By Tammy Jordan
BVD 

From My Perspective: Bullies, Beliefs and Reality

 


From My Perspective - Bullies, Beliefs, and Reality

I'm tired of being bullied by those who do not share or agree with my beliefs. There used to be a time when people could have different views and beliefs, as well as conversations about their differences and still be kind to one another and remain friends. Today, that seems like more of an anomaly.

Back when this pandemic began there were two things that struck me. First, something just didn't "feel" right to me about the whole thing. Second, I truly wasn't afraid of getting the virus, however I was concerned about those who might. I was more afraid of what the circumstances surrounding the virus would do to an already divisive society.

Well, things still don't "feel" right. My personal opinion and belief is that we've been lied to as a society from the very beginning. Whether the lies were intentional or not is still a matter for debate. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. We can agree to disagree. This isn't about politics, agendas or conspiracy theories, it's just my belief, based on the conclusions I draw from the information I've gathered. You've likely gathered your own conclusions and have your own beliefs. You are entitled to them as I am mine. I don't hate you or wish ill upon you, we just don't agree. It's that simple. We don't have to win one another over, nor do we need to treat each other badly or be mean to one another over it.


I know that a lot of people are worried about this virus and the state opening back up. I understand your fear, but I won't stop living. The truth of the matter is that daily, people die, whether from the virus or something completely unrelated.

The other truth is that this is such an unknown thing we're going through. The data, the models, how it spreads, whether masks are beneficial or not, changes every single day. That's life. It changes every single day. It's how we choose to spend our days that matter. It's how we treat fellow humans, how we move forward and how we make it a good life. It's not about fighting, it's not about hate, and it's not about being so divided.

One of the big things that seems to be dividing us right now is fear surrounding the COVID-19 virus. Personally, I won't allow the fear to dictate how I live my life. If you are afraid of something, I really do try to understand it, and while I may not, I respect that those fears are yours. But please don't expect your fears to have a sway in the way that I live my life. If you're afraid, please do the things for yourself that make you feel safe, but please, don't force them on me. I won't force you to go out and live your life in fear. I won't make you feel bad for having your beliefs. Please give me the same respect by not forcing me to feed into your fears and stop living.


My personal belief is this: when it is my time to die, it's my time. I always hope I'm lucky enough to go peacefully in my sleep, but the reality is that I could die in a car accident, I could fall from my horse, be eaten by a wild animal (I do live in Montana – it's been known to happen), or I could get sick from a virus or develop cancer. The truth of the matter is that no one knows. I'm not going to not drive my car because I could get into an accident, nor will I stop riding my horse because it's dangerous. I'm not going to stop hiking and walking near the river because I could encounter a wild animal, nor will I stop being around people because I could get sick. I take precautions and be a safe as I can. In my car I wear a seatbelt, drive safely and am constantly aware of my surroundings. When I'm out with the horse I'm attentive to what's around me and make sure someone knows the area where I'm riding. When I hike or walk by the river I carry a backpack with water, a small first aid kit, bear spray, and a gun. When I'm with people, I wash my hands, practice common-sense safety, and if I'm sick, I stay home.

Through these past months, I've also noticed that social media has made bullying very easy and so anonymous. People comment on one another's posts with things they would likely never say in person to one another. They are just words, typed in a little box, but sometimes those words are so hate-filled. It reminds me of a quote I once saw that said something to the effect of "Just because you have an opinion doesn't mean you need to share it." It seems to have lost its meaning when it comes to social media though. When someone types a response, there are no repercussions, no accountability for those things said online. What I think has happened is that somewhere between social media and everyday real life, it's become acceptable to treat people badly. Social media has also made it much easier to post political views, propaganda and voice opinions in a way that reaches so many people in a way we've never seen before.


When people start performing their social media personas in real life, I often find myself in this weird time/space. I don't know about anyone else, but when someone takes bullying from social media to real life, and I happen to be the one feeling attacked, I find myself so dumbfounded at their words and actions I can't even muster a response. Some of those bullies take that as a sign of weakness, but rest-assured, it isn't weakness on my part. I just choose not to engage. I won't engage in the hatred, mean words, horrible accusations. I choose to walk away. I choose peace.

I think no matter what anyone's beliefs are at this point, what the world needs is more peace and more kindness. We don't have to agree with one another to be kind. We just have to respect each other enough to know there will always be different views, different opinions, different ways or muddling through the mess of life.

Can we do that? Can we treat each other better? Can we be more kind? Can we show one another some respect?

I surely hope so, because if we don't, I fear the world will be far more scary than any virus ever was.

 

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