Sometimes when I wake up I want to reach for my phone and connect to the world of social media. I remember a time when that wasn't the case. Used to be the television gave one all the news and gossip. To some degree it still does, but today we're all tied to our phones. We gotta have that "fix."
How can this little device dictate how we behave? They're some benefits but it's not the same as face to face contact. We argue, praise and condemn people without thought to the consequences on social media. We piss people off sometimes. If we were to see them at the local grocery store or in the park, would we get on well?
Much of the information on social media can drive a wedge between us. As a cashier at a local grocery store I get to know and talk to all kinds of people from all walks of life. Politics comes up in about 1% of my conversations. If I really disagree with their point of view, do I treat them worse the next time they come through my line, or do I let it go? It's all about as my dad said, "trying to be right."
That's the rub. That's the question one has to ask themselves and if you come from a place of love, you will make the right decision. If you come from a place of hate, then the world around you becomes more divisive. We used to be able to disagree, but respect each others point of view. I would submit however; that the type of disagreements where reconcilable. Politicians used to compromise to get things done for the greater good. Not all decisions where good ones, but each side evolved, until 2016.
Our world is like a car with an automatic transmission that's stuck in second gear. We're revving our engines trying to get others to notice us and hear our side of the story without listening to theirs. We're so busy bitching (me included) that we stop listening and hearing each other. "My way or the highway!" So we tweet here we tweet there we tweet everywhere. It's like looking for the Scarlet Pimpernel.
The only way to get the transmission fixed is to put it in the shop. Maybe we should stop and turn off our phones more often or close our eyes and pray if we're that sort. We need to stop feeding the flame of sadness, despair, fear and loathing in our neck of the woods. We need to think before we tweet. Its become easier due to social media to "pile on" than to "back off." Ask yourself if that person where right in front of you, would you say to their face what you're about to tweet?
I'm not preaching apathy just control. It won't happen over night, and if one less person (myself included) refuses to reactive tweet, then slowly but surely we can make progress and fix our broken transmission.
It's sad to see any human or animal in pain or being mistreated. As our world has become unhinged, we've gotten meaner and crueler. Let's cut it out. Be kind compassionate to all living people and animals.
I want to ask that you all have a great week and remember to be kind. You don't know what someone is going through, so please be quick to forgive when someone else is acting like a cranky britches.
When the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, said let's go to the moon people thought he was crazy. Thoughts become things. Any great idea or plan started with a dream or desire in the mind of the creator. Of course it didn't happen overnight but it happened. Imagine if John F. Kennedy had said to his detractors; "Yeah you're right." "What a dumb idea to go to the moon." "I mean really." "What kind of LSD was I smoking?" Where would we be today? He didn't know the "How," but he had his "Why." Moreover, he had his passion, drive and determination.
I never told anybody in the town of West Jefferson NC, that I was writing a story about Will Banks because I knew they would try to poke holes in it and try to discourage me. I ignored them and wrote it anyway. It will be a web-series someday. Why? Because the story of Will Banks needs to be told for future generations to come. Now that they know about the film, many are still tying to stand in my way. Some of them are racists and alt right wingers who want to waive the rebel flag and go back to the old days of Jim Crow.
Some family and friends can be discouraging as well. They can try to cast seeds of doubt as you're thoughts are becoming things. I can tell you as the youngest of eight children, some of my siblings didn't think I would amount to anything. I was the one criticized for being the "black sheep" in the family. The "problem child." The indigent one. Some of my siblings have since come around but some still have a hard time wanting to see me succeed unless it's on their terms not mine.
When I was five or six my mom had a choice to make. Send me to public schools or an institution for mentally challenged youth. I would have been sent away to live in an institution for (which was sadly called back then) the mentally retarded. My mom said no. She knew better and put me first in Catholic School then Public. I surpassed all the educator's expectations and eventually graduated with a BA in Theater Arts from Appalachian State University.
I know a thing about that as I'm a parent of a child who's legally blind. I worry about him and I thought similarly when I would try to do things for him. Finally I had to let go. I did what my mom did. I had done my job by raising him and now it was time for him to fly. He has soared like an eagle and he's beaten the odds. I'm proud of him. You can read more about him on MyStory page.
So that leads me to my move to Vermont. I have a plan, I'm working the plan (with my Creator's help). Just like with my son Mack I had to put him in the Creator's hand and pray like heck that he would guide and protect him.
If you're out there and have doubters and haters, please don't give up on your dreams because others may not share them. Forgive them and move on. Don't hold grudges. Let go of the past and work towards a better future for yourself. People who count or matter will see your drive and determination and want to hire you or better still be included in your circle of friends. Find friends who will challenge you in a good way. Not in a way to tear you down but to build you up.
So have your plan, cultivate your plan, work the plan and have fun making your thoughts become things.
I had an amazing experience a few weekends ago. I buried the hatchet with one of my sisters who I was always fond of and looking up to as a child. I won't go into the "why" but I will say I feel at peace about it now. If you're at odds with a sibling, please patch it up today because we're not promised tomorrow.
is a Filmmaker, Actress & Parent.