Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Company You Keep

I'm reminded of the quote, "You are known by the company you keep," as my Wednesday starts. You see, I got an e-mail from my mom last night and it got me thinking. Someone I've known most of my life did something unimaginable. Did I know this person well? Not as well as I should have, I guess. The man was a former friend of my dad's, and had spent time in my home. Now, this man is in the news and I'm thinking heavily on the times he sat at our dining room table, having a beer and a laugh or two. It blows my mind.
Over the last year or so, I've tried to pay attention to who I spend my time with. Being an author, it is usually just my hubby and the canine kids. However, with social media being what it is, I spend more time there than I should. There were people who we spent a lot of time with in our "real" lives. They always had a derogatory statement to say about someone. It didn't matter whether it was a person's race, their gender, their sexuality, or their religion. More than once, they attempted to include me in their bigoted remarks. I had to say, "You know, that's not how I feel." Then, we became friends on Facebook. You would think the one place they may be a bit more careful of what they say would be a social media outlet. NOPE! It was even worse there. And it was a constant stream of b.s.
See, I'm someone who is not easily offended. I believe every person has a right to their opinion, however, when your opinions start to color my world, then I have a problem. After a particularly colorful rant about the gay community, my cousin's partner pointed out the above quote. While I believe in gay rights, gay marriage, and gay equality, my friendship with this couple had been showing people a truth that doesn't exist (at least not in my world). I did a lot of thinking on what my cousin's life partner said. And he was right. So, with two simple clicks of the mouse, I "unfriended" them. Funny thing is, they don't even notice! That's how wrapped up in themselves they are. I ended up "unfriending" their teenage daughter later on for the exact same thing. Today, I'm going to go through my friend list with a fine tooth comb (I'm showing age with that lil gem, huh?) and I'm deleting people whose negativity reflects on me. I'm tired of going to my Newsfeed and finding political rants that are simply rude and nasty in nature. I'm tired of people poking fun at another person's religion. I'm tired of people thinking it's okay to pick on the gay community. I can tolerate a lot, but when you offend someone I love, look out!!
How about you? Are you known by the company you keep?
My belief is I'm not going to change the world, but I can change my little corner of it. "Be the change you want to see in the world."

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