March 24th, 2020

The word “duly” means importantly.

And I think it’s important that we remember or realize that people are made up of “and”s.

Not blacks and whites and “or”s, but a spectrum of color, and the grays that exist between them.

I spent a lot of time thinking about this post. I want it to be intentional and meaningful. But you just reading it will suffice, because I can’t change anybody’s mind.

The reason I say a person is a collection of “and”s is because people are complex. You are not one thing or another; conversely, you being one thing does not automatically make you not another.

For example: I like ice cream AND candy.

You might find this a ridiculous thing to point out, because why would one ever be exclusive to another? I use this simple base of an example because I’m going to turn it up to 11 real quick.

Michael Jackson (allegedly) sexually abused young children AND he was an entertainer who brought pure joy to billions around the world.

Kobe Bryant is a(n) (alleged) rapist AND he was an inspiration to generations of people of every kind, regardless of specific interests or boundaries.

You see what I’m saying?

One doesn’t change the other. They are “and”s. Both exist concurrently, and though one can affect and change the other, they will never make either fact less true.

We very much live in a #cancel society; to that point, there are people who absolutely deserve the severe repercussions of their behavior, and sometimes that involves their livelihoods and social influence.

But what are we doing when we try to cancel a life? Are we delivering a kind of true justice that the law could never satisfactorily accomplish? Are we microwave-evolving a society that moves too slowly and too softly in its judgements, using our swift blades of harsh truth to cut through the bullshit of a system? Are we burying the fact that there are things we have all done that we are not proud of, but can morally rationalize those away in the name of good intentions?

I don’t know. No answers here. I’m just as confused as most people are most of the time.

But I’m not confused about the duel nature of people. I think that you can be smart AND dumb, pretty AND ugly, sweet AND hurtful, kind AND cruel, caring AND cold — and I think you can be all those things in one day.

But mostly, I think we can be upset — sad, angry, empty — AND full of forgiveness. We can recognize that both parts of anything always make a whole, and that the whole rarely ever needs to be thrown out.

We can learn, and we can be cautious, but we have to keep remembering that we are made up of “and”s — and that is the most human thing.


Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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