Positivity vs Shame…No-one Wins.

I am conflicted. I have a big heart and I believe strongly in the power of positivity. Still, I believe in truth and I have some opinions about some events in the media, as of late. If you know me personally, you know that I rarely argue, but I commonly have opinions. Hence, the conflict in my mind and heart. I am a peace-lover, but I’m passionate about doing what is right and fair, and that does not involve shaming people into changing their beliefs or actions. There is a trend toward shaming conservative, patriotic sentiment, in favour of popular leftist opinion. More and more, opinions have become polarized, due largely to media portrayal of the two ‘sides’. What does it take for a positive person to reach the point of ‘NO’?

Media Influenced Judgement

The likes of Greta Thurnberg, Jess Allen and other media-elevated experts, can berate, judge, condemn and shame great swaths of society, using mere opinion and conjecture. Meanwhile, an 82 year-old veteran and contributor to sport, soldiers, youth, sick children and animals, is fired for poorly-chosen wording, in an effort to encourage all Canadians (even the ones who have just arrived here) to wear a symbol to celebrate the reason our country is free, safe and quite frankly the destination for many who are fleeing oppression, violence and hopelessness in their own countries. Just NO.

My Friends…My Truth

Here is why I say that. Beginning in the early 2000, I began travelling and competing in Taekwondo. I have met people from all walks of life and have close friends in Iran, Azerbaijan, Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Malaysia, Turkey, Morocco, Mexico, Guatemala. I know I would be welcome to enjoy a meal in any of these people’s homes and would not hesitate to host these individuals in mine. And guess what…when we connect, we talk about family, politics, religion and the state of the world. We do not always agree. But not once, have I been shamed or mocked for my beliefs or opinions. Nor have I been intolerant of theirs. Likewise, my friends in Canada are equally diverse and we are open and accepting of one another’s political and religious beliefs. Bigotry is not founded in opposing ideas or beliefs. It stems from then idea that we should all think and speak with the uniformity imposed by a powerful and financially influenced media machine. It’s sheer bullshit, if I may speak frankly.

From NO to GROW

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking at an event aimed at empowering immigrant women and encouraging them toward leadership and entrepreneurial pursuits. Grow Women Leaders Summit, was a lofty and ambitious undertaking and one that was aimed not at shaming men or multi-generational Canadians. It was an effort to uplift, teach and inspire. One presenter, Rosalyn Fung, shared a diagram that depicted the evolution of human relationships and the emotions associated with this evolution. The bottom, most base and destructive of them were shame and guilt. And yet, somehow, as humans, we continue to gravitate to media that perpetuates hate, judgement, anger and shame. Just NO. The time has come to change the narrative, and encourage people to share diverse opinions without fear of offence or public shaming.

Love, Reason, Joy

Gary John Bishop is a thought leader and best-selling author of “Unf*ck Your Life”, who talks about the value of willingness to change. He says, of equal value is the unwillingness to endure old, ineffective beliefs and actions. Personally, I am willing to mentally adjust my thoughts, words and actions toward love, reason and joy. I am unwilling to hear or entertain shaming of any sort. There seems to be a tolerance for this sort of bigotry, when it is directed at men… especially those white, anglo-saxon, straight, wealthy, western men. Worse yet, if they hunt or drive a truck. Yet, we are shamed and condemned for perceived offence to anyone outside this demographic. … Just NO. Can we just stop with the judgement? Not once, has shaming individuals effectively changed their beliefs or actions for the better, so let’s try something different. Let’s try tolerance for diversity and truth. I do not care your race, colour, religion or sexual orientation.  I care about your humanity and respect for yourself and others. Period.

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