I don’t care that it’s your birthday
I am on Facebook, your friends are on Facebook, and hell, your mom is probably on Facebook. Facebook is the main way people connect in our society today. I have nothing against Facebook as a whole, but what I can’t stand is when someone on my friends list has a birthday. I get notifications from Facebook reminding me to post a public birthday message for them, and I have the pleasure of seeing post after post of half-hearted happy birthdays like I was urged to do.
Seriously, people, if you are good enough friends with someone to wish them a sincere happy birthday, surely you have their phone number or another, more personal and genuine means of passing along the sentiment. Is Facebook guilt-tripping us into wishing people happy birthday? I don’t know, but you certainly won’t see me posting happy birthday on your wall any time soon.
Several weeks ago, I read a comment on Facebook that has stuck with me. The comment referred to CIVL being unsafe for LGBT students because it has given radio shows to a couple of people who promote their views relating to traditional family values. Debates about the potency of the term “unsafe” aside, I have never understood the notion of being repelled by opposing ideas. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where freedom of speech is constitutionally protected as a fundamental freedom. As such, we should appreciate hearing opinions different from our own, for this highlights the invaluable freedoms that our country has afforded us. We should also be receptive to opposing ideas as a way of enriching ourselves and our own views.
However, if hearing opposing opinions truly makes you feel unsafe, then perhaps think about starting an authoritarian regime, à la North Korea, where you can compel everyone to have the same mindset as you.
I fully support and promote kindness and consideration towards others, and that no one should be made to feel unsafe or discriminated against. But it seems we’re at a point where many people are becoming afraid to discuss almost anything openly for fear of unintentionally offending any sensitive soul who might feel “unsafe” simply because they have a differing opinion, or use a word they find inappropriate.
I often hear that intention means nothing compared to impact; well of course impact is very important, and people should be conscientious of how their words may affect others. But when someone who obviously did not intend to hurt anyone does so accidentally, I think their intention should mean at least something. Attacking, berating, and belittling others is not the way we should go about promoting education, acceptance, and understanding.
It’s time for the mounds of bullshit to be swept aside. For some reason it’s still believed that common colds are caused by the cold weather, but it really just coincides with close contact due to winter. “No swimming after you eat” is a lie; food won’t cause your muscles to cramp. Sugar isn’t related to hyperactivity in children; they get sugar when they’re more likely to be hyper, like at parties, at Grandma’s, and around Halloween. The frightening notion that marijuana is worse than booze is the most absurd. A study done by the Independent Committee on Drugs (ISCD) ranked alcohol more dangerous than crack, and even heroin. It can destroy your life in ways that others cannot and it’s readily available and legal. All this serves as a warning: be sure to check your facts whenever an old wife spins you a tale.