I am so very frustrated with the world at large, as many of those of us in possession of a soul are, but I have also learned that there’s only so much one person can do and it’s best to focus on the things you have some control over so as not get totally overwhelmed. Despair is not useful. “Anger is more useful than despair.”
Of the handful of things I can control: my social media. Of the things that make me the most frustrated: a friend list full of people who are most certainly NOT my friends, who I would not chose to socialize with given the option, and who are either bigots or idiots I cannot stand in real life so WHY would I continue to “follow” them online? Because they post good recipes? So does Buzzfeed. Because they have cute kids? So do I. To maintain good relations for networking reasons? Not a good enough reason.
Let me tell you about the woman who used to be a coworker–who could still be considered a colleague–who posted some nonsense about protesters being “babies” and how they need to grow up. This woman of color is the daughter of immigrants from a country that does not value women and she spent her whole life–she’s told me on many occasions, often with tears in her eyes–being denigrated by her parents and extended family members. She works in a male-dominated industry full of macho airheads who still use phrases like, “even good for girls” in their advertising. And she is very… very susceptible to peer pressure.
Do I believe that in her heart she supports an administration led by a man who does not value women, minorities, or immigrants? Prrrrobably not. See above, re: tears in her eyes. Do I believe that the macho airheads she works with brainwashed her into thinking that agreeing with something that’s BAD for her would be the only thing that would make them respect her? AAAAAAbsolutely because it happened constantly when she was my coworker.
So I could go on from here into some brainwashing, fake news, peer pressure thing and wonder how many of That Man’s voters were not aware that they were not acting in their own interests but were propagandized nice and thorough and blah blah blah. But it doesn’t matter now. He’s got the chair and there’s nothing my pondering can do to get him out of it.
Instead, I’ll focus on the things I can control. I can choose to not be friends with people who denigrate others while literally crying about the very same happening to them. Because that kind of hypocrisy underlies a fundamental lack of empathy. And why the hell should I be friends with someone who cannot empathize with others? How does such a person HAVE friends or any kind of meaningful relationship if they have no insight into the emotions of others? Is that why they value Facebook friendships? Because they’d rather think of their friends as “followers” who have to listen to every word they say?
You know what? I don’t care. Unfriend. There. I’ve controlled a situation that caused me pain and frustration. What’s next?