I became very overwhelmed yesterday as I scrolled social media. Okay, I know what you’re going to say, being on social media in the first place was a big mistake. Point taken – but I was, and it effected me.
Social media can be a very dark, angry place these days. Several weeks ago when the panic of the pandemic was in full swing, conspiracy theories ruled the feeds. Now it’s a call for social justice.
Don’t get me wrong, people expressing their feeling about Black Lives Matter and the oppression from a police and judicial systems are all worthy protests. More than worthy actually, and the time has come that real change needs to take place. I am in full support, but in the world of social media where it seems anyone and everyone has a voice and can express their personal views, it is the chaotic energy of this cacophony swirling around like a vortex of energy that is sending my anxiety levels up a notch or two.
Every minority group and every person that has been slighted in some racist way and feels that their story needs to be told is now telling it. Perhaps it is a cathartic exercise for them and by doing so, real healing can begin. For that I wish them well and send energy of love and compassion towards them. I can not even begin to fathom the hurt they’ve incurred but I can be there in solidarity.
But my empathy has its limits. Not in an uncaring way but in a personally maxed out absorbency rate, way. My personal energy system is at capacity and yesterday it hit on the redline of my emotion gage.
While on Twitter, I came upon a hashtag trending for J.K. Rowling. It seems she is in the news for comments she has made and some are labeling her a TERF. What is a TERF you ask? I did too, and so I set out to learn. TERF stands for, trans-exclusionary radical feminist. Or in plain english, a feminist who excludes the rights of transgender women from their support of women’s rights. Her response is here.
It was not so much the drama over what the Harry Potter author said or did that cause this furor, it was the toxicity in the responses that did. Since when does another person’s opinion deserve death threats, and vitriol hate on a level that would see most sane people running for the hills or maybe hiring a personal security detail? How have we become a population of such polarized beliefs and viewpoints? On one hand we are demanding the end of racism and then on the other hand we are showing less than zero tolerance for those who make errant comments. Has the pendulum for prejudice swung so far from centre? Is the ease of posting on social media fueling the anger spewing over every slight, when more than ever, humanity needs understanding and forgiveness?
When we react to every inflaming comment, or when we take drastic actions from the position of retribution, we are not moving forward to a better society. We are only attempting to exact our own personal pound of flesh from justice.
Now I get that there is a simmering anger that is venting right now in the world. I get that folks are fed up with the inequality that pervades every corner of our society. It’s time has long since past and needs to be reconciled, but anger and hate never created peace. It only creates more anger and hate.
As is the case with J.K. Rowling, her view was that her comments were taken out of context and judged without any attempt to understand the background and reasons behind them. Or in other words, the folks that have condemned her have acted as judge, jury and executioner based on their own racist views. The very actions folks around the world are protesting against in the first place.
This chaos in the world must take place. Unfortunitately, like a storm, the blowhards must bluster like howling winds, the tornadoes of anger must spin and touch down at random, and sharp tongued attacks will strike lightening fast until at last, the energy is spent and calm, clear skies re-appear. Only then can the real work of healing finally begin.
Perhaps it is just me and I am too sensitive, too empathic for all of this. Perhaps I need to ground my energy and protect myself from all this chaos and most importantly, stay away from the current darkness of social media. Or am I not alone in my angst and you too feel this revolution in the making. Could it be that the like minded who feel the same way as I do are meant to hold the space of reason, forgiveness and hope safely off to the side and bring it forward once the dust from this storm of humanity settles?
We are witnessing history in real time right now. The potential for a societal metamorphosis never seen before in our current times. Whether you choose to call it evolution or a revolution, social media is front and centre orchestrating every movement. The chaotic energy that is being unleashed and ushering this storm of change is not for the faint of heart.
As for me, I will sit this one out. I will wait on the sidelines with compassion and love in my heart for all, and when the furor finally does settle and calm, I will help gather up the causalities and debris, and hope that humanity has learned the lessons that all this chaos is meant to bring forward. Other wise we are doomed to repeat this all, again and again, until we do.