Over the past few years, I have noticed a disturbing trend among celebrities or people of influence. It has caused me to rethink what I will watch or listen to, as I don't see these individuals in the same light anymore. In some cases, people that I once admired or considered to be entertaining have opted to put themselves in a different category. That is certainly their choice. As a fellow human being, it is my choice to not be OK with it.
Recently, an actress that I won't name made a pretty dangerous request. She wanted the names of everyone that didn't vote to her liking to be published for the sole purpose of having them terrorized or denied employment opportunities. As a Vegan and supporter of strict animal welfare laws, I do agree with her sentiments somewhat. I have always believed that there should be a National database (for all to access) that publishes the names of those guilty of doing any harm to the defenseless. (Animals, children, and the elderly). I will have to be honest that I don't want to be around, live around, or work around anyone that would hurt another living being, esp. those who cannot fight back. That said, it shouldn't apply to how someone votes. We have to be careful with our words and not do anything to promote further hate and violence, as we already have enough of that for one lifetime. What we need to do is find ways to perhaps meet in the middle and not lash out at those who don't feel the way that we do. I think this is especially important for anyone that has a public persona and uses it to try to influence people. It's OK to be well known for what you do. It's not OK to use that platform to tell people to hurt or try to intimidate others. At the end of the day, that does a lot of damage and puts you at the root of it. Instead, encourage people to think for themselves. Wouldn't you rather be known for being a fair and neutral person?
For years, some Vegans and animal rights activists have been called outrageous, dangerous, hateful, mean, violent, etc...I have known many people like that. I respect the cause, but their approach is not the same as mine. For me personally, I choose to write, share information, and try to plant seeds in the hearts of other people. You won't see me raising Hell in the streets, making a scene, or calling out anyone personally. I would be a liar if I said that I love everyone, because I don't. In fact, there are people that I can't stand. While I feel the same anger as these activists about the same issues, I had to go down the path that I felt would enable me to make the greatest impact. Physically, I have saved more lives than anyone will ever know or that I would ever want credit for. It also does my heart good to know that often times my words have gotten people to see things from a different perspective. Then they started asking questions because they knew they could come to me without being attacked or judged. That leads to a conversation of two willing parties that sometimes have more in common than they realized. What I would like to tell this Hollywood genius, is that you attract more flies with honey.
Also, if you are in the public eye, try not to be a total hypocrite. Don't yell out things like "take away their guns" with an armed body guard standing next to you. By the way, who is 'they' specifically? The criminals that obtained their guns illegally or the registered gun owners? How are we to protect ourselves from would-be attackers or those who might invade our homes? Are we supposed to fight them off with a bong or a curtain rod? After all, when every second counts and your life is in danger, the authorities are only minutes away. The thought of disarming law abiding people and leaving them vulnerable makes no sense. I'm sure your body guard would agree.
Ladies, let's not hold up signs demanding respect from men and ordering that all men be castrated, while you are bra-less in public. It makes you look crazy and no one is going to take you seriously. Yes, there are a lot of jerks in this world. I hear you and I agree with you on many levels. (I, too, have known men that should have appeared on Dateline). There are also a lot of angry women out there. If you want to represent other women in the right way, be mindful of your actions. Famous or not, don't make men afraid to hold the door open for you. By the way, there are some really great guys out there.
If you are mean to people or try to make them feel less-than, they will never have any respect for you. They will not value your message and they will NEVER come around to your way of thinking. EVER. In fact, they will dig their heels in even more. If you truly want to make a difference for your cause, give people information. Do it from the heart. Be an example for your cause. Others will take notice of that.
I also remember an actual politician (one that should have been retired years ago) that was trying to incite violence by instructing her supporters to terrorize and physically attack others!! Wow, lady. That sort of goes against everything this country is built on. It is also illegal and incredibly irresponsible. If your are elected to any position, your first order of business should be to find ways to unite and support all people. Not turn them on one another for your amusement.
***In an effort to make a point here, I would like to flip this around for a moment. So bear with me, please...
I certainly hope you don't eat meat, you hypocritical, hate mongering, prune faced old battle ax. Because if you do (based on your own instructions) that means that everyone that eats the way that I do and loves animals the way that I do, has the right to come after you. Right? If we see you eating a steak or buying a hamburger, does that give people the right to attack you for it? Spray paint your front yard, key your car, or break your windows? Should we scream in your face if you are in a restaurant or store? Insult you or call you names? Or is attacking people with opposing views only justified when you say so?
Questions we need to ask ourselves...
What kind of elected official would say something like this or promote this kind of behavior?
What kind of people would vote for them or think that terrorizing complete strangers in public is acceptable behavior?
Shouldn't an elected official have to do their actual job, serve society in a responsible manner, and remain as neutral as possible in the process?
If you go around publicly attacking people who don't feel the way that you do about any given subject, where does it end? Seriously. Where does it end??? Forgive me, I'm trying to make sense of this crazy, dangerous way of thinking by putting it back on those who promoted it. When you carelessly throw around these hateful statements and instructions, you are not thinking of your cause at all. You are only thinking of yourself at that moment. You are trying to get people to do your dirty work.
Even social media (which was created to bring people together) has become a cesspool of hate and toxic behavior. It provides famous and non-famous people alike a platform to express themselves, with no filter. I don't care for Twitter. I think it should be called Shitter because too many people use it for a dumping ground/litter box for anything they want to say, to whomever they want to say it to, and there are no repercussions. Once you put it out there, it's out there. Perhaps if you need to vent, think about it for a day or so before you post it. And put yourself on the receiving end of what you post. Read it out loud to yourself a few times.
As someone who loves animals more than life itself, I can certainly empathize with being offended or treated as if your feelings are not important. Welcome to my world. At the same time, I am also a fellow American and an educated voter. There have been elections that certainly did not go my way. I was raised that you have respect for the position, no matter what the outcome is. You get up and do whatever it is that you do the next day, suck it up, shut up, and act like you are thankful to be an American. Like it or not, we are all flying in the same plane together, as passengers. Wanting the pilot to crash the plane we are all sitting in makes no sense. When it comes to being an American, that has to come first. If you live here, you are damn lucky and so am I. The things that happen are not always going to be to our liking. You don't band together with other people that feel the way you do, make scenes in public, post nasty things on social media, block roads, scream, threaten, make angry and irresponsible remarks about others, etc...That is NOT the behavior of a decent American. Certainly not one that is in the public eye or gets paid millions of dollars.
It is safe to say that all Americans know what it's like to have the rug yanked out from under them. What American hasn't been disappointed by an election? Or is not upset about a number of social issues? Forget politics, I am more disappointed in the behavior of our society as a whole. Especially when you see the country being divided by hate...Hate often times perpetuated by lies and angry celebrities. Some of these celebrities couldn't pass a basic test on current issues if their bank accounts depended on it. Yet people listen to them.
I don't care what celebrities think, even if they eat the way I do or vote the way I do. Neither should you. Our thoughts and lifestyle choices are just as important as theirs are. We all have reasons that we think and believe the way we do. I get it. The internal rage is real. How you conduct yourself publicly is also real. People are watching you. So take that valuable platform (that could actually be a real gift) and use it for something good. Promote something positive.
Movie ticket sales are not what they once were. People do not see actors and actresses in the same light that they did at one time. Self promoting awards shows are tanking in the ratings department. No one cares anymore. NO. ONE. CARES.
If you are a famous person, the next time you feel like posting something that sounds hateful, promotes hate, or is going to make people angry, STOP yourself. Don't post it. Post something helpful instead. If you want people to follow you, then act like a leader. You can do a better job of connecting with people if you remember that they are human beings with feelings. Here are some examples of how people of influence could be make a positive impact vs. being so harmful...
"Hey guys, I learned about ___ today by reading this great book (or article) and I think you will enjoy it if you read it, too. Have any of you read anything lately that you would recommend? I am always on the lookout for a great read."
"Guess what people? I adopted a new friend today at my local adoption event. Here is a picture of my new (cat or dog) and they are a great addition to my family. I would encourage any of you that is considering a new pet to go down to your local shelter today and adopt the one that has been there the longest. Please share their pics when you do!"
"Merry Christmas to all of my friends and followers. I am thankful for so many things this time of year, and hopeful for all the good things to come in the New Year. What/who are you thankful for today?"
"I just left our local VA hospital after spending the day visiting with some of our great Veterans. Many of them don't have families or visitors. Please consider going to your local VA hospital and volunteering your time to give out snacks, toiletries, read books, or just shake a few hands."
"Don't forget to register to vote and get out there and vote on Election Day. No matter what you lean towards, learn about the issues on both sides and vote what your heart tells you. Do your research. Don't let anyone tell you how to vote. Most importantly, be thankful for being an American."
"We are ALL going through our own private Hell, everyday. For anyone that is going through a bad time at this moment, I just want to acknowledge you. I am sorry for what you are going through. Please know that someone cares. I am sending you healing thoughts and my heartfelt prayers."
"This nice person in line at the coffee shop just paid for my coffee. What a pleasant surprise. They were a total stranger. So I did the same for the next person. Let's all share some good Karma today."