Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A damp, chilly day and my view on Facebook

Spring was in full bloom when I woke up this morning—rainy and a bit chilly. Oh the temperature wasn’t bad, but it just felt cool. Rain was heavy, then slight, then heavy again, but it rained almost all morning. Actually, I’d have liked it—after all, my basil seeds, and my newlettuce and onion were getting good soakings,--but I had to go out in it.

Or I thought I did. Two days in a row now I’ve tried to go to doctor appointments that are really next week—somehow I was just a week off on my computer calendar. Yesterday I caught it before I left the house. Talking to a friend and arranging a lunch for next week, I noticed that the audiologist was listed twice—once yesterday and once the next Monday. Hastily I called to check, found out it was next week, and cancelled my ride in time to avoid Betty picking me up or me showing up there only to be told I didn’t have an appointment.

Not so lucky today. There was great confusion over whether Jordan or Christian would take me to the eye doctor. Ophthalmology appointments always take so long because of eye dilation and all that someone drops me off, and I call when I’m through. To my surprise, Jordan came back after dropping Jacob at school to get me, and I arrived at the office with one minute to spare. Checked in and settled down to wait my turn, only to have the receptionist come and say solicitously, “Your appointment is not until next week.” I called good friend Jean who came to get me and take me home. I figured Jordan had barely gotten to her office, and it would upset her routine to have to leave again so quickly.

I’ve had two nice long days at home at my desk, with a brief detour this morning. With rainy weather, I’ve been grateful to be at home, snug and secure. And it’s great nap weather.

Yesterday I got into a protracted—really long!—and sometimes unpleasant discussion of gun control, so ugly that it led me to block someone, a thing I’ve only done twice before in my long years of social media. The person I blocked accused me of being an angry old white woman, which I readily acknowledge—I am angry that children have to show us the way. But the line that got me was that he wasn’t going to enable me—sorry, sir, no man “enables” me. I have another FB antagonist who is absolutely, to my mind, off the wall in his arguments, leaping from this topic to that so fast, you can barely follow and always coming back to blame it all on Obama and Hilary. But I know he’s otherwise a good guy at heart, and he has never ever attacked me as a person—so I don’t and won’t block him. I enjoy our exchanges—okay, sparring matches. But many on the conservative side cannot exchange opinions without attacking the person voicing the opposite view. I deplore that. I am not now capable of volunteering for many causes I find worthwhile--speaking out is one of my ways of paying it forward.

Some ask why I’m so vocal on Facebook, and I can only reply that my conscience makes me speak out against what I feel is unjust, dangerous, cruel,, detrimental to our country—and these days that’s a lot. To remain silent would be to be complicit. Fellow authors suggest I might antagonize readers. I hope not, but it’s a price I’d pay for liberty and justice for all in this country. I am constantly reminded of Martin Niemoller’s WWII words:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

That, my friends, is why I speak out—for my family, my grandchildren, for you, and for me. I hope it doesn’t upset you.


Thelia said...

Judy, I too get upset by the antagonists who respond hatefully to posts and I have recently unfriended a long time friend. She could not accept that anyone had an opinion or a viewpoint different from her own.

judyalter said...

Thelia, I found that's true a lot these days. It's my way or the highway. I work hard at trying to see both sides of some issues--and believe me, sometimes it's hard work. I am reluctant to block or unfriend people, but I guess sometimes you just have to, for the sake of your own peace of mind.