On the Orlando massacre

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Been listening, and considering my response all day.

I was called an LGBT Ally for my writing on dignity and respect before I knew what LGBT was. I don’t give a shit who you love. That’s your business, and I appreciate people staying out of mine.

What I do care about is security and the general well-being. For much of my career I lived among populations where going out after dark invites rape, kidnapping, or murder. Where families do NOT lie down at night in confidence they’ll be safe until the morning.

Where “I got lucky at the club” meant escaping a massacre, not “getting laid”….

In my years abroad I’ve tried hard to help those societies become more like ours in the domain of security. Now, however, we see an instance of ours becoming like “theirs.” And that’s precisely what the hate-driven followers of jihad want. They believe violence is the path to power, and they do want power. Don’t be fooled by talk of God. They want fear, because fear is the easy way to influence. They want to use fear because inside they’re twisted, squirming, fearful, impotent little worms. They have nothing legitimate to use. They depend on “terrorizing” victims of their power grab, and so we call them terrorists.

Want to know how we can help them? By calling gays fags. Or blacks niggers. Or whites crackers. If there was any doubt in your mind that all of our society is in the crosshairs of these fearful little impotent worms, I hope last night woke your ass up. 

DIVISION is the best thing we  can practice to help jihadis spread their spectacle and build toward the attainment of actual power. You’re free to keep celebrating it, if you like. Keep putting advertising dollars into the TV talk shows where guests’ fists fly and the host pretends to try and stop the fight while he mentally converts ratings to profits. Keep calling the “other side” traitors, and idiots, and whatever inaccurate small insults you can dream up to avoid confronting and discussing the real issues like real adults.

As long as we do what the jihadis want and divide among ourselves, we’re guaranteed to not invest our material and mental capital into legitimate, practical solutions to problems we all see. What we don’t see is that we’re part of the problem when we don’t focus on the fixes. Here’s a spoiler: the fixes do not involve banning all Muslims OR all guns. We’re morons for entertaining either notion.

You’ll have to try to forget that our country has the word “United” right there in its name. We could talk to each other with civility, and disagree with respect. We could each sacrifice a little of what we want in service to what We Need. We could work toward actual national security without exaggerations of policy that work against our national safety. But I wonder when we will.

Kick But and Beware Because

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This is my first post since the launch of Impact Actual, life-changing consultancy. I’m going to offer more frequent, more concise commentary from now on, because some very important concepts are bouncing around the inflatable house of my brain pan. This stuff needs to get out of my head and into yours. Impact Actual is made of this stuff.

“Kick But….”

Looks like a misspelling, doesn’t it?

The word But is a favorite tool for liars who often don’t even know they are liars. The word But, in 9 out of 10 cases, means “Everything I just said is bullshit.”

Some examples:

“I love your new shirt [bullshit], but…are you sure it’s the right color for you [you look like a giant grape]?”

“I really wanted to come to your fundraiser [bullshit], but…we had another obligation [sitting in our underwear and hoping to find something on Netflix].”

“I just adore little Johnny [bullshit], but…he can be a challenge in class [he makes me want to quit teaching and drive the bus].”

“Beware Because….”

The word Because is fine as words go. Yet it is a close relative to the big bad But. Used properly, it explains complex ideas like “We know gravity exists because things fall down,” and “Your favorite pants won’t zip because you’re not eating and exercising like you already know you should.”

However, “Because” is also sometimes used like an enabling spouse for the drunk who can’t stagger out of bed to go to work some days. The well-intentioned partner will call the skeptical boss and say Fred Can’t Come In Today Because He’s Sick…Again. The word Because, similarly, is often used (just as transparently) to excuse habitual bad behavior.

Some examples:

“Man, I’m sorry to disrupt the meeting! We’re late because we got stuck behind an accident on [X] Street.”

Truth: “There was no real accident; I just didn’t plan well, or I wanted to finish my show. Also, I don’t respect you enough to make the effort. And I don’t respect myself enough to keep my promises.”

“Sorry this report isn’t up to snuff, boss. I couldn’t give it full attention and also make deadline because I had to help out with Tammy’s project [which actually took ten minutes, including trying to score points with Tammy].”

Truth: “I spent a lot of my online time researching plans for the dog house I want to try and build this weekend. Also, I don’t respect you enough to make the effort. And I don’t respect myself enough to keep my promises.”

Notice that other important principles are interlocked with these negative patterns. “Respect” is closely tied to our willingness to be dishonest with others. And respect for others is a direct reflection of our respect for ourselves. Remember that, the next time you’re bitching about someone and bad-mouthing him behind his back.

How do I know all these wise and profound things? Through living the worst of the examples I talk about. I know them through being them, and demonstrating to myself time and time again how easy it is to take the easy way…and how hard that always makes my life, afterward.

Be good and choose well,

Rob