The world has gone absolutely insane. This week I have deleted people from my social media, and unfollowed every single news outlet that I followed religiously. Why? Why did I do this? Not because of the news itself (as insane as that is I still need to know) but because of the comment section.
I remember when my social media account was a shiny place, where I could freely post, browse and comment with civilized people. Debates on the hot topics of the day were cultured, well thought out, and everyone was well mannered. Who am I kidding? The internet has always been a dumpster fire of epic proportions. Lately though……whew. I cannot look at the comment section of ANY article. It could be an article about the epic cuteness of kittens and somehow the comment section would become the epicenter of malice, rage, and name-calling. Not to mention the cuteness level of said kitten would become politicized and conversation would devolve into toddler style name calling and death threats. Last night I saw comments where a certain president was referred to as both the messiah and the anti-Christ all in one thread. Someone even threw in a good dig at someone else’s mother and made fun of their weight. COME ON PEOPLE. We are better than this. Or are we? It’s starting to feel like all of this unrest and the desire to speak whatever terrible thought crosses your mind has always been there bubbling under the surface. I want the bar to be higher. I wish everyone would strive towards excellence, towards healthy debate, and towards listening to each other. That is not the way of the world at this moment. Maybe one day. I don’t believe it will happen in my life time.
My seven year old learned about Ruby Bridges today in school. He came up to me when I came home from work and began telling me all about her. He talked about segregation but in the most simplistic terms. “Momma, did you know that people with brown skin couldn’t go to places where people with white skin were and that those kids couldn’t even go to school together? Isn’t that stupid?” Yes, yes is absolutely stupid. My husband and I sat down with him and talked about Ruby, how important what she has done in her lifetime is, and how scary it must have been on that first day when all she wanted to do was go to school. All around her were people spewing hate from their mouths. All directed towards one little girl. We all talked for a long time. When all was said and done my seven year old looked at me with wide eyes and said, “It’s a good thing it’s all different now because all of that is stupid!” Then we had to explain to him how in some ways it isn’t. We talked about prejudice and how his life will be so much different than that of some of his friends. It is his generation for who I am the most hopeful. Judging by the comments I’ve seen out there in the world, I can definitively say that it hasn’t been stamped out enough. I hope that at some point in the future (and honestly I wish it was now) that my son will look at his children as they talk about this point in history and how stupid it all is and how we behaved towards each other and say, “It’s a good thing it’s all different now because all of that is stupid”. I pray that my son can look at his children and say yes, yes it was and that is why we corrected ourselves. I pray that we learn to care for each other and for our society as a whole. I pray that it is so much less of, ‘you’re different so you are wrong and lesser than me’. I want the entire idea of, “I had to work super hard and suffer in this way so you must suffer in this way as well” to be eradicated. To better our society we must better ourselves and be better to each other. I’m teaching my child that. Yes you should absolutely give a damn about the suffering of others. Yes you should give a damn about inequality and do as much as you can with any power you have to eradicate it. Strive to be better. Strive to make society better. Be better towards each other. Stay out of the cesspool that is the comment section of any article and put more good out into the world. Draw attention to injustice, corruption and ways to correct it. You won’t win in the comment section anyway so do something useful with your time.