I don’t hate anyone. I don’t make fun of people or call them names or say or do anything intentionally mean. I have been the recipient of that behavior and would never intentionally cause another to feel the way I felt. I wish I could say that it has never happened. That I have never said anything hurtful in all my life. That I have never caused pain – emotional or physical – to another human being in my whole life. But that would be a lie.
There was the time (or two) that I punched my little brother in the stomach. To be fair, my reasoning was not to hurt him, only to interrupt his pummeling of me. But I knew it would hurt him, and I did it anyway, because hurting him was the only thing I knew would make him stop. At least until the next time.
There have been times when I misspoke and hurt someone. There have been times when what I said, no matter how carefully worded or written, was misunderstood and hurt someone. So, no, I can’t say that I have never caused another pain. What I can say is that I have never intentionally hurt another human being in word, action or deed. EVER.
Also, having known a few bullies in my day, I can say that I don’t take kindly to seeing someone else be hurt. Whether I like you or not, whether I know you or not, I will not sit by while you are treated with less respect than you deserve. I’m not talking about butting into every little disagreement that one is having with their spouse/significant other/friend in public; we have those, too, as much as I would prefer not to. I am a Taurus, after all, and sometimes I have to say what I think *right. now.* But I will call the police when I see a middle-school kid getting the snot beaten out of them at the park across the street from my house. I will speak up if someone is being harassed. I have even been known to engage a child in conversation when I can see that Mom is at her wit’s end at church or in the grocery store.
I very much dislike bullies. And I don’t care who they are. Their station in life, their celebrity, their title or position, all mean very little to me. As I have said before, we are all on the same journey. Each doing the best we can given our circumstances and level of ability.
I choose not to accept or tolerate bullying. I choose not to single out a group of people based on the actions of a few. I choose not to associate with those who participate in, or are willing to look past bullying by others.
– You may not be a bully, but if you are willing to overlook bullying, you are not my friend.
– You may not be racist, but if you are willing to overlook racism, you are not my friend.
– You may not be a misogynist, but if you are willing to overlook misogyny, you are not my friend.
– You may not be hateful, but if you are willing to overlook hatred, you are not my friend.
For the record, I will not even allow a bully to be bullied. I believe in Karma; I wish for my Karma to be peace. NO ONE “deserves” to be treated badly, and I won’t let it happen to anyone if I have the power to stop it…even if that person is perceived by others to “deserve it”. I don’t have to like a person to care about them as a human being. That said, I don’t have to like them, and I don’t have to allow them to be part of my life.
What it comes down to is this: I don’t support these behaviors, I don’t support the people who display them, and I don’t support the people who support them, even by omission. “I can overlook that because…” is not something I can support.
– I’m not taking a political stance, I’m taking a stance for human decency.
– I’m not angry that “my candidate” didn’t win, I’m angry that so many people thought a bully was a good choice.
– I didn’t stop being your friend over politics, I stopped being your friend because I choose not to be your next victim.
As any recipient of a bully’s fists/words/actions/hatred will tell you, it comes down to self preservation. I choose to love. I choose to accept. I choose to follow the teachings of Jesus, whose best friend was a prostitute, who made no judgments and excluded no one. I choose to surround myself with like minds. I don’t call names or deride or belittle anyone. Some – like those described above – I choose to love from a safe, self-preserving distance.