the inequality of an inequality movement
so... who's right?
With all that's happening these days — protests, counter-protests, riots, and most recently, the bowing of the knee by NFL players during the national anthem, it's got me thinking about the inequality of an inequality movement.
At the heart of most inequality movements is inequality—you might insist on standing for equality, but is that what you’re practicing? Believing a person is wrong in what they believe or stand for seems to give an accuser the right or permission to make a judgement call about that person’s overall value or worth. This doesn’t communicate care for others or focus on making something right, it only reveals a desire to make one’s opinion heard.
how should we respond?
So how should we respond to these current events? What's our responsibility? How can we promote progress versus compounding the problem? Through a Facebook post calling out the actions we disagree with? Though this seems to be the popular approach, I question its effectiveness.
Problems with calling people out online:
- Our accusation only becomes a distraction from the real issue.
- Our accusation assumes we're right and they’re wrong.
- Our accusation is a failure to realize that it's an imperfection to point out another person's imperfection in an unproductive way.
- Our accusation puts distance between us, them, and those that agree with them— the very people we're trying to influence. It's why we even bothered to write a response in the first place, right?
If you want equality, start with the fact that we’re all imperfect and in need of grace. Social media is not the platform to effect real change, it’s a platform where people advance their own agenda.
what can you do?
Here's what you can do:
- Spend your relational equity wisely; it’s the most valuable resource you have. Real change agents can befriend those who disagree with them.
- Find a way to see the good in someone you're tempted to despise. Doing so will benefit you more than anyone.
- Have face to face conversations with those who see things differently than you do, without the flat view of your own computer screen.
Mistakes can be found in and within everyone, regardless of what side of an issue they’re on. The best way to reverse true inequality is by taking responsibility for it in an effective way that actually moves the ball forward versus venting on social media.
If you've think you've got it—more morality or maturity— ask yourself why. Consider that it might be because someone graciously waited for you to become who you aspired to be versus who you actually were at any given time. So we, too, need to help others—and not just the people we agree with. The world doesn't get better or change when we only make an effort with those on “our side.”
Big people can put aside bigger differences in order to make the biggest difference. We're all equal in that no one has it completely figured out, so let's drop the rocks!