Saturday, February 08, 2014

Just ... stop it

Up front: Admittedly, my tolerance for what I consider unimportant is at quite the low.

I'm excitedly and urgently growing my business in a ginormous way, which pretty much consumes me right now. My wife and I are painfully remembering and grieving departed loved ones, and that has us emotionally drained. And I seem to be recently surrounded by friends and acquaintances who are sadly, imminently going to lose family members, so I'm doing what I can physically and emotionally to be there for them, too.

So, there's all of this genuinely important stuff going on in people's lives.

And then there's irritating, destructive noise in my social feeds, where it's just people abusing other people.

Over stupid things.

Like the "debate" over evolution and creation.

Not important.

Don't misunderstand -- I'm not saying the topics aren't important and worth discussing. But this gross noise has not been about the topics. It's been about debating. And it's been about abuse.

So if it's not important, why am I coming out of semi-blog-hiatus to say anything?

Because that abuse is an important thing for us to talk about. And, corporately, to stop.

I look at these social feeds, and think, "Really? You're going to abuse people using broken social pipes as a way to push your world view onto them, and, what -- change them to your mindset?"

Actually, I would be OK with even that.

Except even that's not what's happening.

What is actually happening in is you're using broken social pipes as an avenue to try to appear superior and to abuse people.

You are an arrogant, horrible person.

I have been shocked at the base, intolerant vitriol that's been spewed by people over topics like this. In publicly, archive-able, searchable forms for when I'm considering working with, hiring, or having a beer with you.

Sickly ironically, this vitriol is usually from people that would consider themselves socially progressive intelligent people, and for whom tolerance is a stated cornerstone of their beliefs.

We all have our blind spots, and we smart people often think we're far more intelligent than we really are, and oh, we would like to think we're never intolerant.

Coming back to this recent debate and abuse over theories of how everything came to be, and limiting that to evolution and creationism theories, let me tell you what's true for me:

  1. I am well-read and informed concerning these theories
  2. I acknowledge both theories take a tremendous amount of faith
  3. I have a strong, directed personal conviction on these topics
  4. I don't put that personal conviction onto other people
  5. I don't think less of them if they disagree (about this, or political views, or best movies)
  6. As someone else said, depending on the direction you take, evolution and creation are inherently non-provable and/or non-falsifiable
  7. I wasn't there, so I don't know how the whole "everything coming into being" thing went down
So, now you know where I stand. It's discussable.

It's not debatable.

This whole little rambling of mine is just a straw. It's just little contribution for goading maybe a few of us to take our viewpoints out of a non-directed cloud (and aiming it at a public figure with whom you don't have a personal relationship is the same thing as a non-directed cloud, plus maybe a little bit of cowardice).

And this is about taking accountability for our behavior.

Those that know me know I don't brook intolerant vitriolic hate spew. One of the things people like and hate about me is I hold people accountable. Even if I don't know them.

I'm a work in progress, and I certainly haven't arrived, but I work really hard to hold people accountable without penalizing them. I spend a lot of time thinking about it, practicing it, evaluating how I've done with it, and refining it.

So even though I know "I'm not there yet", I'm comfortable that I'm at least actively doing the hard work.

And regardless of your viewpoint, if you know me, do me favor: Take the comments you've been making about [those people] and [that obvious debate], and insert my name. Make it personal. Make it directed. Make it at me.

See if that still works for you.

And if it does, do us a mutual favor and unfriend and unfollow me.

And honestly, all of that intolerant vitriolic hate spew? Just ... stop it.