I have liberal views, I pray for progress in our world, but I am not a supporter of “cancel culture.” I’m referring to boycotting people & attempting to remove them from their jobs or public platforms as a consequence for offensive words or actions. Call-out culture is one thing. Public people inevitably receive public shaming for their wrongdoings and sometimes, hopefully, that leads to a lesson learned. But to take away someone’s opportunity to grow would be going against these progressive goals. Taking away the chance for a public display of positive change would be defeating the entire purpose of shifting cultural views. If taking responsibility and committing to learning and being better isn’t enough, what are we possibly hoping for?
I encourage transformation. Admire vulnerability when taking responsibility for damage caused. Owning the pain inflicted on another, even if by mistake. When someone is hurting because of something I did, I like to first apologize for causing them pain. Then, I try to learn how to avoid doing it again. My mistakes may come with consequences, but they also provide opportunity to better myself.
I value the ability to empathize. An open mind to the power our actions as individuals hold. We mustn’t rely on others to hold us accountable for our hurtful actions. Demanding or requiring an explanation as to why someone is offended is not only unfair, it is selfish. We are responsible for researching those answers for ourselves. We must all recognize the levels of trauma each and every person might be battling in private. Just as you wouldn’t tell someone screaming from a burning building to be quiet, we must be mindful and never dictate how someone is allowed to respond to their own traumas.
While I always encourage standing tall to what passes through out of our control, I don’t take the argument that it is on the offended party to “be less sensitive.” We’re all human and at the end of the day we can’t always control how other people make us feel. If we want peace and joy, we must share the common goal of treating each other with kindness. Working towards understanding, supporting growth and providing love for one another. While it is our responsibility to build a tough exterior for our minds, it is also important to be cautious of where others are in that journey.
When someone in the public eye makes an error in judgment but promises growth, I believe there are compromises more beneficial than “cancelling” them. If a mistake or instilled views from a person’s past is the be-all, end-all of their character, how can we possibly instigate the change this world needs? Change is not only possible, but it happens everyday! Coming together, agreeing to disagree in a respectful manner, listening and learning from each other is not only attainable, it’s necessary. So while trust needs time to be built, that time has to be given to allow room for this change we seek. Effort to not only make amends, but heal within ourselves, and the support to do so, are in my opinion key ingredients to a functioning society.
By believing and preaching change is possible, we set forth progress in the right direction. I understand firsthand how one person can live many different lives and I am a firm believer in a person’s ability to transform. We must avoid setting the tone that people can not change their ways. Practice holding people accountable for their current intentions and supporting them as they become better people.
When it comes to situations like with Ellen Degeneres or Chris Harrison from The Bachelor, we must respect the timeline of those healing from their actions. Listen to the victims of their words. But to try to erase these people instead of cultivate from these moments would be a mistake. Let us support people on their journey to becoming more understanding human beings. Just as we encourage people to learn in private, we have a chance to share that example with a wider audience. Demonstrating forgiveness and offering love, faith and acceptance as a way of healing.
While we may not be able to run away from our pasts, it’s inspiring to see how far we can come from previous lows. To be open and honest about where we come from. Providing a realistic image of a “kind person,” and painting attainable goals for humans to be “good.” Instead of “cancelling” someone for their wrongs, I hope we can start encouraging people to be honest about their room for improvement and then allow them that room to improve.