Even a year ago, the idea that you must teach a person about social issues was popular. I will be honest, it irritated me because of my own life circumstances because both teaching and preaching approaches in my eyes are equally good but I could see my approach was still been put down in a very cruel way so often. I think in the past year things have dramatically changed and I think in this aspect for the better. Looking around me and seeing people speaking their mind without fear of how they think they have to speak to people who are prejudiced and ignorant on these issues has been really cool to see.
People are different and they approach things in different ways based often on their personalities, their lives and their pasts and I have never felt that we respect that enough. It certainly happens both sides. People on the preaching side often make people on the teaching side feel like they are doing something wrong. People on the teaching side often make people on the preaching side feel like they are doing something wrong.
But for a long time I will say that the voices on the teaching side were amplified more and I felt it and I’m sure many others on the preaching side felt it out there too. We were made out to be troublemakers, hostile, immature, didn’t understand the world, were not nice people, were unintelligent, wanted to be right, wanted to control everyone, aggressive, rude, offensive and the list goes on. And that is a lot to put on people simply because they don’t approach things the same way you do. Because you aren’t a bad person and in your own way you are trying to do things from a good place, after a while if you are hearing the same thing all the time it can get to your head and have detrimental consequences.
When I hear people saying you should teach people instead of preach, I have to ask where is that rule written down? It’s simply an opinion which everyone is entitled to but it is often put out there as a statement of fact. I’m not a teacher, I never signed up for that profession so I don’t really see it as my job to teach anybody anything. It’s a choice you make either way and you go with the best choice for you, not anyone else but you can also be respectful of the choice someone else makes because these people on either side are not prejudiced or ignorant or both, they are simply people with different approaches who are all trying to come from a good place in what they are doing.
But without a doubt people on both sides can show their bad side when they gaslight another person who doesn’t approach it the same way as them. I have actually seen the word gaslighting been mocked and while as always people are entitled to their opinions, that opinion always makes me want to vomit because gaslighting has extremely dangerous effects on peoples’ mental health and I know that from experience so to see the idea that people are gaslit been mocked and dismissed is really ugly and while I tend to notice that it happens more to people on the preaching side, it happens to people on the teaching side too. It is an ugly but unfortunately very powerful way of making a person who doesn’t act the way you think they should feel so low and unsure of themselves and everything they do and are that they close themselves off, they become what you want them to be and can’t handle life. And believe me, no one normal wants to go that far to win.
I don’t think people on the teaching side are cowards or anything negative to be honest. But I equally don’t think I am or anyone like me is and I like when people have that same respect for me and others that I have for them but sadly it doesn’t always work out that way and that’s just the way it is. It’s on their conscience, not on mine so I don’t have to worry about it. I have opinions and I have them passionately and honestly and lots of people do and none of us need to feel guilty about that. That’s us. People on the teaching side don’t need to feel guilty about being them either. In my opinion, it is people on either side who try to say people are unkind or not brave because their approach is different from theirs who are the problem.
The way I and many people are is that we have our opinions. Not for attention. Because we have voices, we all do, and we are putting those opinions across to do something good: to stand up for equality of people in our way. To make people feel less alone. And teachers do their things for good too, they are trying to understand every side. There is good in both sides and you won’t see this preacher debating with any teacher unless they pick a debate with me. We are only human, both teachers and preachers, and when confronted with difficult issues we react in different ways and if we can’t respect that we do then we as individuals, not either group we’re in, is problematic as hell.
I would love to see teachers and preachers coming together more often because both have skills the other doesn’t have and together they could make some amazing change which the world really needs right now and has always really needed. But both sides need to be more kinder to each other in order for that to happen.