T W E N T Y - S I X - L E T T E R S
This morning there was a psychologist on the Today Show in a segment on civility in America. Or the lack of it.
This weekend here in DC there was a Rally to Restore Sanity.
This morning the psychologist was saying that part of the lack of civility is in part due to having so many ways to express yourself, and specifically the immediacy of that. And with anonymity, comes less concern about the consequences of what you say. He said that eons ago, if the farmer next door did something to upset you, you had to think about what you were going to say, walk over there, and then face that person — in person. And then continue to live next to them. [See blog: Thirty-three Sparks].
This past weekend at the Rally, I noticed a much different sentiment in the crowds compared to the 'other' rally my curiosity had nudged me to attend a few months ago (the, eh-hem, "bi-partisan/non-political" one about Restoring Honor). As a creative, I was loving the self-expression and uniqueness of the messages at the Sanity/Fear rally. Very creative. Very poignant. Or very funny. This rally on Sanity had a variety of signs — like the variety of opinions in this country. This rally had a range of serious and sense of humor — a critical blend for a country in crisis. Am I wrong? But unlike the blinding shades of Caucasian from the Honor Rally, this 10/30 rally appeared to be a more authentic snapshot of the voices that make up this country. A National Mall that seemed to welcome everyone. Even a simple sign that sums it all up: "I respect you as a person, but I respectfully disagree with your point of view."
And I recalled the much more antagonistic tone from the 'other' rally, "how's that hopey-hopey, changey-changey thing goin'?" Well:
a) Change isn't easy, it requires perseverance and cooperation, and
b) When did hope and change become bad things?
I'm of the mindset that if you're gonna complain about a problem, you can and should speak up, but bring solutions to the table.
We all know that immediacy and anonymity can go sliding downhill quickly. But with those very same tools, we also have an amazing opportunity to have an impact. A positive impact through all of these vehicles of communication at our fingertips.
I'm typing in one of those now. This blog.
On November 2nd, there's another important way you can express yourself and your views. Through your vote. So change your profile pic! Use your blog! Post your perspective! But be respectful, thoughtful, and OWN that perspective, too.
With all of these opportunities to express yourself, your views, your brilliance or stupidity...
...what are you saying?
And yep. There's an app, bumper sticker, tweet, church sign, profile pic, t-shirt, homemade sign, blog and rally for that.
Use it well.
And, btw, I like my hopey-changey. Image in this blog was from the 10/30 Rally in DC ---- I LOVED this 'hat' I saw with these four letters embroidered on it. I didn't get a pic, but this is a quick sketch I did of it.