As I often say, no one is normal. We all have our quirks and idiosyncrasies, it’s just that some of us are sociopaths.
Over the past year I’ve learned that it’s not enough just to not be a racist, bigot or close minded fool.
Even if you are none of that you need to call out others who are.
By standing by or even encouraging these things, we are part of the problem.
This week we saw what happens when certain ideas are encouraged. Five people are dead, our democracy has been damaged and we have lost the moral high ground around the world.
Many people may not realize what they are saying until someone points it out. As they say in business if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.
If people are carrying forward the racism or negative thinking that they may have inherited from their family, they may see it as normal and not negative at all. If they grew up with certain ideas or words, it seems normal.
I cringe when I recall what my mother used to call Brazil nuts. She eventually called them Brazil nuts, but not when I was a child.
If people don’t realize that their words or behaviors are negative, they cannot reflect and hopefully change.
As unbelievable as it may seem, words that most of us find offensive others see as normal language.
Most of us have subtle ways of discriminating and demeaning others.
It might be as simple as talking over certain people or dismissing their ideas. It may be a tone of voice.
It is up to those of us who have reflected to let people know that certain ideas and words are not acceptable.
We may loose a few friends or acquaintances, but that is a small price to pay to move our society towards a more perfect union.
And if you are the five people you most closely associate with, do you really want to be a close-minded bigot?
There are plenty of people in this world full of hate who will never change. Most of us are not equipped to change them anyway.
But there are plenty of people who just need someone close to them to let them know that their normal is not normal.
Hate is not normal. It is taught. It is learned.
We are better than this. We can be better than this.
We can become a more perfect union.