Monday, December 17, 2012

Never Unplug The Smoke Alarm

To my son Tommy,

Due to the internet and social media and such, I am "treated" with the ability to see what the many people I have met know, think they know, or think about a multitude of subjects at just about anytime of the day.  I know most everyone that is listed as a "friend" on my facebook page and if I were to see them in person on any given day I could go up and talk to them directly.  Unfortunately after seeing some of their views, there are a few on my list that I wouldn't want to really associate with.

So why are they still on my list?  I keep them on the list for the same reason I do not unplug the smoke alarm.  Smoke alarms have the potential to annoy you and scare the hell out of you when they go off, but you need to know when there is danger.  Pretending these views do not exist and insulating yourself with like minded people, does not give you the protection that you deserve.  I have an uncanny ability to think for myself and do not quote from or require status updates to tell me what I think.  I also don't let it get to me personally and just consider them information about the misconceptions of the world.  Except for the fact that they make my prayer list longer, they don't necessarily effect me.  I have very specific and actionable information to direct my prayers.  "Dear God, please open the hearts and minds of these nutcases that immediately went to the rants to protect their right to own guns instead of grieving the recently lost lives."  It is not necessarily their political views but it is the fact that their egocentric lifestyle did not allow them to focus on the most important part of the tragedy because it doesn't directly involve them.

Your mother has a few past acquaintances that just drive her crazy with their narrow-minded views and posts and stuff that really borders hate speech.  I have constantly said to her that she should just delete them but she responds that she needs to keep her enemies close.  She and I are of the same mindset when it comes to that but I tend to not let it get to me.  Your mother is more sensitive to the world and takes wrong thinking as a personal affront.  I on the other hand learned at an early age, most likely from being an army brat and watching the egos in the military, that a jerk is a jerk and as long as you know he is a jerk you can deal with him and since you accepted them for who they are, you can even like them in an odd sort of way.  It is those that hide their true nature and spring it on you at some unsuspecting moment that are difficult to deal with.

It is a fine line to walk when you must decide when to tone out the misdirected and uninformed.  It directly deals with your ability to think for yourself and not let them influence you or get to your soul in a way that breeds bitterness.  You have to make individual decisions on each case if the person is misled and wrong or if they are really just spewing hatred.  You will have to decide when to stand up and speak out or if doing so will play into their need for attention or drama.  You will have to decide when to hit the mute button on certain people for your own sanity or when doing so will just make you unaware of the foolish views of the world.  You will have to decide when you allow these people time to walk through your mind with their dirty feet while maintaining the ability to wipe the dirt they leave behind.  These are not easy decisions but they are important decisions.  Good luck.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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