Here’s a concept that’s pretty foreign to a lot of people. Are you sitting down? Good, the world is not just “black or white”, “us or them”, “1 or 2”, “good or evil” or “a or b”. With almost everything there is an entire spectrum of ideas, beliefs, and feelings. Now I know, this idea is tough for plenty of people to handle, especially with how polarized everything is right now, but believe me, there’s an entire gamut of possible answers to nearly everything.
Here’s a simple example. I like Star Wars, I do not however like the three prequel movies, but I still say I enjoy Star Wars as a whole. Here’s another one, I also like Star Trek. I’m not a fan of the new movies, I never got into Enterprise despite the charm of Scott Bakula, and a lot of the old movies are garbage along with plenty of episodes of each show (i.e. every single first season of every Star Trek show). This is an example within an example because I like both Star Trek and Star Wars. Also, my tastes have changed over time. I used to love Star Wars more, but now I like Star Trek more. People can change and in turn their beliefs can too. Scary, I know, but it’s okay, we’re not in the weeds yet. You still have time to turn back if all this talk of changing minds and not choosing one over the other is scaring you.
Still with me? Cool, here’s another example. You can still support Bernie Sanders, but vote for Hillary Clinton, hell you don’t even need to like her. SCANDALOUS! I KNOW! but hear me out. It may also surprise you to see this isn’t a radical idea. People have been making compromises while voting for elected officials for the entire history of this country. Is it right? Not entirely, but without going into the argument for or against the two party system, it’s also life. So sure, you can respond with a “I’LL VOTE FOR HER BUT I DON’T NEED TO LIKE IT!” all you want and all I’m going to do is shrug my shoulders, roll my eyes at you and give a thumbs up. You want to talk about compromise? I’m a very far leftist, some would say some form of anarchist even, but I agree that my core beliefs don’t fly in this current society so I keep to them as much as I can but make compromises every day. Shit man, I work literally across the room from a team from Comcast. Do I run up to their door everyday spouting anti-capitalist rhetoric? As much as I would like to (and I REALLY would like to), no, I don’t.
Still with me? Here’s another shocker, and this one could be an especially heavy pill to swallow. You can support Black Lives Matter, AND the police. On the flip side, you can support law enforcement but also hold them accountable for their shit. This is a huge blast to many people’s world views, I know. Seriously though, you can still support law enforcement but also accept that they’re people and there are good people and downright shit bags. Therefore, by the transitive property, there are good police and piles of shit wearing blue uniforms. On a similar topic, not all Muslims are terrorists, not all immigrants are enemies, not all poor people are lazy and good for nothing, and not all rich people are entitled (this is one I’ll admit I have serious issue with, but I’m working through it). Further along these lines, just because someone is rich, doesn’t mean they worked hard to get there nor do they deserve it.
This is exhausting, but we’re almost through thoroughly blowing minds here.This last one will really shake your fundamental values or potentially wreck your bowels. Gender isn’t binary. Now before you burst into flames of confusion and worry and start crying in a corner, it’s true, gender is non-binary. There’s an entire spectrum of gender and sexual preference out there. In many cultures throughout the world and through history, there were many formal genders other than the two this society is accustomed to. That also means that a person can be very fluid in how they feel and who or what they identify as. That also means that just because a person may feel one way doesn’t mean they feel the need to express that to the world. On top of that, there are so many people that have spent their entire lives feeling one way, really want to express it to the world, but have been coerced through social and familial pressures to betray who they actually are and represent themselves as one of the two “accepted” genders. There are also many people who take that step and go against the social pressures and live their lives as who they want to be, how they want to dress, what they want society to see them as and that doesn’t make them perverts, child rapists, or depraved people, that just means they’re people who want to live how they want to live .
A year or two ago, a former coworker said that the world is a more complicated place than it used to be, and I said that is entirely bull shit. The world is just as complicated as it has ever been, it’s just people are starting to recognize it for what it actually is and when you try to take things and simplify them, that’s when problems arise. Anyone who tries to break things up into only two categories are lying to themselves and others. They’re doing it because they’re the ones that are too lazy to accept a world that is not just black or white, a or b, yes or no, chocolate or vanilla, Star Wars or Star Trek, Marvel or DC, whatever. There are many people on this planet with many different beliefs, customs, and norms. If we clump everyone into one group or the other we are turning our backs on an entire spectrum of people and a world filled with gorgeous complexity.