Back in 2014 or 2015, my town was in a political shit storm.
It was not unlike what is going on on the national level right now.
Up until this point, I had been completely politically ignorant on the local level.
I got very involved as we approached our local elections. I was passionate and heated and pretty vocal.
I also wasn’t very nice. I wrote some things in a Facebook group that, in hindsight, I wish I hadn’t written. I called a couple people who were running for office who I didn’t agree with on any level a few names, and I also just wrote some stuff about them that was not cool.
Most people who agreed with me politically supported the things I said or laughed at them or excused them and shrugged them off.
But I was called out privately by two different people. One person was direct. The second person called me out to another person and that person was direct with me.
They were right. I was wrong.
I was doing things I wouldn’t approve of had my children done them. I wasn’t setting a good example. At all.
It was absolutely a do as I say, not as I do kind of situation.
Since then, I’ve tried to be really self aware when it comes to this topic.
Recent events in the good old U S of A have really ramped up the name calling on Facebook. It’s everywhere.
Nothing good comes from name calling.
It doesn’t win your argument. It doesn’t cause the person you are disagreeing with to see the light.
It isn’t effective. It isn’t constructive. It isn’t mature. It definitely isn’t kind.
It’s hurtful and destructive and immature and mean.
And I think that is the root of pretty much all our problems in society. Whether we are talking about politics or religion or Common Core or whatever it is, so many people do not know how to communicate their differences and be kind at the same time.
You can disagree and be kind.
It is possible.
But so many of us did not learn this as kids.
And we grow up into adults who, when we find ourselves in an argument or in an effort to get our point across, begin hurling insults.
There are the big ones that most of us know not to say. You don’t say the n-word.
Everyone knows that.
But why are other names acceptable?
We name call all the time.
We call people assholes and dicks and pussies and bitches and psychos.
I am about as liberal as you get, and I hate being referred to as a snowflake.
But then on the flip side, you’ve got people referring to the president as Fuck Face Von Clownstick and Cheeto Jesus.
It’s not okay in either direction.
We do this with our kids all the time.
My most popular post to date is entitled If My Kid Is Being An Asshole, I Want You To Tell Me.
I don’t think my kids are assholes.
If somebody else referred to my kid an asshole I think I’d have an issue with that.
When I do it, it’s okay, though.
But is it?
I wouldn’t call my kid an asshole to his or her face.
You know, because that’s a swear.
But I’ve called them jerks before.
How is that any better, really?
It’s still name calling. It’s still mean. It’s still hurtful.
And it teaches my kids that calling people names is an acceptable or effective way to communicate with people when they aren’t in alignment with my thoughts, beliefs or requests.
But it’s not.
We can have different opinions. We can disagree. We can debate. We can argue.
Let’s just be grown ups about it.
Because our kids are listening.
Please take ten seconds to vote!