Are We Censoring Our Humanity?

Destiny Faith Nelson is the NWFFest 2018 Local Filmmaker of the Year for her film, The Trap 

I think we’re all guilty of it, myself included. We see someone’s thoughts expressed on a particular subject, usually one opposing our own perspective, and “judgement mode” immediately turns on

For some, judgement mode doesn’t just turn on, it lashes out and harsh negative words are spouted at people we actually care about and/or even other human beings we’ve actually never even met. We assume that this one perspective is the absolute representation of all that is this other human being.

So how would these conversations play out, face-to-face, looking another human being in the eye? Have our eyes been so glossed by the layer of gorilla glass that we’ve forgotten that we are human beings? I often private message those who I’ve opposed on Social Media, to sit down for coffee and talk about it. Some people like the idea, while with others, I hear crickets.

I’ve found that when speaking with people with opposing perspectives face-to-face, I have more in common with them than I would initially think. I discover the logic behind their thinking, even if that way of thinking is different than mine. I see another human being, trudging along this journey of life, just like myself. Our main difference is that we are on different paths that just so happened to cross.

We’re suddenly allowed to have opinions and beliefs, and as long as we are not hurting anyone or infringing on someone’s natural rights, it’s okay that they are different. It’s okay if we make mistakes and say the wrong things from time to time because we can always learn and we can always change. It’s ok if we change our minds and discover a new version of ourselves. It’s okay.

I wonder what would happen to the world if we tried to understand one another and seek to drive out, what we perceived as darkness, with love and empathy instead of anger and disgust. I wonder what would happen if we publicly encouraged each other to say the right things instead of harshly criticizing each other when we don’t. I wonder how society would be if we explored our thoughts and feelings together rather than putting a censorship on our humanity. If you disagree, don’t shoot me. I’m just thinking out loud...