Those who repeat their mistakes are doomed to perform them again and again. Those who refuse to look at history and refuse take into account economic, political, social, and scientific influences on that history are doomed to walk its narrow path again. I’ve hopefully woken up a smarter woman for having opened my eyes and seen yours.
I used to think you were innocuous, and needed little thought. Doesn’t “right” always win? The thing I forgot is that from every point of view, all people believe they do “good.” I gave up good and bad long ago – there is only love and hate, war and peace, poverty and fecundity, and the long variations in-between. Where we land on the continuum is up to us. You, Ignorance and Fear, are at the far ends of the spectrum.
What I cannot fathom is why you have so many friends? And why those friends continue to have influence? I think that it is because we truly live in a place where we welcome fear and ignorance; otherwise, we wouldn’t embrace them. When I finally had the courage to stand up and turn off my media feed, I became my own thinker. My mistake was forgetting that you hadn’t turned off yours. My mistake was not knowing the company you keep.
And that is the part that I have the biggest difficulty with and sadness about. It’s not about your policy of lies and deceit. Everyone lies. It’s not about your messed up policies of misdirection and obfuscation. We all do that, really… vis a vis statistics. No. It’s about the fact that you have taken in so many of the people that I know and respect. You have made them your friends. And they willingly embraced you. We all know that community is built by like-minded people. Ergo, those people who I believed were my community, my tribe, have ceased to be so. Where I thought they were open to new ideas, respectful of human life, fair to the less fortunate, and desirous of building a nation of educated, thoughtful, and creative human beings… well, I was wrong. Because, yes, a vote for you is a vote for the antithesis of all those good works. Yes. Those who went this direction must embrace what they really are – full of hate, violence, racism, sexism, unethical behavior, illegal behavior, and true ignorance. A vote for you, Fear, is a vote to accept hatred into your heart. A vote for you, Ignorance, is a vote to accept the brutal treatment of your fellow human beings, the ridicule, and blindness to conditions, and deafness to the plight of people who truly have it worse than you. If that is what one of my tribe has accepted, then they are no tribe of mine. You cannot run away from it. I do judge you on your actions, and your actions support these concepts. Do you deny it? Yes? Then you have made my case.
As Dr. Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” I have listened, tried to understand. I have tried like a lover who is desperate for embraces in the cold, dark night. I must admit that Yoda was right – there is no try. Do, or do not. And I have to finally admit defeat. I do not completely understand. Perhaps I am too tired to understand, or maybe weak myself. I do know that I cannot be a party to the toxicity that you engender. I will continue to work toward understanding – but I cannot do it with the noise you bring to the table. I thought about a trial separation but that seems inadequate. I know that I have to break it off completely.
So, Fear and Ignorance, and your tribe, I unfriend you. I am walking away, taking my belongings with me. If I need to get a civil standby to watch over me while I take my goods away, so be it. I will protect what is still my tribe with all the tools I have available. I’m clearing the phone book of you and your ilk. I’m going to out and party with my true tribe and make plans for my future. I will send you back all your hatred and lies in a nice box, wrapped in pretty emptiness and delivered by stoic apathy. You will not hear from me for some time. It’s just as well. I wouldn’t know what to say to you until the plans for the future become clearer.
Eventually, you both may make it back into my life as a distant bystander. In the interspace, I will grow stronger. I choose to dust myself off and not only be deaf to your cries and woes but to actively disarm them. As a friend just said, there will be many opportunities for heroism in the next four years. I pick up that challenge and may create a few of my own. It’s time that I got off my lazy, complacent intentions and got some real work done. I’m not listening any more, I’m doing. I will more than survive you. I will take root, I will thrive, and I will work hard to not take from you but to diminish you. I want your flame to be small, cold, and wanting… wanting for air to breathe and for darkness to enfold you. The way I make you small is by making the rooms of life so bright that you disperse in the oncoming day. I will challenge every word you speak and every game you play. I will take bruises and beatings if it means keeping you at bay.
I want to live my life with a community and country of which I can be proud. That starts at home. For those of you who want grace, passion, creativity, love, hope, truth, knowledge, patience, tolerance, and true justice, I am with you. It’s time to drive our tribe forward once and for all, and let the last gasps of Fear and Ignorance be a hollow whisper in our memories. Goodbye. I will not wish you well or luck because I do not wish them for you. I only wish for you both to get exactly what you deserve.