Hello dear reader(s)!
For a few weeks now, with the exception of one week where other things got in the way for a majority of participants (and I think Shayne and Robert were out of town), Hannah and I have been going to our friends’ house to play games. There was Ariel, Will, Christina (until her bedtime), Shayne and Robert. It has been something to look forward to every week, and we really enjoy it and always make a strong effort to go, because we know we are going to have fun, even if we are feeling like garbage.
One of the great things about going is that there are few people I still know who really enjoy using their brain and even playing games to exercise it, and these are those people. When we are playing games, and we are talking, we are all laughing and having fun and having intelligent conversations. Nobody talks down to anyone, and even with ultra competitive game playing people (such as Hannah, myself, Ariel, and I think Robert fits into that category) we are still cheering for each other or “awwwing” when their turn goes bad. (Of course, we cheer harder when we’re the ones who win, but that is not the point.)
“Like-minded” is a term I have been thinking about quite a bit lately, and I think I have a pretty good grasp on the concept now. If you read my recent post “Friends” then you know that I recently went on a mini-Facebook purge of people I once knew but no longer had anything in common with, or agreement on anything whatsoever, or who seemed to exist on my feed only to try to argue whatever viewpoint I held. The straw that really broke the camel’s back was the Charleston shooting. So many of my former friends were quick to defend the ideology of hate and racism that created the motive for that killer. So many believed I was jumping to conclusions that the shooting was racially motivated or that I was perpetuating racism by calling it what it was… “A hate crime. An act of racial terrorism.”
Now, if someone wanted to disagree with my insistence that the Republican party’s courting of open racism within its party created an atmosphere in which these hateful wastes of human skin could thrive…I could see that. I don’t agree, but I could see where someone could say, “Josh, you don’t know that’s what led to that. You don’t know what was going on in that piece of human waste’s mind that made him a racist murderer.” And that’s true. It might have been indoctrinated by his family, friends, books, film…I don’t honestly know. It might be the defense of the Confederate flag still flying higher than the flags that were taken down to half-staff through all of this. I don’t know. I can however say that I believe the lack of condemnation of the racist wing of their party, nay, the open support of the racist wing of their party does make assholes like this emboldened. That is my belief, and would be hard to prove without ESP. So yeah, I could be wrong. And I would have been fine with those disagreements.
However, what I realized is that I am fine with people who disagree with me, but I do not like associating with people who are not like-minded. There is a difference, and here is what that difference is. People who are like-minded to me think about something and arrive at a conclusion, or (absent hard evidence), arrive at a hypothesis. People who are not like-minded to me believe whatever they are told by the mainstream media, and wait for the information to be shared, rather than going and seeking the information out.
As many issues as I have had with Twitter, there is one thing about that site that makes me hooked. That is the access to real, proven information absent the propaganda of the mainstream media…well before the mainstream media even mentions it.
The incident on Facebook that led to the deletion (and blocking of one) of my former friends was started by a post in which I already knew that the church was historic to the cause of civil rights and the abolition of slavery in this land of the free. I knew the anniversary of the salve revolt that sprang from that church was right around that time. I knew that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., had led a march from that church’s steps in the 60’s. I knew that it was already coming out that the killer had already told the survivors his motives. Hours before any cable news mentioned those. A full day before officials and “journalists” were coming to grips with reality. It isn’t because I am more intelligent, but it is because I look for information instead of waiting for someone to filter it for me and then read me their interpretation.
And that is what like-minded means to me. You don’t have to agree with me, you don’t have to place the same level of importance on the same things as I do. But you do have to use your brain. You can’t just take something as gospel because that is what the corporate anchor people tell you. You can look for, and usually find the facts, and then make your own conclusions.
On game night, the people who get together are all like-minded. Do we agree on every issue? I doubt it. Does it matter? No. Because we are respectful of each other, we use our brains, and we have a great time. Even if it wasn’t as fun as it always it, it would still be refreshing to hang out with a bunch of people who use the brains that they have.
Tomorrow night would have been game night, but it looks like one of our friend’s schedules has been thrown into chaos. Hannah and I have pretty flexible schedules, so hopefully, we find a way to keep it going. With all of my limitations, and the attitudes of people around here, game night is like mini-therapy for me.
What about you? Do you and your friends have a game night? Do you surround yourself with like-minded people? Do you think you are limiting yourself that way, or do you think it is necessary for your sanity? I would love to hear your take on that.