Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Celebrate the colors...

So I was just in a conversation about what to do if one considers something in a particular shop offensive and it got me thinking.

The original post posed questions about items that mock a particular religious figure. The poster was questioned about whether it was hateful or just in poor taste.

The conversation was a very thoughtful exchange about what some people find objectionable and examples were tossed back and forth. What if it was one particular religion or what if it was the use of the N word or child pornography.

I resisted the urge to launch into a diatribe about America's propensity to try to be the world's policeman and instead put some thought into key points I thought were important in that discussion. I really like conversations that make me stop and think. These days I notice I spend more time dismissing in frustration rather than analyzing and considering other perspectives. While another point of view may not change how I see something ~ it's important to understand them. Actually, it's imperative ~ understanding other points of view helps strengthen my explanation of my position. Afterall, don't you respect someone who differs from you but can articulate valid, well reasoned arguments for why they feel the way they do?

In any case, we discussed censorship, power, control... the fact that one person's porn is another's art ~ and while many of us find the N word unacceptable, there are folks who use it as an inclusive term of endearment. We all have power and control. We have the power to move on from a post that we find objectionable. We have the control over our money to not buy items from someone that offends us. What I think we sometimes forget is, that's the beginning and end of our power and control.

I concluded my input on the topic by saying we'll never determine right and wrong here because it's not black and white (meaning cut and dried). When I re-read my comment after posting I thought to myself I should have added 'celebrate the colors' with respect to all of the perspectives that make up our amazing community. I liked the phrase and thought I'd put it out there... let's celebrate the colors!

(Pink is the color of October www.pinkforoctober.org)

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