Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Protesting Overload

I've had enough.  Honestly, I've had enough.  I'm protesting protestors.  Sounds strange doesn't it?  No, I'm not racist and I'm not political and I do care.  I'm not referring to recent events per se, but an overall overload of protesting.

You see, every day I go on my Facebook or Twitter account or read the news coming through, someone wants me to protest.  Sure, all the reasons are valid and many I truly believe in.  Unfortunately, if I did the few moments that it takes to write a government official, sign a petition, shop somewhere else, it would be more involved than each individual thinks it would be.

After all, how do I tell which companies I should buy products at and which I should not?  It isn't like there is a big searchable database to keep me up-to-date with every company and the reasons I should boycott them.  Maybe if protestors wanted this to be real, they would invent something where I could easily search and see where I should or should not shop.

In all reality, there is a reason to not shop at many stores.  They most likely are all good reasons, but where does that leave anyone the ability to shop guilt free?  Is that even possible?  Please name one retailer that doesn't give someone a reason to protest or boycott them?  I doubt anyone could because someone would come along and claim some reason for not shopping at that particular place.  It is mind boggling to say the least.

Signing petitions and sharing and liking causes on social media just doesn't do anything for me.  I know that in some instances it has worked, but I'm far more concerned with the "evil entities" out there that are tracking my every move, my every petition and boycott and what I like or don't like when it comes to causes and organizations.  I don't for a minute think that these social media websites and those that harvest the data from a user's visit is harmless.

Everything is all with good intention and I know people have to do something to protest.  Unfortunately, it tends to be the flavored news story of the day with the horrible images that tug on our heart strings.  So, through guilt we donate money to some organization, sign a petition, join a protest or just get angry.

Is it more clear why I'm on protesting overload?  My entire life has to be about more than just protesting.  Yes, companies and individuals truly do upset me.  I see the abuses and the horrors out there.  I see the idiotic statements of racism and hatred and bigotry.  I see the pets and the animals that are abused far beyond the point of my comprehension.

I grew up with this crap.  I saw it every day of my life.  Am I calloused to it?  I don't think so, but some might argue that I am.  Am I exhausted every time I see these things?  Most likely I am.  I'm on overload.

What can be done to not go over-the-cliff with protesting overload?  I'm not sure.  Maybe if we could all sit down at a table and share our common goals, maybe just maybe we could find a solution to things?  It almost feels like protesting ends up about raising money and organizations and power and control, rather than the cause that brought people together.

What do you do about the atrocities that are committed in the streets of our communities and throughout this country and world?  Again, I have no answer here either.  I'm just not sure that protests are getting anywhere.  I tend to believe it is part of the time we are living in, but yet I hate myself for even suggesting that there is nothing I can do.

It just feels like protesting is spiraling out of control and that because of all the protests, boycotts, and petitions, that nothing seems important anymore.  After all, we joke about serious causes with an ice challenge or a naked selfie and other gimmicks.  Nothing seems to be real or connected anymore.

No one listens to anyone anymore.  Everyone is too busy screaming at the top of their lungs why their beliefs and opinions are more valid than everyone else.  If that isn't enough, we turn on our favorite news stations and programs and get filled to the brim with more screaming of beliefs and opinions.  We stake our claims.  We cement our feet into what we believe is fact, all the while not listening to anyone.

Maybe the change we seek needs to happen within us first.  Maybe we need to explore our own closets and clean out the bones that are buried from decay in our own life.  Yes I agree that this way isn't sexy and it doesn't always bring change quickly to the world in which we live.  I agree that this method doesn't fund the nonprofit organizations fund raising campaigns.

There is far more in life  than protesting and screaming and ranting and raving about the latest news story of the day.  There is far more in life than donating some money to some organization who spends very little of it on the actual cause while patting ourselves on the back that we did something positive.  There is more in life than protesting, because the best way to impact the world is one life at a time - and that life is our own.

Blog Post And Images (c) 11/28/14 by Don Shetterly

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