Saturday, March 10, 2018

Hopeful Thinking - Saturday, March 10, 2018 - Finding Satisfaction in the Good Fight

Political-correctness fatigue is real. Let’s just accept that. It’s not a judgement on the need to be correct with our words. We simply must be.
But for a moment, recognize the enormous seismic shift that effort is making and wonder about why we have chosen to make it. Forget how much thinking it requires, reaching for the newest right word or term to use. Forget the literal anxiety it makes us feel worrying that we aren’t being sensitive enough. That we’ll be embarrassed. Called out for our racism we didn’t know we had. Our sexism we didn’t realize was embedded in our culture so deeply we all gave it permission to continue. Until we didn’t.
It’s an exhaustive learning curve and many feel left behind, even victimized by it. They don’t understand. Not all people do. Forgive them anyway. Frustration breeds anger. Anger is what we are seeing.
Anger has forgotten the reason for the effort in the first place. It’s understandable. It’s human. It’s part of it all. Investigate Julian of Norwich.
Letting all that go for the time being, pay attention instead to what we are trying to do. We are shifting our entire center of dialogue away from disunity. The insistent tone worldwide is nudging us toward more inclusive language because it has perceived that direction to be the surest path toward saving us all. It is instinctive. And wired more deeply than even our DNA.
Most of the words we are struggling to release from modern use are words that divide. They are words which accomplish and maintain division. There is a reason power structures use them. Divide and conquer. The power-panic we now see in them are the futile attempts of their once-highly effective tactics now failing.
There was not some single moment when a person sat down and decided to begin the political correctness movement. Like most of our modern innovations, it erupted from multiple points around the globe near-simultaneously. It moves at the speed of something which already knows it’s won simply because it began.
We forget that this is an effort. It’s difficult. As most things with greater purpose are. This span of generations in which all those alive now exist are the ones doing the heavy lifting of this permanent change in our civilization. Getting the tattoo is the most painful part.
It’s easier to remain calm when you know both what and why you are doing something. We like to be included in the decision-making process. We expect transparency and a solid rationale. But we didn’t all attend the meeting. We didn’t all vote. Many didn’t get the memo. Some were blindsided. They resist change for the sake of it. It frightens them. Pray for them.
Even for those who know and understand, it’s a deep strain. We know university will be hard when we decide to attend. We temporarily forget the meaning of the word ‘hard’ as we apply, beg and pray for admittance. We remember quickly enough. But we deliberately endure the gauntlet because we know both what and why.
Know why you are taking the time to be inclusive with your words. Know that you are doing it on purpose. Be strategic. Make it easier on yourself by practicing. By asking. Teach others what you know. Correct others lovingly! Make it happen faster by leaning into it with compassion and determination.
There is no shame in what we are attempting. There is only courage and fatigue. Fear of failure is understandable but phantom. The race has already been won. And there is only one race. It’s human.