March 15, 2016

Look. At. Everything.


We’ve all got one, a box that carries the topics to avoid on social media or in conversations. The usual suspects are politics, religion, spouses, sexual orientation, rape, incest, child abuse, animal cruelty, sex trafficking, racism, brutality in all forms and recently, Donald Trump.

There’s a big problem with an aversion box. It enables secrets and bad behavior to continue. This is how child abuse is occurring well past anyone wanting it to. It is also why Donald Trump is going to clinch the Republican nomination.

Social taboos like racism and brutality exist in dark hidden places because they are not discussed. Instead societal problems regurgitate beneath the surface, until bile reaches a boiling point, like right now.

The delete button is there for misspellings not hiding from the truth. Hitting delete does not make human errors go away, they only get shut down in an aversion box until a random cluster of situations ejects the mess all at once.

Think Bill Cosby getting unmasked by 55 women after a comedian calls him a rapist.

In my aversion box there’s a loud speaker. It catcalls me to: “Pay attention, there’s something to learn.” I’ve never been led to look and then not found that I’m ignoring harsh realities of this life.

We humans are at a critical time in our history. We’ve been at these junctures before, during the rise of Nazism, the first and second stock market crashes, through most of the Vietnam War, the Nixon presidency, 9/11 and other struggles that bring global attention to a combined focal point.

Killer Mike on the The Late Show says a similar thing to Stephen Colbert, relating that these pivotal moments come about every 20 years. Here’s a retrospective look with the two-decade math.

In the mid 90s genocide in Rwanda killed a quoted 800,000, Nelson Mandela was elected South Africa’s President, in Oklahoma the Federal Building was bombed and there were sarin nerve gas attacks on Tokyo subways.

Twenty years prior in the mid-70s we saw the Nixon resignation and a Ford unconditional pardon. There was world-wide inflation, the end of the Vietnam War and the assassination of the Saudi Arabian President. Another two decades before that in 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat on a bus for a white person.

At our current watermark there is Donald Trump, the rise of the terrorist group ISIS in the Middle East, a police shooting in Ferguson, the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement, the Charlie Hebdo murders, a Planned Parenthood clinic shooting in Colorado, the Paris terror attacks, same-sex marriage becoming a right nationally, and the Bernie Sanders democratic-socialist candidate has a shot at becoming the liberal nominee.

To further my point on our aversion box, when I Googled 2014 and 2015, the first several links were the “best,” “happiest,” “weirdest,” and “nicest”—not the most important happenings. It took more time to research our current events than it did to go back 20 years.

Our instinctive need to turn away from aspects of human interaction that are troubling is giving rise to Trump for President. He and his supporters have been allowed to behave irresponsibly and threateningly.

Donald Trump is not a representative of where America wants to go, because that would be going backward. The same with the shootings in Ferguson and Planned Parenthood and the rest of the extreme behavior that has been directed at people who don’t believe in a perceived “right” way.

That interpretation of “right” is wrong.

Right is to behave in a manner that elevates each other and our discussion. It doesn’t malign, beat or kill people to shut them up or make them do as someone else believes. That is a dictatorship, not a democracy.

Pay attention, there is something to learn. We are at a critical point in our democracy. Don’t hit delete or look away. Stand up and be present for what is happening right now. There are plenty of dancing toddler and puppy videos to show that the world isn’t all going to hell in a handbasket.

To move past critical moments rather than continually hit the same speed bump every 20 years it is necessary to be present and stand together for humanity. All things are possible, even moving our social interaction forward rather than staying mired in the muck of our history.

Let’s do the clean up together for the greater purpose of living in peace. Change requires action and action requires looking.



Author: Deb Locos

Editor: Travis May

Image: Flickr/Adam Mechanic 2000

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