Generally, I think there is 100% more nuance about most circumstances than most of us are willing to come to terms with. We can live in a fantasy social media world where a beautifully crafted or humorous meme tells you how to think or feel or react and in many cases, influence you to feel guilty (or justified) for what you did or didn’t do.
This reality for me is all the more complicated because I have a mental illness (OCD) where I perpetually struggle with guilt and perfectionism and if I responded to something the right way or wrong way or offended someone, and it goes on and on in my head. I have irrational fears and thoughts that come to my mind that I may say or believe something that I don’t really believe. So there can be a lot of confusion in my brain. Sometimes, I can feel it so deeply I have difficulty functioning productively for a day or so after a major current event.
For this and other reasons, I have often watched current events and not said my opinion on social media and even avoid social media during these times for the sake of my mental health. I didn’t say who I did or didn’t vote for or comment on many current events in the past year. I chose, rather, to have conversations privately and in-person with people. I have not been privately silent and have had many conversations to see where people are coming from. In most of my relationships and situations, I have found that to be the most fruitful approach.
While it may be true there are many people in the world who need to stop more often, be silent, and examine the nuance, there is another side of the coin. Some of us over-analyze everything, and consequently, say and do nothing. One of the biggest things I learned in my thousands of dollars of therapy to overcome compulsive over-responsibility is that, assuming you are a reasonable person, if/when you should personally respond to something, you WILL know it. It won’t be a question. It won’t be confusing. If you are listening, your body will tell you if you should respond.
I watched the VICE news video (Charlottesville: Race and Terror) late last night and felt so sick to my stomach, absolutely disgusted at this evil and naïve enough to be somewhat shocked there could be so many people mobilized with hate. It made me realize now more than ever before, a person can even begin to make nuance an idol, which in turn can mislabel things as complicated and can lead one to minimize or begin to justify complacency.
But like I said, if you are listening, your body will tell you when things really aren’t that complicated. I’ve been listening to my moral meter for the past couple of days, and it’s quite clear. In fact, it’s the opposite of complicated. And everything inside of me keeps screaming…Say it out loud today, Mindy: This is NOT okay. Period. No nuance. WHITE SEPREMACIST NATIONALISM IS NOT OKAY.