“The integrity of a person has something to do with disagreeing with another person without being compelled or driven to reflexively deny the integrity, the motivation, or the character of the person you disagree with.”
I continue to be deluged with comments from recent posts on this blog about advocacy and the question of whether or not it is possible for people to unite in common cause despite their differences to defeat an enemy they all say they want to defeat.
The line I start this post with came from a written correspondence with a friend in which I was talking about the tactics of too many people advocating for the Murphy Bill. His response was startling and in many ways a trigger for some of my most recent posts.
“Is that not the pot calling the kettle black? Do we not do the same thing to each other that we complain about others doing to us?”
I have had some people tell me it is much ado about nothing. I have had people say it is purely an internet thing. I have had people say it is a result of the inevitable conflict of different movements with differing goals. And perhaps there is some truth in all that….
Too many people say it is about something there should have been much ado about a long time ago. One person wrote saying she was once very involved but had walked away. “Trauma has been a big issue in my life and this just became another one. It just became about attack. The people who agreed with me were sometimes more dangerous than those that didn’t. No one could trust anyone. The only healthy thing was to leave.” So many people said something similar. Whether or not it is worse I don’t know. But is it okay? Overwhelmingly person after person said no.
Has the internet made it worse? Absolutely. But everything is an internet thing now and is there still not a way for us to treat others as we expect them to treat us. Because incivility is easy does that make it inevitable? I don’t know. Maybe it is. One person said it real simply, “For me it is not Murphy or Torrey. It is not psychiatric this or that. What I fear on a daily basis far more than anything else is the friendly fire.”
I think there are different goals among people. There are different ideas about what is important. But if differences justify the behaviors so many people have talked about what right or justification do we have to complain about the tactics of the Murphys or Torreys that use the same justifications to dismiss us? Am I missing something? Is it really that different? Perhaps I am.
But I wonder. And I don’t think I am the only one.
There are a lot of different ideas out there. There is no reason I know of to believe I am any more right than anyone else. I am glad for the conversation.
I think it is okay and needed for people to disagree and conflict with each other. I hope it is possible to do so without attacking who the person we disagree with is. I once thought it was a simple manner but watching our political process play out this year I don’t know anymore. Perhaps calling names works and I am wrong. It could well be.
My biggest fear is simple. I fear we will find while we debate who is wrong and who is right, and who is real and who is not, and who is out for their own interests and who is for something that is a real good we will turn around one day real too soon and find out the Murphy Bill has become the Murphy Law.