Transparency in the midst of destruction

(Here’s your warning – this post may seem far different than the usual post you’re used to reading from me. You may not like it even. You might even want to quit reading just a couple of paragraphs in. You might say – “You’re being too political!” or some other such comment. Here’s what I’ll say – stick with it until the end.)

The one good thing that seems to be coming as a result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is that it appears that many more people are seeing through a whole bunch of BS and not putting up with it, calling it what is, and showing how ridiculous such things are.

Was anyone really fooled by Putin’s poor attempt at legitimizing an invasion of Ukraine? Anyone? And where in the world does he get such huge tables so that people can sit so far away from him? It’s the physical representation of how ridiculous and over the top Putin’s arguments and actions are. He’s causing suffering and death in Ukraine, and he’s going to be the cause of suffering for his own people. But he doesn’t care.

Our former president’s statement that Putin was a genius for attacking Ukraine like it was some kind of corporate take over of an ideal real estate venture is a case in point of ridiculousness. And in a surprise to no one, he doubled down. Because that’s what he does. Every. Single. Time. It’s predictable. Why is anyone listening to anything he says on anything? We all know it’s going to be the opposite of what is right. It’s just going to be about one of two things – him or might makes right. That’s all he believes in. There’s no care or concern for the lives of people who are suffering or dying as a result of the invasion.

Another example are the two members of Congress who spoke at a white nationalist conference. Yes, seriously. Does it even matter what their excuses are? Why would anyone listen to them any longer? Of course, one had the audacity to say that they were there to proclaim Jesus as Lord. Sure. Whatever. Is anyone buying what they are selling? And if so, why? Which Jesus is she talking about even? Then again, do I really want to know? Is this the same Christianity that I claim?

There’s legislation in Texas and Florida about sexuality – shocker. I guess trans kids are a real threat somehow in Texas. Although no one seems to really know how or why. Of all the things that the legislature could spend its time and effort on, it decided that making the lives of trans kids more difficult was time well spent. Way to go! And Florida is being, well, Florida. Again, no surprises in either case. Legislation designed to “other” people, to dehumanize, and to make fellow citizens into enemies so that someone can be blamed for anything terrible going on. Scapegoating is alive and well. Long live scapegoating! Let’s turn a blind eye to actual problems that are happening around us. Who has time to solve actual problems when there are people to scapegoat and a base of supporters to keep angry and scared.

And if those examples aren’t good enough, I’m sure you can quickly find something related to race, gerrymandering election districts, money, education, throwing tantrums at school board meetings, and more. I hear there’s a bill in a state that is going to stop teachers from teaching anything that makes kids uncomfortable – not sure if that applies to all kids or just certain kids (where everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others?). I wonder what folks will do when there’s a teacher shortage. Or when people just quit following along with such nonsense. I guess scapegoating will get a good work out instead of actually doing something that improves people’s lives or encourages critical thinking.

But what do I know? I know BS when I see it and hear it. And there is plenty being spread around. You know what happens when BS is spread around – everyone stinks. And they don’t trust anyone else.

Sounds like the ways of the world that have been perfected for eons. Maybe spreading BS would be a great thing for our society to give up for Lent. Maybe then we could stop the quest for fame, power, fortune, land, and defeating enemies long enough to actually do something that would help people. Maybe. I’m not going to hold my breath on that.

Which brings me to the last point – expecting those who spread BS to stop is pointless. I just don’t have that much faith that they will change and do the right thing, or at least stop making the world worse. I fully expect them to continue wallowing in BS and spreading it around. Because that’s what they do. I feel bad for them actually.

So what are we to do? Stop waiting for others to change when they just aren’t going to. They have no reason to. They aren’t going to have some kind of rational revelation and change their whole lives up. I don’t know if they are capable of it or not. Does it matter?

So the real question is this – what are you going to do? This is a new season, Lent. Lent is a season of self-examination. A time of repentance. A time of transformation. Stop being consumed by what some prominent figure is saying or doing. What are you going to do? What are you called to? Are you willing to pay the price if there is an effort to stop you? The Ukrainian people seem willing. Plenty of people throughout history have gone and done the right thing in the face of death and opposition. Just stop going along with the BS. Just stop giving it credibility. Acknowledge it for what it is. And start living. Facing the uncomfortable things of life, not pretending they don’t exist. Stop being so privileged that you don’t think you have to deal with uncomfortable things. If you are person of faith, start taking it seriously. Find others who can join in. Not to complain about the BS spreaders, but to encourage one another. To do the right thing. To impact people’s lives. To improve communities. Do it in spite of the nay sayers and doubters. Let them complain. They aren’t going do anything productive, or amount to anything. Just go forward. Choose who you are going to listen to – the people who actually care about you. Be just as transparent and predictable as the BS spreaders, but in the opposite direction. Let people see you and say “I know what they are going to say and do,” and let that thing you say and do be something that helps people, not tear them down.

I’m rooting for you! You’ve got an idea to make life better – I want to hear it. You gonna work to improve lives, I’m going to support you. Be you. Go forward. And leave the BS and those who spread it out in the pasture where they belong.

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