Sometimes it’s easier to lose a friend through an illness or accident, which leads to death. You part company with good feelings about the friend, and hope they made it to a better place in the afterlife. When you lose a friend due to their radical transformation into something different, it’s a bit harder to accept.
How does this happen?
Over time, I believe we formulate more rigid viewpoints on life and what we hold dear. As a younger person, it’s easier to be flippant and go with the flow. You have time to make mistakes and people find to easier to forgive the young, as they’re learning who they are, and where they fit in society. I think in today’s world, we’ve extended the period of grace for those learning their place into their early 30s. This timeframe is often accelerated when parenthood begins at a young age. You simply have to grow up quicker when you’re responsible for someone as a dependent. Not only must the child be fed, clothed, and protected, they seek guidance as to what is right and wrong. I think having a child is a blessing from God. It is such a learning experience and can be quite humbling at times. I’m still learning to be less selfish, but it’s an ongoing process.
Anyway, while having children has matured me, I’ve always had a strong foundation in the Christian faith. In fact, I’d say it’s the most important thing in life. I make mistakes, but I live in a state of grace and try to live with a purpose.
When I was younger, I lived the life of the party. Some of the people I met were fine to hang out with, but when you scratched the surface, we had very different viewpoints on life. As time went by, I changed my lifestyle, renewed my faith, and much later, became a parent. Other friends went the other way. I am still friends with atheists, but there are some things I draw the line on and cannot tolerate.
Case in point. The friend (now referred to as X) I am writing about I’ve known for over 20 years. We went to music festivals, frequented bars, went on vacation, and even attended each other’s weddings. However, I became sick of the bar scene and gradually stopped hanging out. X went through a divorce and we saw less of each other. I’d monitor pictures he’d post on Facebook (FB) and once in a while, we’d meet for a beer or two. I started noticing the FB posts from X were becoming more judgmental and “woke”. X remarried and has been in this relationship for a few years, so the tone was surprising to me. I ignored the posts. Sometimes, I’d put him on “pause” so his negative posts wouldn’t show up in my news feed. He had become a full-fledged social justice warrior (SJW). He wasn’t just reposting news articles, he was typing out manifesto-type messages, and at one point, got in a big FB fight with a family member. Lawsuits were threatened and I guess he came out on top, as he proudly posted he’d been blocked.
I stayed out of the fray. I post mostly news articles to FB as I don’t want to share personal information, and I think I’m helping FB friends who maybe don’t follow alternative media. Well, one day, I had a negative comment from X on my public FB page. I deleted the message and thought he’d take the hint without any messaging.
I was wrong. The next day, I had two negative comments on my public FB page and the tone was becoming aggressive. X supported the imprisonment of pastors and sided with the anti-Semitic protesters. These were the characters chanting “kill the Jews” while the police allowed this and wrote tickets against the street church, who were feeding the homeless. This I could not ignore. I deleted the comments and decided enough was enough. I blocked X and unfriended him. I figured I’d write him an email the next day explaining why I’d unfriended him.
The next morning I discovered I’d received an email late at night. There was a veiled threat in the message and I realized I must become blunt. I specifically told X not to contact me again, and that I was perfectly willing to go to the police. I will get a restraining order if need be, but so far, there has been no further contact.
I am still a bit mystified as to how X got to be so twisted. I realized I could not help him. I’d mentioned on numerous occasions that going to church and embracing Christianity helped me. This was not of interest to X. I would say that he has put left-wing government in the place of a god and channeled that into a rage. I’m not sure where the anti-Semitism came from. I don’t think he’s a violent threat to the public – at least I hope not. I see him as a keyboard SJW, of which there are many. Hopefully in time, he gets the help he needs. I recommended seeking professional help, but my advice is not likely to be heeded.
I think the lockdown has exacerbated frustration and anger. As we return to more normal conditions, I hope we can put differences aside and try and relate to each other as human beings who tolerate different viewpoints. Perhaps I’m being overly optimistic, but I think many others want to embrace a more positive life. There have been blessings with the lockdown – namely reflection and thought on what’s really important in life. Having more time with family is top of the list. I also don’t want to waste time with SJWs and those that want to tear the system down with no thought as to what would take its place. Let’s try and make things better. We don’t need to try and erase our history. We have enough problems to deal with in the here and now. The general public will have to do the heavy lifting. It is quite clear we can’t rely on the government for hardly anything positive.