I have spent an inordinate amount of time in confrontation this week. No, I’m not going to air out my dirty laundry, so if that’s what you were looking for, might I recommend the Real Housewives of Atlanta, or maybe a presidential debate?
I will share with you something I learned by being in conflict with multiple people whom I care about. The lesson is that confrontation is love and cancel culture denies dignity.
I say that confrontation is an act of love because it is a choice to enter into something difficult, usually at an emotional cost, to ensure the continuation of a relationship. We as humans, and me especially, make mistakes. We make assumptions and jump to conclusions. We also make honest mistakes like misunderstanding and allowing unexamined presuppositions fill in gaps. Some of these are malicious, some benign, and some negligent. Sometimes they are choices, and sometimes they are accidents. All that is to say, crap happens…a lot. When the crap hits the preverbal fan, the person that steps up next to you is the one that loves you.
Firstly, they see value in themselves and want you to recognize it. That may seem like a strange selfish statement, but I don’t intend it to be. For example, if I didn’t like you, I would keep you at arms length. I wouldn’t care what you thought about me and would put no effort into changing your perception of me. If I love you, then I do care about what you think of me and will forth great effort to ensure that what you see/believe is true. Secondly, confrontation is loyalty. The people who let hurts fester and never say anything are allowing the relationship to be poisoned. If someone is confronting you, then they want the relationship to be strong. That is loyalty. Someone who won’t let your relationship break down. Lastly, confrontation is willing the good of the other, which is the definition of love. If you truly love someone, then you will incur the cost of that confrontation so that person is better. That cost is usually being uncomfortable, maybe even the emotional toll of an argument, and, if you’re anything like me, worry and over analyzing everything for the next three days. But, that other person is worth it.
Cancel culture is the polar opposite. It denies the dignity of the other person, essentially making them disposable. If that person says something that hurts you, you cancel them, you throw that relationship away then and there. There is no recognition of self-worth. There is not loyalty. There is not recognition of the other person’s value. That human is disposable and should be gotten rid of. Cancel culture has to take that approach too, because if someone were to genuinely confront another person they would be confronted with that individual’s dignity. They would be forced to acknowledge that every human makes mistakes. That doing the best they can with what they got is all that can be asked of anyone. In the end, that person would be the same, equal in mistakes and mishaps. Cancel culture leaves people terribly isolated because they can’t make real connection. If they were to make a real connection, then they couldn’t just toss that person aside when they do something offensive.
I’m not going to lie, just canceling people is easier. Like…I am so freak’n exhausted right now…I can’t even explain. But, for as tired, and drained, and humbled (not in the noble way, but in the eat crow kind) as I am right now, I am so thankful for it. I praise God that I have people in my life who love me and are willing to confront me rather than just cancel and dispose of me. I’m so grateful that I’m not alone.
Working for my life’s vision of writing stories in a beverage shop that I own.