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Sick And Tired- For Good Reason

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I have found a longer and slightly different version of the essay below in my notes. Just in case I copied and saved it from somewhere else, I need to fess up that don’t remember writing it. That is not unusual for me these days- I have file after file of thoughts and musings on my computer, and I regularly come across essays and commentaries the actual creation of which I do not recall. Old age or creeping dementia, I cannot say. But even if I did copy, file and forget it previously, that does not take away from its accuracy in reflecting my current state of mind. Having shortened and polished it somewhat, here it is in its current state:

I’ve been feeling unwell lately, that sad old combination of sick and tired. What’s troubling me? Many of the same things I believe are distressing well-meaning people everywhere in these disjointed, disturbing times. 

As a quarter-century veteran of the news media I’m sick and tired of the runaway trend within it to promote personal or group agendas by disguising opinions as news and ignoring or distorting facts that disagree with those opinions. That does nothing to support constructive dialogue and is hugely destructive to the goal of building a well-informed, cohesive and well-intentioned society. It is also a very large black mark against those supposed ‘professionals’ who play this dangerous and destructive game.

I’m sick and tired of people who insist that facts don’t matter, but feelings do. Generally speaking, facts are generated by actions or verifiable observations, while feelings are generated by chemicals in the brain. “I feel, therefor I’m right” is hardly a recipe for building a better world.

I’m sick and tired of being told I cannot share my thoughts and beliefs if they may distress someone else. I do not believe anyone has a ‘right’ not to be offended. Suck it up, buttercup, walk away and get on with your life.

I’m sick and tired of people who believe they have the right to stifle opinions just because they disagree with them. Free speech is everybody’s right or nobody’s, and those who want to silence others today risk being silenced in turn tomorrow. History is full of such examples, just ask Robespierre. You can look him up.

I’m sick and tired of hearing people automatically labeling those with whom they disagree as commies, fascists, racists, homophobes, xenophobes, reactionaries and so on, when in most cases they can’t even accurately define these terms.

I’m sick and tired of the moth-eaten, socially-destructive rhetoric pitting left against right, men against women, believers against non-believers, the young against the old, and Us against Them. We all have much more in common as human beings than the self-serving merchants of division and peddlers of hate would have us believe.

I’m sick and tired of being told that because of my ethnicity I am somehow responsible for the oppressive actions of people long dead, and with whose beliefs I emphatically do not agree. How about, I’ll treat you fairly and you treat me fairly in the here and now, and let’s build a better future together. 

I’m sick and tired of people pushing agendas that promote antagonism based on the shade of someone’s skin. Skin colour doesn’t matter, it’s the complexion of the soul that defines a person. 

I’m sick and tired of being told I have no right to question my government, whatever the circumstances, and I should shut up and do as I’m told or I am somehow a “bad” person who should be shunned, or worse.

Finally (and about time, too, you may be saying), I am sick and tired of people who believe, usually at the top of their lungs, that because we disagree about this or that we shouldn’t even be civil to one another. Weren’t we all taught better than that way back in kindergarten?

Enough for now. I think it’s time for a nap.

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I am very interested in your thoughts on this issue, whether you agree with me or not. The more we all know about every side of an issue, the better. Thanks.

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