Friday, February 23, 2024

#54 / Let's Cut Ourselves Some Slack

I often get ideas in the shower. In fact, a number of the things that I write about in this blog start out in the shower. I get up in the morning, read the newspapers that are delivered to my door. Then, I eat breakfast. Then, I take a shower. Then... at least sometimes, some little phrase from what I read in the newspapers will come to me, and if I don't forget the thought (and that happens all too often), I'll sit down at my computer, wrapped up in a towel, and type out something that may appear in this blog, sometime in the future.

Right after I read that essay mentioned in my blog post yesterday, published by The Hannah Arendt Center ("The Negation Of Politics"), I did take a shower, and a little phrase did come to me, which related, in my mind, to what happened in the case of Masha Gessen. 

"Cut Me Some Slack." That's the phrase that came to me. 

As I searched for suitable images to accompany this blog posting, the most common use of the phrase did seem to be this one: "Cut ME some slack." As I have just recounted, this is, in fact, how the phrase came to me in the shower. Thinking about it, though, I realized that my thought wasn't that we should all be demanding of others that they cut US some slack. My thought is that we should, as our first impulse, cut THEM some slack. We should cut some slack for other people instead of blaming and shaming them. That is what the illustration above actually suggests.

Thinking some more about it, though, looking at the image above, I realized that the idea that had come to me in the shower wasn't that we should cut others some slack because they have had a bad day, or because something may have gone wrong in their lives that we may not know about. That's a good thought; nothing wrong with that, and that is what is conveyed by the illustration at the top of this blog posting. However, that isn't, exactly, the thought that had come to me in the shower. 

My thought was that we should not get mad at other people, and retaliate, fight back, or denounce them when they say stupid things, or do stupid things - even when the things they say or do cause us genuine anguish. Lots of times, the disturbing and upsetting things that people say and do are not said and done because the person saying or doing them is "having a bad day, etc." Oftentimes, those making a statement, or doing something, are just "wrong." They're on the wrong side of the argument, political or otherwise. What do we do then? 

We cut them some slack. That's what I am suggesting.

Here, as an example, is a comment posted on my Facebook Page in the middle of December. This comment was made by someone who disagrees with my politics, and who often shows up on that page to attack me, or someone else, as generally illustrated below: 

Biden = WW3, Globalism will turn the Earth into a Hell, Deep State murdered JFK+MLK+RFK, and a long list of crap from the Progressive Deep State Globalists. Meanwhile, the greatest President of all time, President Trump, had his election stolen, and you pathetic bitch Pelosi has Americans locked up for a staged entrapment. One thing is for certain, God always exposes the truth, and that light will make you burn.

Masha Gessen said, in an article in The New Yorker, that the way Israel has treated Gaza is the way Nazi Germany treated the Jews during World War II. Gessen is far more coherent than the commenter quoted above, but those who believe Israel has every right (and even a duty) to retaliate against Hamas, for what it did, even if tens of thousands of innocent people are killed, find it very difficult to cut her some slack for the statement she made. 

If you have read yestereday's blog posting, you will remember that those who have studied and best know Hannah Arendt's thinking believe that Arendt, while not agreeing with Gessen, might very well have cut Gessen some slack. 

It strikes me that this is good advice for all of us. We don't need to agree with opinions that we think are wrong. We don't need to ignore actions we think are wrong. But that doesn't mean that we can't cut each other some slack. We shouldn't be writing people out of the public conversation as we discuss and debate the issues we are collectively having to confront, because it does remain true: We are in this together. 

Let's never forget that, and... Let's cut ourselves some slack.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!