Graceful Resistance

“It’s really important to have your crew,” is one of many smart things S***** said last Tuesday, and she’s right. It’s why I was there, and she’s becoming my crew, whether she likes it or not. I kid, I kid. Mostly.

I didn’t really set out to create a resistance movement – there is already one of which I am a minute part – but after spending time with S*****, I realize this is pretty much exactly what I want to do.

It was pure reaction: me, reacting to someone else’s vociferous reaction on yet a third friend’s Facebook page opinion. Everyone was yelling about something she’d posted, one of those all-too-common stories where a white person called the cops on a black person in a situation where, as I saw it, a simple conversation could have resolved the whole mess and we’d never have known about these people to begin with. But, there we all were, shouting at each other on Facebook, because that always helps.

It occurred to me we just aren’t talking anymore, as in someone speaks while another listens, about anything; we’re just shouting.  I wanted a safe space to talk with other people equally interested, distressed, energized, and engaged in current events. It feels terribly important that we’re all paying attention and I know for me, it’s important to get out of my own head and hear some smart people’s opinions. While it’s increasingly hard to find places for polite discussion I am optimist enough to feel we are all so much better than this, and I invite you to RESIST.

I invite you to join me in a Graceful Resistance.

What is a Graceful Resistance?  It’s resistance to the logical fallacy of all-or-nothing, black-or-white, my-way-or-the-highway thinking, because Graceful Resisters recognize human beings are messy, complicated creatures bound together by our mutual need of one another. Graceful Resisters counter arguments based in fear and prejudice with those appealing to mankind’s nobler ideals and aspirations. Graceful Resisters check sources and verify information before passing it along. Graceful Resisters practice healthy self-care, lest they become overwhelmed and consider giving up. This is why, as S***** says, it’s so important to have your crew. We need our crew to defend as well as challenge us, we need our crew to extend us a bit of grace when we’re low, refueling by  returning the favor.

A Graceful Resister resists neither Left nor Right, but rather the arguments dividing the two, which means for the Graceful Resisters it’s essential we question most carefully our own closely held opinions, because we understand the dangers of confirmation bias.

For Christian Graceful Resisters like me, it’s staying in touch with the Gospels. Jesus was pretty clear about his expectations of those who follow him. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

I wonder how many of the various memes you’ve seen suggesting the only thing for those of us on the “Left” to do with Trumpists now is cut them from our lives? I know what it is like to cut people from my life and also, acutely, what it’s like to be cut; while necessary at times, it never comes without pain, and usually remorse, too. We’re in a time, much as I imagine it must have been prior to the Civil War, when politics is turning the Thanksgiving table from awkward to nightmarish, and things are being said which cannot be unsaid.  S***** and I noted we have some people in our lives displaying (perhaps) a bit of buyer’s remorse with regards to the Administration they helped elect, some folks who are a bit slower in shouting, “Bengazi!” in answer to each new Presidential gaffe, who appear to be listening more thoughtfully. And oh Lordy, the temptation to shout “I TOLD YOU SO!” is nearly irresistible but resist it we must. In today’s ugly, polarized political climate, it’s a Graceful Resister who swallows the smug and instead, extends a hand of friendship to those who would come back in from the madness.

Joining the Graceful Resistance is easy: find Tuesday Grace on Facebook. Right now it’s pretty bare bones, but I’m creating it as a forum for (carefully vetted) information, polite discussion, and someplace to offer each other a little grace in between Random Tuesday Gatherings. We’re all in this together; let’s Gracefully Resist the ugliness and spread a little healing. We have nothing to lose, and the whole world to gain.

#GracefulResistance

One thought on “Graceful Resistance

  1. Your idea sounds perfect and timely, were I on FB I’d join. But instead I’ll try to adopt your concept and incorporate it into my daily life. The difficult part of all of this “us versus them” talking/shouting is that for me, a person solidly in the middle, I’m accused by both sides of not caring or lying about what I say. It’s just plain whacked, I tell you. The middle is not the problem.

    Liked by 1 person

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