“Far too many people out there think evolution is a bad thing, and they REFUSE to participate.”
[ev-uh-loo-shuh n or, esp. British, ee-vuh-]
• Word Origin
any process of formation or growth; development:
the evolution of a language; the evolution of the airplane.
a product of such development; something evolved :
The exploration of space is the evolution of decades of research.
Biology. change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.
a process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change or development, as in social or economic structure or institutions.
a motion incomplete in itself, but combining with coordinated motions to produce a single action, as in a machine.
a pattern formed by or as if by a series of movements:
the evolutions of a figure skater.
an evolving or giving off of gas, heat, etc.
I find that the more I speak publicly and the more blogging I do, the more people I find that just skim over and don’t really know what we’re saying when we speak. And more often than not, they jump to a response without fully thinking through what was said and what it means before deciding how to respond. I found that to be the case when I posted the comment about people refusing to participate in evolution. It spawned a long conversation on my Facebook wall that I let go on for a couple of days but finally called a halt on because I believed that any progress that could have been made had played out. I’m not sure anyone truly learned anything during the conversation either.
I knew when I posted it that someone would take offense to it not in that I was saying they refused to evolve which SHOULD be what they should consider an insult over what they got upset about. The person that did speak up reacted because he doesn’t ‘believe in evolution’. He automatically jumped to the creationism vs. evolution interpretation of the word. But the very wording of my comment should have clued him into which definition I was referring to. Throughout the conversation, he kept returning to his interpretation and essentially avoided addressing the interpretation I was referring to. And yes, I was frustrated with him. But this kind of thing is common. Evolution, as explained in its dictionary definition also means to adapt to change. His reaction, however, proved my point. While he vehemently held on to the old Evolution vs. Creationism argument, he was not moving forward to adaptation to change that was being alluded to in the conversation. He wanted to argue his religion and not the nature of human beings and whether or not they learn and grow and the fact that some refuse to learn and grow.
This is a lot of the problem we’re dealing with in politics today. We’re all talking, but we’re not necessarily communicating. There are those that have a well-developed grasp on and use of the language and those who simply don’t or perhaps are too lazy or just don’t fully think about what’s being said. Those who don’t tend to grasp and hold on tight to the definition they know and refuse to let go and try to understand that there are more meanings to what they believe to be exclusive. Unfortunately, there are politicians out there that recognize this trait and have bastardized the language so that it’s easier to manipulate these people into voting against their own best interests. It’s easier to convince people of a lie than to convince them they’ve been lied to. Tell them the evil activist is attacking your religion and they’ll vote against said activist’s cause every time. Speak certain key words and you lose them forever.
As a writer, this frustrates me deeply. I have tired and continue to try to open people’s eyes about this problem. Its wide spread, from my mom posting the dictionary definition of liberal and having family members saying it was the most ridiculous thing she’d ever seen because that’s not what a liberal is as she speaks this nonsense to a life-long liberal….. To a conservative family member who I asked to define the same word and she came up with the most absurd definition I ever heard and admits to having discussed it with her husband and that this was what they came up with. They weren’t even bothered with looking it up. She even went on to say that for the record, they do not believe that President Obama is liberal because he didn’t fit into their definition of the word. She was shocked when I informed her that my parents, sister and I all identify as liberal. She didn’t understand. She’s still at a loss. I gave up trying to help her understand because it didn’t matter what I said; she was not going to change her opinion of what the meaning of the term is.
So this is my mission. From here on out, I do not intend to let people get away with using words that mean one thing while defining them another way,” Pro-life” for instance. The prefix pro means for, so pro-life means “for life”. If you’re for life, you cannot support the death penalty; you cannot support war. If you’re “for life”, you have to be for quality of life, so you can’t be against programs that improve life such as food stamps, welfare, unemployment benefits, Medicare, Medicaid or SSI and disability benefits. You can’t be for forcing a child who has been raped and whose body is not physically ready to bear children to have the baby of her rapist when it will likely kill her. So if you are against these things, you no longer get to call yourself pro-life in my presence. If by the term, you mean against abortion, then you are anti-choice or a forced-birther. You are not pro-life.
Then there’s Tea Party Patriot. The original Tea Party Patriots were real patriots protesting taxes levied by a king that wasn’t even on American soil. They were protesting being ruled with an iron fist from a distance without regard to their ability to support themselves and their families and make a living, something we all should be protesting today and many of us are. But the problem begins at being divided by racial lines, gender lines, gender identity lines and party lines. ONE of these lines could be eliminated by communication and education. Which one, you ask? PARTY LINES. You are supporting self-identifying tea party republicans who are the very people in the pockets of the rich who are making a fortune off your backs. The actions they’re taking are to benefit the rich at your expense. And because they call themselves patriots and tell you what you want to hear regarding whose fault it is that you’re in the predicament you’re in, you support them and it only gets worse. Well guess what, they’re exactly the ones who are not only making the poor even more poor by cutting the very safety nets that were designed to help them get OUT of poverty, they’re ALSO putting YOU in the very same poverty lines. So today’s “Tea Party Patriots” are an oxymoron. They’re working against the very fabric of what made this nation great. So if you’re supporting candidates like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and all the other Tea Party “patriots”, you don’t get to call yourself patriot and neither do they. Because they’re actions are not patriotic.
Then there’s the term Conservative. Just what is it you’re conserving? Not a damned thing. You are trying to preserve the traditions you think made this nation great. But the old ways that are outdated, like women and minorities not getting to vote are the opposite of what made this country great. You know what made this country great? EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. And with the Tea Party in charge, equal opportunity is going down the tubes. It’s doing so because they are giving the rich more power to control things….and people. If you work for one of these rich people, you now are affected by their religious beliefs regardless of your own. And until they overturn Citizens United, your rights will continue to be whittled away by law suits claiming suppression of some rich guy’s business’s religious freedom being denied by him being forced to be fair to you. I think the acronym GOP fits you better….standing for Grumpy Old Party; or perhaps Grumpy Old Prudes when it comes to women’s rights and equality.
Now I could go on and on about the language being used and how it’s not what it appears to be. Right to work states actually being right to work for less states since these states don’t make nearly as much as states where workers can unionize. Citizens United…..what citizens? Why the ones with the most money of course. Sure as hell wasn’t me and my peers. Religious Freedom Restoration Act…..restoring poor peoples and working peoples religious freedom to their slave owners….the ones that don’t pay them enough to survive but who they’re still dependent on.
Someone once said “when you stop learning, you start dying.” I am a firm believer in that. Because when you stop learning, you start being taken advantage of. You start being lied to, cheated, and taken advantage of. You get your food poisoned, your body poisoned with chemicals they call medicine made of synthetic materials that are causing more symptoms than they cure. They poison your water and air. They let working conditions get worse they let infrastructure get worse and people start dying in droves due to ‘accidents’ and ‘illnesses’.
Do yourself a favor. Start researching on your own. Don’t use google. Don’t use bing. Don’t use search engines and especially not Wikipedia. Use well known sources of information. Use college websites and law school websites. Use library websites. Use Meriam Webster. Learn what they’re really saying and doing out there. They’re cheating us all. Websites like factcheck.org and Politifact.org and Punditfact.org are trying to tell you when things that are said are lies or wrong or partial truths. Stop assuming because someone that tends to agree with you says don’t go there, they aren’t dependable, that they speak the truth. Look for yourself. Ask questions. COMMUNICATE. Don’t read the highlighted excerpts and titles and assume what the article says. It’s not always what it appears to be. Some of the politifact.org findings are more along the lines of “well it’s partly true but they left out certain important facts.” Turn the tv channel from Faux News Network to C-span.
Don’t assume all scientists are of the same opinion on Evolution. Ask as many scientists as you can find. Don’t assume liberals are what Rush Limbaugh tells you they are. Ask us. We’ll tell you how we feel about things. We’ll tell you what we think is needed. I guarantee you every liberal out there will tell you a big missing piece of the American puzzle is the absence of compassion. Talk to people. Really LISTEN to their answers. If you’re not sure what it is they’re saying, ask questions. Don’t assume they’re insulting you. Find out what they mean.
I’ve seen a lot of nastiness in conversation lately. I doubt people are that nasty to everyone all the time. But I think often it’s because they’re not really communicating. They’re jumping to conclusions and getting offended with one another. I’m not saying it’s just right wing voters. Both sides likely do it; so, to both sides, stop being so defensive. Keep the conversations civil and open and productive. Communicate. Help each other. And trust each other. Stop trusting politicians who will tell you anything to get a vote. They don’t care about you. They care about money. The only way things are going to get better is for people to stop letting themselves be divided by our own elected officials. We all have the same needs. We all can see what’s wrong in this country for the most part. But no middle ground can be reached if we don’t work together and truly communicate.