However some got through, and their meanness did, too.

I believe in the right to have your own opinion and to share it whenever and however you like.  But what I don’t believe in is saying that you are the sole authority on how the United States Government works, and belittling other people who feel differently from you.  Especially when you didn’t graduate high school and the people you are wagging your finger at have advanced degrees in Political Science, LOL!  Trust me, the government is not run by a single man who has carte blanche to do whatever he wants.  There is a system in place, which includes advisors, congress, not to mention a bazillion laws.  Seriously, take a high school civics/government course, then come back and voice your opinion.

Until then, I am ignoring your viciousness and ignorance, and truthfully – you, altogether.