Florence, OR

Thought for the day: Most of the things that are “super controversial” at any given moment shouldn’t be.
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I don’t think anybody should be killed by police because of minor infractions, and I think the fact that this has been such a recurring part of the black experience in my country is a serious and grave issue. Is that such a hard thing to agree with? And yet, instead of confronting the problem, what I see most often is people trying to redirect the conversation. Try and take a stand against this and suddenly– you’re unpatriotic and insulting veterans, or you’re anti-cop.
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Who decided that honoring veterans and police officers and respecting the serious ways our systems fail our black friends was mutually exclusive?
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I guess, in some part, we all do. The human brain loves binaries. It’s like gym class kickball. Immediately, you look around and find out whose on your team. This takes seconds. You spend the rest of the time attacking the other team. It’s a good system for gym class and a terrible way to live.
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When I worked as a teacher and had tough kids to manage, I was taught I could give them a choice between option A or B… like doing their homework now for five minutes, or later for ten minutes. Behavior could be managed by creating a binary where there wasn’t one. This is helpful in a classroom, but we often don’t realize that out in the world, there are more malevolent forces trying to manipulate us with a similar tactic.
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Here’s a little challenge– start keeping tally of all the times you feel your brain being pulled to make a choice between two sides, whether it’s which phone is better or what political party you belong to. Then ask yourself – am I really only stuck with two sides here? Then think of what we really miss out on.

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