I’m a Christian
I’m a Muslim
I’m a Conservative
I’m a Buddhist
I’m a Liberal
I’m a single parent
‘Good for you, I don’t care’ is what I want to say but that’s a very black and white thing to say as a response. I have Grey tattooed on my arm for a reason, there are many shades of grey kicking around. Simply saying ‘I don’t care.’ is polarising and is stark enough to make someone think I was trying to say something else. So I’ll go into some detail…
I think we should be nice to each other. Sane, Safe, and Consensual is a simple term that I think applies to more than alternative sexual relationships. I think it’s a pretty good yard stick to lots of stuff in life. It goes along with more than just sex and it’s a good addition to ‘Don’t be a dick’ – Will Wheaton (Penny arcade expo (MP3) (keynote address), 2007) or be nice to the folks around you is another good piece of life direction. Treat folks the way you want to be treated – it’s a great way for folks to measure you and it gives them guidelines on how they expect to be treated.
I don’t go around punching people. Someone hits me I’m likely to hit them back. I don’t want to be hit but now they’ve expressed to me that hitting is ok and I’m allowed to hit them, possible they desire the physical connection of being struck by another human. Now there is more to getting into a row or fracas then random folks swinging.
Example: I don’t play fight.
I have a hard time knowing how far is too far with other folks. When training or practicing martial arts or hand to hand, there are rules and safety measures that set out the limits when folks go at it. Play fighting has traditionally ended up with folks getting hurt. My mother always said ‘Don’t cry to me if you get hurt fighting.’ Last weekend Meat Mechanic got irate and took a playful kick at me. I reacted and it hurt and she got mad. I hit a nerve area, aka Trigger Point (Myofascial trigger points: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_points) in a soft spot of the leg with little force and she bruised. Meat Mechanic got mad and Lady Bear gave her a warning – Dozer does not play fight.
The rules are not clear for me, I’m not sure how far is too far. For me that was far enough, what I did was as far as I was willing to go. I didn’t know hitting trigger points was off limits we didn’t break that rule out until after it hurt.
So I try to treat folks in the manner I want to be treated and if I’m passing some boundaries and rules I expect folks to tell me. The social grey areas are not like the black and white law where in Canada ‘Ignorance of the law, is not a defence.’
So I try to be safe, sane, interact through consensual manner with folks in a way that I myself want to be dealt with while working on being nice to folks. Again I try – I like most other folks are human. The rest of you are some sort of immortal race secretly fighting an unseen war in the shadows of society in the lost parts of the world and cracks of this reality. Lastly I try to not judge folks by anything other than their actions – off the deeds, and not the words (or thoughts).
People can lie for good or bad reasons. Sorry – people are at times full of shit and lie. Hopefully they have a good reason and the lying is not the norm. So words are wasted air unless made solid. The power of the spoken word is gone after a period of time called memory; the written word is still there. Words can be a stain or immortal reminder. Written words are also a child of action. Someone has to write the words out hopefully knowing that the written words will outlive them. So focus on the deeds and not the words of a person.
Don’t try to think about what someone else is thinking about. Judging them by their invisible thoughts, it’s impossible to be correct. Action is the evidence of a person’s thought but even then you could still be wrong. Ignore the why; don’t ask what were they thinking. It doesn’t matter – only the outcome of their actions.
You and I can’t read minds.
So I try to judge folks by their actions. (What we’re you expecting more about the mind reading ability – gosh I wish I could do that.) When people do something, when they spend time and energy at a task, that tells something you about them.
Example: The Westboro Baptist Church.
The Wesboro Baptist says lots of things that I disagree with. It’s ignorant and promotes social exclusion they can do that at home or within their property. They can keep saying those things – until they act on what they say. Write it down, put up a sign. Well those are actions. Show up to protest a funeral, once more an action. Blogging about how much you disagree that Dozer is a dick (Note: No member or the church itself has ever done so – I’m injecting some humour here) is an act… that could happen but I don’t think the Westboro Baptist Church even knows who I am.
Example: Wearing a Uniform illegally (in Canada at least)
You can say you’re in the military. Wearing a Uniform and saying you’re in the army is lying and committing an act that can be judged. I judge it to be wrong, disrespectful and shameful. Others think who cares. The Government of the United States has determined that it’s ok as long as you don’t profit from that act.
Example: Lying in Court
This is a grey area but I think it’s pretty clear. You can spout lies all the time, but you can also decide to lie when you’re called upon to act and provide witness. So lying in court is a bit different then lying to that dude on the bus you’re trying to impress so you can take his newspaper when he gets off in three stops.
We all judge each other but judging someone on something ephemeral like a thought is impossible. Lots of folks say bullshit in far too many cases. Action is something we can judge you on. Try to shot someone and I’ll judge you. Volunteer to help out at the soup kitchen and I’ll end up judging you. Whether or not we care about what folks think about us, such as how I think about you, is not important. It’s a part of social interaction and a larger topic in itself but I’m talking about how I‘d like folks to treat each other and how I go about doing that.
So back to the build up I’ve started:
I try to be safe, sane, and interact through consensual manner with folks in a way that I myself want to be dealt with while working on being nice to people, hoping that my actions will be how I am judged by society.
“I’m X” – (Until you cross the line above) I don’t care (what you are).