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For The Good

I’ve been watching the basketball restart in the bubble in Orlando these days. It’s been a fun watch. There’s been some noticeable differences.


Namely, the plethora of social justice messages that are now in the NBA. In light of the George Floyd murder, the NBA has taken the step to be more socially conscious.


On the back of player jerseys, there are a number of messages that players choose to print while they play. Stuff like Black Lives Matter, Equality, Peace, Freedom, Education Reform, among many other messages.


It’s a demonstration to how serious this fight for racial equality and justice has become. Even the NBA has been influenced by the recent news surrounding Black Lives Matter.


It’s commendable that the NBA is taking these steps to be more conscious of the inequalities surrounding us. And they should be respected for taking a stand on a controversial (for some reason) issue that has been politicized over these last few years.


Black Lives Matter shouldn’t be as polarizing as it is today. It’s a simple statement, one that reflects the racial injustice and discrimination that is apparently still ever-present in USA society today.


For whatever reason, it has its supporters and naysayers. Everything seems to be politicized. And everyone seems to be thinking that they represent the greater good. The side of the righteous.


If you are for Black Lives Matter, you see this as taking a stand for the inequities of our American society. If you are against it (for whatever reason), you will see it as something that is too extreme to deem right.


I realize that by writing this column, I am myself inadvertently taking a stand for or against this message as well. That’s the plight of simply being a part of society.


No matter what you do or don’t do, your actions or inactions will be construed in some way by the masses as a means of support or criticism.


This goes beyond the Black Lives Matter movement. Even the recent protests around the nation have taken a politicized tone. Supporters see them as freedom fighters. And critics see them as anarchists.


It gets tiring frankly reading about all the news and comments on social media both for and against this movement.


The kneeling of the national anthem is another action that gets a lot of coverage these days. Whether we stand or do not stand for the flag has become a hotbed issue that touches sensitive nerves among both the left and the right.


If you support the kneeling, you may see it as a stance protesting systemic racism and police brutality. If you criticize it, you may see the kneeling as a sign of disrespect towards our country.


It’s hard to say whom is right and wrong. The lines get blurred quite frequently, and it’s tiring trying to see matters from all types of perspectives.


Sometimes, it feels like you almost have no choice but to take a stance on hotbed topics. Stuff like racial equality, abortion, gun rights, same sex marriage, and all these myriad of issues that are hot button topics in our country today.


What exactly does it mean to stand for something right? To stand for something good? What exactly does it mean to be good anyways? Everyone feels like they are on the side of good - regardless of how it is perceived by the public or by the other side.


It’s easier said than done to try to empathize with those whom you do not support. The recent selection of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s running mate certainly has a similar polarizing feel.


I get responses all across the board from my Facebook “friends”. Some love the selection. Some are lukewarm about it. And others simply despise it.


So, who is right and who is wrong? Even though I lean Democratic, does that mean that my fellow friends and family members on the other side are in the wrong?


Are they disillusioned? Are they a part of the bad side?


It’s easy to say that we are all simply human and that we have to respect the views of those around us. I do understand that it’s easier said than done. Especially when we grasp so hard with our views - whatever they may be.


Have we ever tried letting go a little? And just think a little about how it would feel to be in someone else’s shoes? How it would feel to have different political views? Different views on abortion, same sex marriage, gun rights, and racial inequality?


Just take a step back and look at things from another perspective. It’s easy to say that the other side is wrong. They are up to no good. They are just not seeing things clearly. They probably think the same of you. So, who is right? By what metrics should we be judging right or wrong?


That’s the million dollar question. And I wish I had the answer. I wish I had the magic wand to just make the answer come poof out of thin air. But, life is not like that. Sometimes, it just feels like we go round and round and round again in terms of who wins and loses.


The right side or the wrong side, it doesn’t matter. Are we all on the same side? Or are there no sides at all? I’m confusing myself more as I think this through. But, we are at least all human beings. And as humans, that’s something that inevitably and inextricably ties us together - whether we are right or wrong.

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