What good is the Internet if you don’t use it?
My web site says I’m a humorist. It used to say I was a motivational speaker offering strategies for sanity in a world gone nuts. And I was. Although, really, I was just a humorist, not an expert, and not a motivational speaker. Just a humorist who said funny stuff that sometimes made you think.
Now my web site is more accurate. And I am enjoying being a humorist. No pressure. You don’t expect me to bring you the answer to life’s mysteries in my speeches. You don’t expect me to motivate your people or unlock the secret sauce to collaboration and productivity and efficiency and innovation and profitability. You just expect me to say funny things and make your people laugh. And I can do that, big time. Bonus: some of those funny things might get your people thinking about collaboration and productivity and efficiency and innovation and profitability and maybe even motivation and life’s mysteries.
All that goes for my blog posts and social media posts as well. Funny. Maybe thought-provoking. But funny in any case, and that’s enough.
I have other things in my head, too (and not just stuff I don’t want in there – see this post about my mental health).
One of the things in my head is this: I am increasingly worried about our country. I think that we need to learn how to get along again, or we may not make it. Nothing is a given, and no country lasts forever. There are people in America – on both “sides” of the political spectrum (there aren’t just two sides, but that’s another post) – who seem to think they can hector and threaten and intimidate their opponents into accepting to their political world view.
They are the minority and out on the extremes, but they are growing bolder. As a result, those who don’t believe in beating the hell out of people we disagree with are speaking up less frequently, because it’s not worth the risk of incurring the wrath of the social justice warriors and the right wingers. And that means the shouters and the haters are taking over the debate. That’s bad.
If you are a Facebook friend on my “political posts” list, you know I post a lot of stuff about society and culture, politics and policy, how we treat each other and how we should be treating each other. Then I work hard to keep the ensuing comments and conversation civil, and over time I’ve been happy to see friends from across the spectrum engage in meaningful and polite (if sometimes pointed) debate in the Facebook dialogues.
But I’ve generally not posted this stuff to my entire Facebook friend list (or my blog) because: 1. I don’t want to impose; 2. The debates can get heated and I don’t want to facilitate offense; and (unfortunately), 3. I didn’t want my worlds to collide. In other words, putting comments out there about the direction our country is headed might undermine my speaking/writing/humoristing “career.”
But limiting my comments to my Facebook political list is, in fact, ceding the debate to the shouters and haters. I don’t think I can or should do that anymore. So, from now on, when I think I might have something useful to say that might contribute a little to making things better, I’m going to post it on my blog, and that will feed to other platforms. I doubt anyone will read these things, and I doubt it will change any minds or bring people together, but at least I’ll be trying.
That seems like the right thing to do, considering where things are these days. I hope you don't mind, but if you do, I understand.