Taking a stand

I once wrote a post about how people need to stop improving yourself. I wrote it for computer programmers. The gist of it was that unless you have a definite goal, “taking action” is pointless. This was on a site that advocates for people to wrote blog posts, attend conferences, and work on side projects besides to working. In other words, it encouraged people to have a second job. I don’t want to dissuade people from doing this, as it can be successful. The point was that unless you have a destination in mind, these activities aren’t as useful as others, like physical activity, meditation, etc.

As strange as it may seem, I see parallels between this viewpoint and people on social media who avoid religious and political posts. Money, religion, and politics are the 3 things we’re never supposed to discuss. That’s because these are emotional topics where people hold strong beliefs and feelings. The 2016 election is where we saw a failing. More registered voters abstained from voting than ones who did. As a result, the current president lost the popular election by 3 million votes.

That’s the danger of avoiding politics and religion. The people who do not avoid these topics have a tendency to get into power, and it never ends well. We all have political and religious beliefs, and we all need to get involved. There are benefits to religion, and there are benefits to politics. There are downsides as well, and the potential for difficult conversations. We need these because we need to learn how to disagree without being disagreeable.

These topics are important, like building good habits and self-improvement. They should not take over our lives. Like learning to code many languages doesn’t help much, spending time on the politics subreddit, or posting to Facebook won’t help us have a say in the national conversation. Writing technical blogs posts no one reads is about as useful as evangelicals holding signs on the sidewalk at public events.
We need to find ways to actively and purposefully engage in these topics, without letting them overrun our lives.

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