I’m So Sorry, but I Just Cannot Apologize

“If you are promoting “Black Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter” then I think you’re missing the point behind proactive, peaceful dialogue. Simply put, you’re still being divisive. I understand a retaliatory need to have your voice heard….but, “us vs. them” discussions will only promote more division. And no one will win. NO ONE. Sorry to be so harsh. We, as a country, as a people, will forever remember these moments where we either blamed each other….or sympathized with each other.”

Apparently, I got into a little bit of trouble for posting that on Facebook. And a few days ago, I received a comment from someone saying that people were “unliking” my page in droves because of my “rants.” She’s right, though. I have seen a huge decrease in numbers of people that follow this blog, and people that “like” my Facebook page. And I imagine this is where someone with a livelihood dependent on an internet presence would take the public relations playbook and apologize.

However, I just cannot bring myself to do that. I will forever promote the concepts of hope, optimism, self responsibility, and peaceful accord found by casting off dangerously labeled attachments. I will not apologize for promoting peace through unity. I will not apologize for allowing one group to win over another in the social media war.

Apparently, I screwed things up because I didn’t pick a side to fight for, but instead, suggested that I’m not playing this game where we are being lured into these socially correct sides. I’m not apologizing for promoting open discussion and a dismissal of labels. I am not apologizing for taking your cause as truth.

So, to those of you who linger on whether or not you should still follow me because of my idealized notion that you should just cut this crap out, act sensibly and start formulating your concepts on the precipices of actual, individual encounters with other individuals, then perhaps I’m not the guy for you. If you tend to think that vast majority of any group defines the individual, then I’m not the guy for you. I am not the guy for you. And I understand. I truly do. You will try to convince me of disparity, and I will try to convince you that hashtags are not the best resolution for grievances. You will try and convince me that America is a rotten place full of hatred and racism, and I will tell you that the beautiful statement you just said was made possible (without political repercussion) because you live in America. You are ALLOWED to say you hate it here. And I’m allowed to say, “I disagree.”

The other part of this, which I find strange, is that I should only write about knitting, leave the politics out. I don’t think that you understand that these divisions we face right now are not political. They are actually becoming social. The intense amount of pressure we’re put under SOCIALLY to take sides is causing a distance between us. I don’t care for that. I won’t be poisoned by it.

And in terms of knitting? Well, what do you think happens when you knit for long hours? It is a contemplative thing, an action of repetition that allows the mind to hear itself for a moment, rather than be bombarded with the noise outside. You are allowed to process thoughts, to courageously enter silence, to hear the humming of life, as opposed to the shriek of the ego’s demands. When knitting, you get a chance to sit alone, to rest the mind and allow the soul to whisper. So, don’t give me this, “Just shut up about politics and knit business.” For if you truly find yourself in volatile moments in world history, the worst thing you could do is just shut up and knit. You should DO something, SAY something, ACTIVELY promote something. But, that something for me is the pursuance of peace and hope. NOT the promotion of one side over another.

Alas, these things are no longer fashionable. Being rebellious and angry are trendy. Being divisive and retaliatory is more “liked” than being passive and dismissive of differences.

If you don’t like that I promote peace, rather than support your separatist hashtags and causes, then I’m not the guy for you. But, if you agree that we can do something far more challenging, and against the greater idea of normal, and push away the concepts of division, then I’m here for you. I will fight with you to prove that separatism will never lead to equality, that your idea of “self” is no more valuable, nor as less worthy as mine, as long as we both agree that we are both valid. We have to begin there…..here….where we decide that you and I are not members of opposing factions, but united in something greater: the pursuit of peace….. and yes, while knitting.

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  1. I totally agree with you. I also have a blog and have, at times, lost readers because of my opinions. I’m not going to alter myself and my beliefs, in order to pacify readers. However, if a reader discussed their opposing opinion with me, they may alter my beliefs.

    As an older woman I miss the days of my youth when we had meaningful discussions and listened to the ideas of others without condemning them. Today everything seems to be seen in black or white; you’re either for or against an idea. I miss the days of gray shades and moderation.

  2. Greg, I also agree with your comments above. As long as the world is comprised of Us and Them or, as it frequently is, Us and Them and Them and Them, etc., it will be filled with hatred and suspicion. I’m in my 70’s and it has been this way, to greater and lesser degrees, my whole life. However, that status quo doesn’t mean we should stop trying to love and care for each other despite the fact that we may not agree with certain aspects of each other’s lives.

  3. we are one…human. can’t people see that? people should have a right to their opinions. stop forcing their opinions on everyone else. Gregory, so behind you, wish everyone could think that way. it’s like their way or no way! people really need to get on the same page.

    I am counting the days until you get your dental work done. i’m guessing there will be some discomfort but just think of how you will feel next month at this time!!! best wishes!

  4. I commend you for your posts on this topic. I do not understand why it is so hard for prople to interact and think of people as individuals rather than having to group us. And clearly there is a lot of social pressure for thinking in “group mentality”. You are not alone in wanting to stop the widespread use of labels. You may find the following video affirming https://youtu.be/q0qD2K2RWkc

    1. Hilda,
      Thanks for the link to the wonderful youtube video!! I’ve subscribed to the channel and look for ward to more.

  5. You are completely right, as long as there is a “them” and a “us”, we are being pitched against each other. It all starts with this “winner” and “loser” stuff, and “if you are not with me, you are against me”, which is the attitude of all fanatics, no matter what kind. Life is not black and white; there are all shades of grey.

  6. Yes! It almost drives me to join Facebook so that I can “like” you. I read your blog in part because you are a voice of reason and thoughtfulness in a sea of divisive screaming. So keep on being yourself and saying what you want to say!

  7. One of the most important parts of our country is freedom of speech. We all have a right to our thoughts and to agree to disagree. There is no one I agree with one hundred percent of the time. I do enjoy hearing other peoples opinions and at times re-accessing my beliefs. I think people are like knitted garments. Each one is different, and should be valued and appreciated. Yes there are socks, sweaters, etc., but even when my sister and I make the same pattern, it is never really the same. Similar yes, the same–no.

    I think it is very important to share different opinions and consider the thoughts and points of others. A dialog with friends, fellow knitters we will never meet, neighbors, or someone on the bus. 140 characters is not a dialog. Hashtags don’t work really well for me on many discussions because it is not a dialog.

    Thank you for speaking your mind regardless of the likes or approval rating on the internet.

  8. Im a pray five times a day, only eat halal meat, wear covered clothing muslim lawyer from nyc and ive been reading for many years. There is no us versus them. No me versus you.

  9. I think the whole idea behind ‘black lives matter’ is the fact that for many, many decades, black lives did not matter. Doesn’t mean ‘only black lives matter’ but ‘black lives also matter’. I’m 60, white and think that we are living in more interesting times because we are incorporating different ethnicities, races and religions into our public discourse. Won’t be easy but it will be worth it. And we have to be careful not to be fearful or hateful.

  10. Gregory, I love you! LOL In this country, with everything going on, your voice needs to be heard. I wish someone would print your blog and put it in the main stream instead of the garbage we are getting now. If I had facebook anymore, I would like you and follow you too. Thank You for being an ardent voice in all the noise that we have to hear from day to day.

  11. Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike. Theodore Roosevelt

  12. Love, love, love this. The only people I unfollow are those who spew hate. Because it’s bad for my anxiety. I welcome differing opinions, although i agree with you. If I only follow yes-men blogs, how will I grow in understanding. I have been wrong in my opinions so many times. Love conquers all.

  13. Thank you Gregory for speaking the truth. I was watching some program yesterday which featured a former miss Alabama and i have to say i was shocked she could say she did not feel sorry for the police officers killed. It is ideas like that that bring our country down. To show no sympathy or empathy to those families who lost a family member is horrendous. What is that teaching our younger generation? The police officers who died were not just police officers but human beings. The very people who criticize police officers are the very first ones to call them when they need help. Black lives matters says disband the police department…what the heck would we do without them. Yes black lives matter but so do white, hispanic, asian,gay,straight and so on. This country is built on all lives matter and unless we can teach that to ourselves and our children then this country has no hope.

  14. Simply put: YOU ARE AWESOME.
    As soon as I have the money, I’m buying a teddy bear. Hugs and good vibes to you and yours.

  15. Life matters. Having lived through the racial and political upheaval of 1968, I fear we have been thrown back in time, and are moving towards that darker chaos…lines have been drawn, compromise is a dirty word, And candidates tout guns as the answer.
    All …life…matters. All life needs to be respected. Opinions need to be LISTENED TO. People matter. If both sides would see each other as PEOPLE, not as “OTHER”, maybe we could finally have dialog.
    If they turn you off, it is because their minds are closed. I pray for all of our sakes that our country will have their minds and hearts opened.

  16. We all put our pants on the same way, one leg at a time. It is a shame that something that simple is so hard to remember these days. Kudos to you, Gregory, for standing your ground. No apology necessary. You voiced your opinion. If others have a problem with that, it is their right to no longer follow you. No one should ever try to push you to accept their beliefs. Too many people have forgotten how and why this great nation was built, and the media only makes the frenzy worse.

    Big hugs!

  17. I’m a politically opinionated person. I am 64 years old. I can read anything I want to know about current events on Facebook.. When I come here I want to read about your life. I’m not going anywhere..

  18. You are not only a voice of reason, but a voice of inclusion. I agree and I fervently wish more folks understood the importance of this perspective. When we take sides in something like the “Lives Matter” brouhaha we allow a force outside ourselves to influence how we think. We are being manipulated to take a side in an argument that is being intentionally orchestrated to exacerbate the sense of “us” and “them” rather than quieting the anger and the desire for retaliation. Thank you for holding firm to your convictions.

  19. we are all individuals and every life matters, even ones that ‘folk’ don’t like. Keep ranting, keep shouting, keep living and loving with your heart on show, those who can’t accept colours and flavors in the world not to their own taste will leave, byee now ‘folk’. Facebook where the rubbish takes itself out… Never feel you have to apologize for being you, you have no problem, while ‘they’ may have one, its theirs!
    I hope your orthodontics goes well, I have just lost a tooth and am doing my own should I shouldn’t I dance, I will, but fear and cost are such big barriers. You are such a good example, I am loving your book and my T-shirts 🙂 get my knitting son to wear the mad man one so I can wear the mum one 😉
    Love the strange friends from Philip, never have the patience for small creatures, nearly done of a bed blanket, have some big plans ready to go but teeny tiny! much respect.

  20. You are absolutely right. We must stop with the labeling and the divisiveness that our society has been leaning towards these last few years. I refuse to take a side, because we are matter. Whether we are black, blue, yellow or brown, we matter. That’s what society should be taking from all this upheaval in our country… WE ALL MATTER.

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