Thursday, November 10, 2016

If you are ...

Oh there is so much feeling on the internet right now. It's echoing what we saw after the Brexit vote got announced but amplified by there being far more people over the pond and perhaps because it is not in the place with that (in?)famous British reserve ?
The meme I've been seeing at the moment is a long list of "If you're ..." Here it is, although I have changed one or two bits because I didn't quite agree with the original. I think this is an improvement. Here goes !

If you wear a hijab, I'll sit with you on the train.
Sure ! If there aren't empty seats elsewhere cos ... sitting beside someone when you can sit on your own is seen as a bit weird here. But the point's valid. There was a case not too long ago in Bristol where a passenger demanded that another passenger leave the bus because they thought they looked like a terrorist (Asian archetype, had beard) and they were scared. I'd have asked the bullied person to sit beside me and asked the bully to leave the bus. Yes.

If you're trans, I'll go to the same bathroom as you.
Because we've all seen each other's bits right ? It doesn't matter what people pee out of does it. And that's what we go to the bathroom for right ? The people who want to dictate where trans people pee don't do other things in bathrooms right ?

If you're a person of colour, I'll stand up to the cops for you.
Every time. Teachers too. We had a racist teacher at my secondary school who was picking on the only black kid in the school. I helped the guy out, we were good friends while I was at that school although his chances were somewhat crippled by this racist teacher. It does depend though. If the person of colour has just robbed someone, I'll help those cops if it's not too risky.

(Avoid generalisations ! Why are the cops after them ? Genuine or bullying ?)

If you're a person with disabilities, I'll hand you my megaphone.
I should try not to but I really do bristle when I see non-disabled people steal the disabled parking spots. There should be some kind of fitting punishment for that. I suspect the disabled people don't want to make too much of a fuss though, they're busy fighting their own battles. They shouldn't fight other battles too !

If you're an immigrant, I'll help find you resources.
Hmm ... that's what the state is for really. But I see the point again.

If you're a survivor, I'll believe you. I'll listen.
The listen part is the most important there. If someone has been through something intense, it is important that you listen and give them the benefit of your belief. Some of the people around us have been through some Really Crazy Stuff. To help them cope with that, to process that, they need to express it to others. The least we can do for them is to listen and believe.

If you're a refugee, I'll make sure you're welcome.
My Grins are for everyone. Whether they be English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, European, Asian, American, whether they be from everywhere. Except chavs. They can do one.

If you're a veteran, I'll take up your fight.
I know a few veterans. They have a quiet strength and dignity that we can all learn from.

If you're LGBTQ, I won't tell anyone tell you that they think you're broken.
Whatever your preference, whoever you are attracted to, love is love. Me ? I like intelligent pretty ladies. Other guys are different, other ladies get repulsed by blokes. We should respect who and what people are, we should not try to change them. People are at their best when they can be natural and comfortable with themselves.

If you're a woman, I'll make sure you get home ok.
Always. If I have to go out of my way to make sure the Pretty Lady gets home ok, I'll consider that an honour that she wants to spend that extra time with me. Why wouldn't you escort her home ? It's a chance to spend more time with someone lovely ? It's up to the lady though. She might think she should be escorting you home !!!

If you're tired, me too.
It's been a long year. Lots has happened, earthshattering events both in politics and in reality.

If you need me, I'll be with you. All I ask is that you be with me too.
Our greatest gift is our time. When people ask for a little help, make time for them. If someone lonely reaches out, listen to their voice. We're better together than apart. We can help each other much better if we give that gift of time.

If you need a hug, I have an infinite supply.
Always. Hugs are awesome.
The behaviours start with us. We can make this world a better place. We just have to drop the preconceptions, the prejudices and just treat people as people remembering that our differences are what make us strong, they're what make us interesting.

Listen to the stories of other people, they will expand your life.

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