Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 18 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/16/20

Be Kind to Those Offended By It

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   2 comments
Author 9
Follow Me on Twitter     Message David Swanson
Become a Fan
  (140 fans)


Copyrighted Image? DMCA

"Good Morning! Would you mind staying a safe distance away?"

"Hi! Nice mask! Could you please wear it on your face instead of your chin?"

Helping people reduce the risk of spreading a deadly disease requires being willing to offend them.

And as they long for a return to normalcy, you should be preparing to be a lot more offensive.

"That sounds delicious. Does it have any dead animals in it?"

"How's it going? Could you please not carry a gun around here?"

These are comments of the same sort as "put your mask on" in that they are aimed at helping the people you're confronting survive, whether they like it or not. The methane and other destruction and pollution of livestock will kill them, not just you. The guns increase the risk of gun death for everyone, especially gun owners.

But if you want to get really out-of-step, if you want to offend in the way actually needed, if you want to truly serve everyone's interests whether they will stand for it or not, then you have to disrupt, protest, and change public policy.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Mayor, all of these people will gladly get off your lawn and plant it with wild flowers when you support divestment from oil producers and weapons dealers."

"Nice offices, Congress Members. You can enter them as soon as you agree to end fossil fuel subsidies and shift $400 billion a year from wars to a Green New Deal."

"No, sir, I do understand that you're just trying to get to your job manufacturing nuclear weapons, but we're just trying to give your children a chance to live."

These, too, are acts of kindness toward those disrupted and inconvenienced and pressured to change their ways. And they'll hate you for it. But that doesn't mean you need to forget that you are being kind to them. That doesn't mean you need to become hateful or start wishing them harm or making jokes about "natural selection" taking care of the non-mask-wearers a comment easily as cruel and ignorant as not wearing a mask.

The essence of nonviolent activism is helping people who do not want to be helped. Far from hating them, it requires actually listening to them. Sometimes some of them will know something that you don't know. Acting on the best information, whether popular or not, requires constantly searching for better information. But it does not require inaction or politeness that permits injustice and destruction to continue.

"That looks like a really nice Bible you're thumping, but outgrowing childish ancient myths would give us a better chance at survival in the times ahead."

"I'm aware there's an even worse political party than yours, but we need changes neither of those parties will stand for unless you help us challenge both of them."

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Rate It | View Ratings

David Swanson Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Obama's Open Forum Opens Possibilities

Public Forum Planned on Vermont Proposal to Arrest Bush and Cheney

Feith Dares Obama to Enforce the Law

Did Bush Sr. Kill Kennedy and Frame Nixon?

Eleven Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military

Holder Asked to Prosecute Blankenship

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: