Sometimes I am surprised by how much anger and hate there are in the United States. I am sure it is the same everywhere else that is inhabited by humans. As long as I can recall, or at least since the 90’s when I began paying attention, when some group of people get angry at a business for a business or marketing decision which goes against their values they release the battle cry for a boycott.
There was the first airline who offered (fill-in-the-blank). Then the first soft drink to (fill-in-the-blank) followed by the first store to offer (fill-in-the-blank). some of these fill-in-the-blank benefits or strategies were benefits to same-sex spouses, support of some political party, racial integration, or some large company perhaps is run or owned by someone of a different religion. There is no shortage of hate and outrage around us.
Apparently people are currently boycotting (in no particular order): Subway because Michelle Obama is their current spokesperson, Wal-Mart because Michelle Obama is their current spokesperson, Coca-Cola because they had a multi-lingual folk song in a Superbowl commercial, Pepsi because they support LGBTQ, and most national food brands due to GMOs. Don’t forget Chick-fil-a because they do not support LGBTQ. There is also a call to boycott soda stream because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I will admit to being unclear if we are just boycotting soda stream or if we are boycotting ScarJo as well.
Remember when it was JC Penney because they had Ellen as a spokesperson?
I am all for people shopping their conscience. I support that 100%. But sometimes we have a knee-jerk reaction, say to the coke commercial last night, and swear immediate allegiance to Pepsi forgetting we were previously boycotting Pepsi for a different violation to our values system.
Then, the way treat others who disagree with us is shameful. The internet and message boards are full of people calling each other names and insulting each other as individuals…not debating the issues or the reasons for or against their differences. There is no thoughtful dialog, just hate and insults.
The irony is that individuals probably have more in common then they would like to think, or admit. The fact of the matter is that when we focus on our differences then our differences become bigger. When we can find find common ground and make that our focus, then our common ground gets bigger. Life is an awful lot like a mirror in that we will often find what we are looking for.
If we are looking for examples of the other side being jerks…we WILL find it. If we seek to find examples of the other side doing something positive, we will find that as well…but only if we are looking. We are stronger when we are united than when we are being hateful and divisive.