This morning as I was getting ready I was happy and in a pretty good mood. All the while I went through my normal morning routine I thought to myself “well at least it is Friday”. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks… it is not in fact Friday. I have no clue why I got it into my head that it was Friday, especially considering it is a short week for us here in the United States. In just two days the week has seemed like a lifetime, and I am really hoping that today is far more manageable. For starters my anxiety has been through the roof as there are a number of changes going on in my work environment, that while they have not actually directly effected me… have a high potential for doing so. So my brain has gone haywire with playing these catastrophic what if scenarios, always managing to pain the worst possible picture.
Tuesday morning my wife’s vehicle had a flat tire, so I sent her on to work in my vehicle and took it around the corner to our tire place. This caused me to get a late start on the day and throw everything off kilter. Yesterday on the drive into work in my vehicle something felt off, like my wife had adjusted my seat in a strange way or something. I fiddled with the controls trying to get it back in order, only to find after getting to work that my seat was quite literally broken. After six years of wear and tear a piece on the side had broken causing the entire seat to somewhat veer downhill to the left. To make matters worse I got distracted yesterday morning while writing my blog post and I never actually published it. While I ran home at lunch to correct this, it set the entire day off once again.
Be Awesome Human Beings
So it really doesn’t help things that parts of the internet that I care about are in a war right now. I’ve tried my damnedest to remain blissfully ignorant about what is going on, because quite frankly I try really hard to limit the amount of negativity in my life. That said I have checked the hashtag a few times and what I have seen is nothing that I want to be associated with. These folks are not just being poor gamers… they are being horrible human beings. I won’t even get into the rant I probably have spun up in me about the practice of attaching “Gate” to something to make it seem like a grand conspiracy. There is no controversy here, no conspiracy… just a bunch of folks being “shitbag douchehead to people” to quote a friend of mine when I asked for an explanation of part of the present climate.
I don’t consider myself a Social Justice Warrior, or a crusader of any sort. I don’t brandish about the title of ally or feminist, even though I tend to align pretty heavily to both of those causes. I like to think of myself as moderate, even though I skew fairly heavily to the left side of the equation. What I do however try and do is be a good human being, and part of that is respecting others and treating them like I would want to be treated in return. “Be Awesome To Each Other” is a pretty damned good mantra to live by if I do say so myself. When I meet someone new, I try really hard to view them as a potential best friend, and not as some stranger to fear and distrust. At almost 40 years I am confident enough in myself to be willing to accept in the thoughts of others without the need to push them out. I seek out diverse thoughts, because they will do one of two things. They will either reaffirm my own beliefs, or cause those beliefs to evolve and become more rich. I am not interested in living in an echo chamber, and so long as people are respectful to each other they have a seat at my internet table.
Life is Nuanced
The biggest problem I see coming along with all of us is this artificial binary mentality that folks seem to impose on the world. Things are rarely ever one of two things with no middle ground between them. I do not divide people into social avengers and knuckle draggers, because we are not cartoon characters with one single overriding trait that defines everything about us. Reducing people to these red versus blue sketches also reduces their humanity in the process. As a result just because someone supports this one thing, doesn’t mean they immediately support everything attached to that one thing. For example I personally have chosen not to be religious, but that does not mean that I hate everyone who has deep religious views and traditions. It doesn’t even mean that I view religion as a horrible thing that we should all rebel against, I just made a personal choice that it wasn’t for me. Dealing in absolutes causes you to miss all of the wonderful subtle shades in between.
Additionally I feel like it is important to be nice to the folks in your life that you don’t have to. You obviously have to be nice to the people who hold sway over you, and you also likely have to be nice over the people you want to influence. However as we go about each day we pass by so many other people that we have no involvement in at all. I find myself judging people the most in the way they treat these people, the ones they don’t have to be nice to in the least. It could be as simple as smiling and saying “Hi” as you pass someone in the street that you don’t know, or offering to open a door for someone who is heavily burdened. I’ve had so many good things happen to me over the years mixed in with the frustrations, that I try my best to pay this kindness forward. The problem is I feel like this overriding sense of debt to the world around us is lacking. If you felt like it was your responsibility to help other human beings… you’d find it impossible to act the way folks treating each other in relation to this whole issue. Ultimately this is not a male versus female issue, or a gamer issue… this is a human issue. When you diminish any part of that humanity regardless of influence… you end up diminishing all of it in the process.
Many times when I sit down to write in the morning I don’t have any form of an agenda. Today was more or less one of those days, but the issues surrounding our community have been weighing heavily on my mind. So I started typing and all of this came out as a result. I don’t intend to be a crusader or any cause other than that of basic human decency. So please as you go about your day today… be awesome to each other. It sounds silly, but it is a pretty simple tenet. Try your best today to go out of your way and be nice to someone you don’t have to. Open a door for someone, let someone into traffic in front of you, or hell even tip a bit more than usual to that beleaguered wait staff at lunch. Just try and do something today to make the world a nicer place to live in, instead of making someone else’s day worse.