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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Flying with fewer friends

Nico Beard
I haven't unfriended anyone on Facebook. I get that we are all entitled to our opinions. We should vote as well as behave the way our consciences guide us. And that is my problem. Notice I say MY problem. It is my problem that I expect my friends to have my back without saying the words. So it is a little okay, a lot disconcerting when some of those 'friends' support people/causes that are detrimental to a whole group of people. It does not matter to me if  I am one of those people or not, but sadly in this case I just may be one of the group.

I haven't unfriended anyone, but things have changed. I feel this is my 'there is no Santa Claus' reality. That is how I feel. No one can tell me that my feelings are not valid, so please do not try. Do not tell me that you have black friends. That really doesn't help. And saying that politics should not come between friends isn't helping either.

Understand that this goes well beyond politics for me. This is our lives. Actions have consequences. This goes for all sides, all parties, and all people. Just know that things have changed for a great many of us. The fear is real and not much that has happened in the aftermath has made it less so. It is what it is. And yes, I will have to deal with that. I have to show respect for all.

And that is what I asking for in return. Respect that your choices have hurt me. Respect that things may go very bad for many of us. Respect that we are afraid of what is to come. You do not have to agree with my thoughts just like I do not have to agree with yours. However mutual respect is a requirement for us to continue together.

I haven't unfriended anyone. I may have been unfriended. It's all good. I do not want to wake up with a knife in my back. I support your right to choose, kindly support my right as well. Maybe we can no longer be friends in real life, but let's at least be kind.

This is daunting for me because I do not remember ever doubting the true intentions of my friends. At least not on the basis of my race or gender. And now I do. That is weird at 55 years old. I now look at this country differently. But that is okay, that is reality. The blinders are off. I can no longer believe some of the things I believed before. Maybe I was wrong to believe them in the first place.

That being said, I now need to shake it off and move forward. I need to be more diligent in using my voice for those who do not have one. I need to get off of the fence about certain things and activate. I need to become more involved in the issues that mean something to me and to those coming behind me. I have a legacy to uphold and to build. I am accountable to those who came before me and to those coming after me and to myself.

Maybe the world isn't a different place. Maybe I am just seeing it for the way it always was. And maybe that is a good thing so that positive change can actually happen. And not everyone should be your friend. So unfriend me if you want to.