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When you make a statement about Muslims, substitute the word ‘Christians’ before you say it, and vice versa.

When you make a statement about black people, substitute ‘white people’, and vice versa.

When you make a statement about gay people, substitute ‘straight people’, and vice versa.

When you make a statement about transgender people, substitute ‘cisgender people’, and vice versa.

For ‘poor’, substitute ‘rich’ and vice versa. For ‘disabled’, substitute ‘able-bodied’, and vice versa. For ‘immigrants’, substitute ‘natural born citizens’, and vice versa. For ‘atheists’, substitute ‘believers’ and vice versa.

Now take a look at your substituted sentence and ask yourself “if I heard this, would I think the person saying it was a dick?” If so, then saying your original sentence also makes you a dick. Just don’t say it. And ask yourself what it was inside you that made you think of it in the first place.

Every one of the above groups has its share of dicks, and its share of good people, and indeed its share of good people who make mistakes and accidentally come across as dicks.

We’ve probably all been guilty of it at some point – I know there have been times when I have, however unintentionally – but we can do better.

Combine this with the Golden Rule of “treat others how you would want them to treat you” – which is in itself the very essence of not being a dick – and your little corner of the world is made good. If we all do it, every little corner of the world is made good.

So go out there into the world, each one of you, and don’t be a dick.

Healing

I would love to see us get back to a place of agreement, a place where one side of any given issue doesn’t automatically reject a reasonable idea just because it was suggested by someone on the other side.

A 67-year-old white male conservative cisgender heterosexual Christian can have a good idea. A 25-year-old black transgender lesbian liberal atheist can have a good idea.

But we have become so polarized that we refuse to learn from each other – and that only magnifies the polarization.

But you listen when a friend has an idea, don’t you? Even if you and that friend don’t always agree.

The cure for difference is unity.

Find me any individual on the planet, and there will be ways in which that person and I are similar and ways in which we differ.

Maybe I’m crazy, but doesn’t it work out more positively for both of us if we seek to build on the common ground? It’s a small decision for each of us, but it’s one which takes a little trust and a little guts to make.

Now imagine 100 people. Between them, they need to make that small decision 9,900 times – each one choosing to find common ground with the other 99.

9,900 decisions, even small ones, is a rather more daunting prospect, but it’s achievable with conscious effort – and, if we truly go into it with an open mind and an open heart, it can happen in the space of a few hours.

What if 100 people in each town and village and neighborhood across America decided to undertake that exercise this week?

What if 80 of each 100 went to different nearby towns next week, and did it again?

And again the week after that?

There are a lot of people in America. For each one of us to make that small decision for all of the rest of us, it would take over 100,000,000,000,000,000 small decisions.

And yet, if we truly tried to do it, I bet we could do it in a year.

Let’s take this country back from those who would choose to divide us. Let’s heal ourselves and our nation.

Happy New Year

We all have things we hope for in 2019, and lessons learned and yet to learn from 2018.

Many of these are private, held in our hearts, shared only with a select few – but I hope that your hopes bear fruit and your lessons come with as little pain as possible.

My hope for you all this year is that you are finally able to create the things you have yearned to create, learn the things you have wanted to learn, find (or recommit to) the person you have hoped to find, and above all be the person you have needed to be.

Let this be a year of art, of music, of laughter, of forgiveness, of friendship. Let this be a year of strength, of self-actualization, of beauty, of giving, of helping. Let this be a year of dreams, of hopes, of steps forward, of compassion, of good health. Let this be a year of courage, of determination, of knowledge, of sharing, of wonder.

Let this be a year of love.

It’s A Sham, I Tell You

Whoever invented the pillowcases with the slit in the middle instead of at the end gets my FYOTD. This person is a foul demonspawn and should be condemned to an eternity of being stuffed crosswise into things they only barely fit in.

Potential Hazard

Note to Southwest Florida rush hour drivers: the horn on your vehicle is there to enable you to signal a potential hazard on the road, for the safety of all.

Potential hazards do not include “get out of my way”, “I hate you for no readily apparent reason”, “hey pedestrian you’re really hot” or even “egad! I just discovered my car has a horn”.

iSelf

Sometimes I could really use a notification system in my own head. Have the Laundry app tell me ‘you have a load in the washer waiting to go into the dryer’, or my Kitchen app tell me ‘the milk in the fridge is about to go bad’. Have an internal Dashboard app which will show me at a glance how much gas is left in my car, how long it’s been since I went to the doctor and what that infernal fucking song is that’s playing in my head.

Come on, Apple. The iSelf. Your move.

Some Choice Words

Why is it that in so many languages, the words we choose as epithets have to do with sex, body parts and bodily functions?

These are all perfectly normal and natural things. Why do we not use things which are actually negative and stressful when we swear?

Should we not say “go conference-call yourself” or “that’s a crock of rush hour traffic”?

Anyway. I have to end this train of thought. I have a fucking meeting. And not in a good way.