Cynthia L. Eppley, MA
After writing Cancel Culture 1 and 2, I have been thinking more on this subject. It seems that violent speech and action are ever more increasing. (See Cancel Culture, Cancel Culture 2)
What are we to do?
In Cancel culture 1 I spoke of the dynamics of “canceling someone”:
Shaming, Stonewalling, Snubbing.
It is to our shame that we know these too well. Remember the book “All I Really need to know I learned in Kindergarten?”
Doesn’t it seem that this behavior was learned early in life?
Are we no better as adults than we were in Kindergarten?
I read books to our 7 year old granddaughter about how to deal with bullies and rumors.
The American Girl “Smart Girl” series has helped greatly:
A Smart Girl’s Guide: Friendship Troubles (Revised): Dealing with fights, being left out & the whole popularity thing (American Girl: a Smart Girl’s Guide)
A Smart Girl’s Guide: Stand Up for Yourself & Your Friends: Dealing with Bullies & Bossiness and Finding a Better Way
I began this series when she was 5. It saddens me greatly that this is the world that she—that WE—live in.
A Deeper Problem
And yet: isn’t that deep seated niggling in the back of our mind clear evidence that we have a bigger problem than Kindergarten? or Adolescent Misbehavior?
Scripture is clear and will forever be so:
For there is no distinction; 23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.
We can all be reduced, it seems, to children behaving badly. We can all be reduced to defending ourselves at the expense of hurting others.
A very old cartoon character spoke to this eloquently and succinctly: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
Scripture is clear from Genesis through Revelation. Left to our own devices, we turn towards the worst—to sin. We are in desperate need of a Savior.
6 While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace; your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace.
One of my favorite quotes was used by my brother, H. Keith Lippincott, and was on his desk:
I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or deescalated, And a person humanized or dehumanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.
If we treat people as they out to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming. Goethe
More on this in Cancel Culture 4.