I remember back in 9th-grade Economics class learning my dollar was my vote. I spent it as I desired. If I did not like a product or agree with the choices the manufacturer made then I could choose not to give them my money thus taking away my vote.
This is the basis of a boycott.
If I remember correctly, it was also about this same time in my life that the Christian groups, which came to be known as the Chrstian right or the moral majority, started promoting boycotts against many companies. One I remember is Proctor and Gamble for having a logo that they deemed was Satanic.
I joined that one for a while. I know–as my daughter would say–cringy. And then explain to me how awful that word is but sometimes it is the only one that works.
Years have passed since my first lesson by Mr. Anderson about what a boycott is. I have since given them up but they sure haven’t disappeared. Now, it seems, every group across the spectrum uses them. Both sides of our government is constantly accusing the other side of canceling someone. To be honest, it is happening on both sides. And that Christian right? Oh man they complain about being canceled now. All the time!!!
It has reached epic, ridiculous proportions. But if you ask me, the canceling that matters is when someone is no longer listens to you. It’s scary and it is frustrating.
There is a way around it.
Listen first, care first.
I do not agree with anyone I know on everything. There is something that is different between me and any other person in my life. This also means I can be blocked out about at least one thing with everyone I know.
A big one is how to get to heaven. I am a Christian. I believe there is only one way to heaven. You must believe in God. Believe that Jesus is both man and God and that he died on a cross but rose again to save us from hell and make a way for us to go to heaven and we must ask him to forgive our sins in order to go to heaven.
So here’s the thing. Most people do not agree with me. And the passion I have about this belief can be a real turn off.
I believe that. I know it to be true.
I love the people in my life. And I do my best to make sure they know that.
They might agree with me. They might not.
That is not what decides if we can have a relationship.
We can have a relationship not because we agree but because we invest in each other. You get canceled when you treat people like objects or projects. No one wants to be told what to think or believe and they definitely don’t want to hear it if we aren’t hearing them.
Cancel culture is about so much more than children’s books or laundry soap. It is about people. It is about how we treat each other. It is about respecting each other. It is about the love we have and show each other.
Next time you don’t feel heard ask yourself if you have loved and cared about the people in your life. Have you earned the right to be heard?