So, I love Google+ and if I blogged as often as I Google+, my blog would be much more active. I like the interaction I experience on Google+ and have met some incredible people from lots of backgrounds. Some of them hold very similar ideas as I do and many of them are very different from me. I love that diversity and the broadening of my horizons that comes with it. I recently had a dreadful-ish experience (I know I am not the only person this has happened to, it just makes it more personal). I posted a fairly long winded comment on an article I read about the whole Chick Fil-A controversy junk that seems to be all over the place lately. I am going to re-post that here in case anyone would like to comment, because I ended up disabling the comment section on my Google+ post. I am also posting here because I wanted to share some observations without fear of lots of angry or contentious comments showing up (ah the power of approving who comments before they get posted).
The bad experience? I was writing about my admiration of Chick Fil-A’s efforts to remain respectful and not sling mud in the midst of everything that has been said about them. I was impressed enough to set out to publicly show my support for their “take the high road” kind of attitude about another variety of protest. Unfortunately, when I posted my thoughts, the comment section on the post ended up filled by angry comments from someone that I have never met in person – or on line. Perhaps he was not actually angry, but the comments were definitely lacking in the respect I was inspired by in what I read about the folks from Chic Fil-A. It made me sad that the individual chose not only to twist my words to mean hateful things (not my intention at all) and other ugly-ness, but he chose to do it on MY post, where those that I respectfully communicate regularly were unfortunately exposed to it. It left me feeling responsible for the hard and angry things being expressed. I try so hard to avoid speaking harshly against anyone that it especially made me sad to have him talk about my thoughts as a hateful and disrespectful, while at the same time calling me a dolt and insinuating my kids are fat (guess he’s never seen THREE who has no extra fat anywhere on that small solid muscle body of his, unlike his mommy, but…we won’t go there – LOL). I have generally been able to share my thoughts without too much trash talk from others or succumbing to it myself. This honestly shocked me at how blatantly intentionally rude it all was and made me simply sad. Thank you Chick Fil-A for maintaining a respectful tone, I will strive to do likewise, even though I am now also an unsuspecting recipient of hateful discussion. I just wish that people could disagree (or agree for that matter) in a consistently respectful way. Honestly, if there were more respect in our world, many of our problems could be solved. Live true to who you are and genuinely respect others for living true to themselves and inner peace can be found – even amidst plentiful diversity. That is my kind of world peace.
So on that, here is my post as it sits on Google+ (I may end up removing it as a means to be rid of the anger that was spread to my stream via the comments though – I have yet to decide)… (Please be forgiving of any typos – I am a horrid speller and my Google spell check is busted somehow right now.)
“I honestly get sick of the way the media uses Chick Fil-A (which company I love and faithfully attend their Cow Appreciation Day in creative cow costuming with my entire family) as a banner to disparage those that support and those that oppose various things related to sexual orientation issues. They support family values and I respect that they stand by their values. I respect that, as a company, they also choose to put their money where their values are.
This article made me happy to see so many support the company – in spite of all the publicly tossed about criticism. It did not make me thrilled to read “patrons waited upwards of two hours to snag their chicken sandwiches and show their support for Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s comments supporting traditional marriage.” I felt like that comment, though mostly innocent, put ‘words in the mouths’ of those who went to show their support. I am sure that some people were there only to support those comments made by the CEO, but I think most supporters are simply supporting a company that supports family and has amazing service and a great corporate value system of giving back and helping make people happy (I don’t know what their ‘official’ values are, those are what I have seen them show).
It also frustrated me to read that people are organizing a protest at the resteraunts by having a protest called “National Same-Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A.” I shared the article in spite of those frustrations because I loved Chick Fil-A’s response to the protest and the whole issue. I love and respect their philosopy. The article ended with something from one of the chain’s executives. I wish more people showed such respect for others.
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect –regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” Robinson said in a statement. “We understand from news reports that Friday may present yet another opportunity for us to serve with genuine hospitality, superior service and great food.”
Talk about turning the other proverbial cheek. Chick Fil-A contributes money to try to foster family values (not just gender orientation values, but lots of values) and to do good in their community. Then they get fully slammed for it and people start boycotting them. Their supporters step in to offer a boost to encourage them. Then as if to destroy that boost in moral, their opposition moves to open protest. And how does Chick Fil-A respond? Sling a little mud at those antagonists? Throw an anti-gay rally? Go boycot the local business run by one of those protesters? No, they open their doors and move to offer the best service they can with respect.”