During this past Christmas season, I was shopping in a Florida music store. As I made my way to the exit with my bag-o-gift purchases, I heard an angry male voice from the back cut through the sound of general holiday cheer. “Your articles SUCK, man!” Really? It was the most joyous time of the year, yet those were the words that this gentleman chose to offer me. At first, I snickered as I walked out onto the sidewalk. “At least they’re reading my stuff,” I said to myself. As a published author, I’m certainly no stranger to criticism and I’ve developed thick skin since my first book arrived in stores in 2010. However, that particular comment offered me considerable food for thought.
What I find particularly disturbing in our country these days is that we’re no longer able to share, respect, appreciate or even tolerate opposing points of view. From supporting our favorite professional sports teams to voicing our political perspectives to expressing personal faith, Americans now only seem to respond to those who have differing beliefs from their own with nastiness, name-calling and sometimes even violence. Hey, remember the “peace and love” rhetoric from the 1960s? Where’s the kindness today? Where’s the compassion, the connection, the understanding? Libs, conservatives, believers, non-believers, NFC, AFC, Gators, ‘Noles, young, old, even Lady Gaga fans — I’m talking to everybody!
Simply put, I genuinely love people — even the guy who cut me off in the Starbucks parking lot the other day. I also respect opinions and beliefs that are different from mine. Since the inception of these political-based posts a few months ago, I’ve remained steadfast in my conviction NEVER to resort to mudslinging. And I’ll further continue to encourage others to take the high road as well — although my pleas are certain to fall on many deaf ears.
I’d be willing to wager a bet that President Obama is actually a swell guy. He clearly loves his family and he is likely a blast to hang out with during the “big game.” (“Hey, Barack – pass the guacamole, dude!”) However, given the political context of many of my recent posts, I will comment when I take issue with his job performance – which is quite often. But be sure that my insightful, lighthearted and (always) spot-on observations are never intended to be taken as personal, malicious or hurtful. This is, after all, an entertainment-based blog.
Yes, through my various recent writing endeavors, I’ve found even myself to be the target of name-calling and hate-speak — derisive comments to which I simply will not respond. But holy cow kids, if we can’t all come together on some of this stuff, we won’t have to fear Commies, boogiemen, or even another Bret Michaels reality show — we will simply destroy ourselves. In a wildly popular book that came out a few years ago, a very wise young man named Jesus was quoted as saying, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined.” Hmm. Food for thought indeed.
Now, go in peace. Go in love. Extend kindness and compassion to all. God bless America and remember… VOTE BACHMANN IN 2016!
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