On Monday, I started talking about Hot Takes, and I think I went off topic a little. Then I got wordy and thought I’d loose you before I got back around to the point, so I wrapped things up. But I still have more to say.
This is Part 2.
This month the writers of the Patheos Muslim Channel are opening up about their feelings on the hot take, a quick response to a current event, political debate or issues of the moment. I have to say, I am not in love with them.
Why am I not in love with them? Because I, like you, have been glued to any and all news sources since before the 2016 Presidential campaigns were really underway. I have been through the emotional wringer, reading primary news sources and then talking about it with friends who have read different accounts than I have. Comparing notes. Making sure its not fake news. Then deciding how to digest this new information and how it will impact my life.
All of that takes SO. MUCH. ENERGY that I just don’t have time to shoot off my mouth about what is happening every day. I need to do all that emotional labor AND take care of my people. AND take care of my work. AND take care of myself.
Writing here isn’t my job. I don’t get paid to write My Islamic Life. There is no chef that cooks for me. I don’t have a house elf to do the ironing or clean the toilets.
There are simply not enough hours in the day to do all of that, and sit and write for an hour (or more) after doing all of that research.
On November 8th, 2017, I went on a social media fast. I didn’t read my Facebook feed, I didn’t look at my messages. I didn’t go on Twitter. I worked, I read, and I let myself breathe. During that time, I came to the realization that I was spending so much time reading and researching and being mad, that I stopped smiling.
I stopped laughing.
I stopped sleeping.
I was eating too much and not drinking enough water.
I wasn’t cuddling enough.
Why? Because I was falling for the propaganda. I was wrapped up in the DRAMA of it all. On November 8th, I jumped off the train and let my mind rest.
Two weeks later, I started trickling back into it all, but I did so intentionally. I visited my groups. Only the ones that brought me joy. Then I maybe took a peek at my timeline, but as soon as I felt my shoulders tense, I backed away.
I’ve slowly inched back online but at a much more abbreviated level. Earlier this week, Magda shared this post from Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin with me.
This is the part that really spoke to me.
Propaganda is propaganda, and we all need to be able to recognize it.
And violent revolution saves no one.
The ONLY entities that benefit from violent outbursts here are 45* and Russia.
My advice: trust in the rule of law; make your voices heard through peaceful civil disobedience, protest, phone calls, faxes, resistbot; open your home to your neighbors and your friends who need a safe space; create community; use your anger constructively in protest; note when your central nervous system is being jacked; and for goodness sake, know the sources of the information you consume.
The world is not coming to an end.
You have a role to play in making sure it doesn’t.
If you are struggling to stay grounded, turn off the TV, stop checking Twitter and don’t listen to conspiracy theorists.
*I edited this part. She used his name. I shall not.
I don’t do Hot Takes because my work is here, in my house, tending my people and staying grounded. I’m not into propaganda. I need to stay strong so I can keep fighting back.