Since the U.S. Presidential election in November, I’ve had a number of conversations with conservative friends and colleagues. During each exchange, they always seem to question if I’m unable to consider viewpoints different than my own.
One even told me I was making him feel ‘unsafe’ because of my belief in progressive policies. I found that ironic, because many of the conservative policies in this country and around the world actively harm many of its citizens. There are some things which are a matter of differing opinion. And there are others which are simply unacceptable:
It’s unacceptable for leaders at any level of society to bully, coerce, manipulate and intimidate to gain power over others.
It’s unacceptable for any person to be treated as inferior to another.
It’s unacceptable for anyone on our planet to go hungry when we have enough resources to feed everyone.
It’s unacceptable for the performance of the stock market or the size of our bank account to be more important than the well-being of people and our planet.
It is unacceptable that assault rifles are so easily available that someone can take one into a school or public gathering to enact destruction.
It’s unacceptable for men to make decisions that impact women’s bodies and their lives without equal representation in the conversation.
It’s unacceptable for white people to make decisions that impact people of color without equal representation in the conversation.
It’s unacceptable to imprison people in cages because they are fleeing violence and oppression in their home country.
It’s unacceptable for children and adults to experience abuse of any kind.
It’s unacceptable for anyone to experience discrimination and violence because of sexual orientation, skin color, ethnicity, age, physical ability, gender identity and other personal characteristics.
I have the ability to look at the human condition from many different viewpoints. Even when I disagree, I can often empathize with why someone feels the way they do. But some things are right or wrong.
Loving or hateful.
Inclusive or discriminatory.
Equal or unbalanced.
When we witness unacceptable actions and policies, we must speak up. They can not be allowed to continue. As much as I am able to see the larger spiritual unfolding taking place, allowing the unacceptable to go on, is unacceptable.
What do we need to feel safe?
Perhaps we could start by identifying things we all agree are unacceptable. It would be an important first start towards the healing of our nation…