Date: 3/3/17 6:09 pm From: Daniel Mason <millipede1977...> Subject: Re: Does anyone know how to deal with this?
Pardon me while I try really hard to say this as politely and tactfully as possible. 1. Trump didn't sign an order... Some senator did. 2. Politics are tricky and ugly and EVERYONE(bold for emphasis, not shouting) sees things from a distorted/skewed and biased perspective because of their political affiliations and per-conceived beliefs. It's never, ever as simple as blanket generalizations that almost everyone uses today. "guess trump doesn't care..." opinion. 3. This NEEDS to be said. Many, and I mean many in this group need to awaken to the idea that there is such a thing as a conservative birder. Many people in this group are conservatives... some you know quite well but are not aware of this fact. But people speak loosely in such a way that it sounds like they assume everyone is on the same page. Some of you can be quite rude in your comments at times and no matter how you feel, this is not okay. You want things to be better? You want birders to unite? Act like it. Pointing fingers and such is just ugly and has NO place in such a forum as this. MANY people have quit this list because of how people act and what they say. Some of you are pushing people out of this group and you should very, very much care about that. I understand how passionate you are about wildlife and your political and environmental beliefs... but there's a real danger in letting that passion turn into something greater... or, lesser I guess. People with lead poisoning tend to vote conservative? what a hateful and ignorant thing to say. I'm sorry but if you can say things like that, I sure have the right to call it out for what it is. I'm a conservative and quite offended by this. Am I not welcome here? That's how some of you make people feel here. And I am begging you all to think about this. Some of you remember I interjected into a conversation before... some of you were quite mean to me... quite mean. And as I attempted to explain myself better, some got meaner... yet, many reached out to me privately to tell me how this group has made them feel as well. Yes, I'm not familiar with most. Yes, I'm an outsider. Yes, I'm not a liberal. But you NEED to understand that many that join here are not like you... and you NEED to treat them with respect. Unless you really want this to be just for some small clique. Do you want to scare away and shun people that think differently than you? Shouldn't we try to focus on what we have in common? A love of birds. Again, I get that your love of birds makes you passionate about these other things but those STRONG feelings that you want more people to "wake up to," you're not going to get ANYONE to hear you when you look at other people and treat other people like this. I bird frequently... I have things to offer such a group as this... so do many others that have been shamed into silence here. There's something wrong with that. I hope I'm being heard here. I imagine some of what I'm saying sounds harsh... or "where's he coming from." And, I imagine much of that is because many of you don't really know me. But I still pray you'll take my words to heart. Some of you have scared people right out of this group. I'd like to think that's not on your to do list.
4. Rather than focusing on "well these people must be stupid if they don't understand this truth..." Find a way to bridge that gap... to reach people in a positive way. There are things that all of you believe that are false in life. Would you be willing to listen to any reasoning and truth if someone approached you with such a negative tone? Serious question here. Do you want more people to understand the truth about the dangers of lead? Do you want people to hear you, understand, accept, and change? Doesn't that sound like a good thing? That's not a goal you'll ever see come to be with condemnation. Seek truth... spread truth. Don't spread hatred.
5. I apologize for the rambling here. Sincerely. I sit back and watch these harsh tones pop up from time to time... and I watch people leave the group each time. Literally. I don't like seeing people being hurt. I don't like people feeling unwelcome. Because I don't like feeling those things. Also, I share these thoughts with all of you because I care about you all and I want more for you. You could do more with this group with a little less political bitterness... as a whole... and as individuals... I study people a bit and I can see how these things consume people at times... it changes how you SEE things and how you act and how you treat people. Allowing such feelings to exist long enough perpetuates them. Seriously, it's not healthy to live in such a way.
This conversation started with a very good question. "Does anyone know how to deal with this?" Would it not be more beneficial to actually address the question? It's a very good question in general. How do you solve so many issues like this? On topic, the only way to change another person's view is to get them to see truth. That's not always easy and in these situations, quite tricky I imagine. One person at a time, one on one, visual aids, etc... very personal(and caring) is the only way to "get through" to another person with things like this. The people in power need to either be influenced by enough people pushing(productively) or, they need to personally be shown the truth. Sadly with politicians(and many people), it's hard to get them outside of their own little worlds. I believe that we all need each other here. I hope my words are heard as something meant to unite. That's my goal. Anyone ever wants to try a conversation in person I'm in Siloam Springs and get out birding at least once or twice a week. Would be glad to bird with you. :) Or we could forget the conversation and just enjoy the birds. Peace and happy birding to you all. Daniel Mason