Greetings readers! I hope your week is starting out right and your continuing your journey of Dadliness. It’s a struggle. It’s a fight. But it’s the best damn thing in the world.
This article supplements a previous post I wrote which can be found here. Effective and genuine interpersonal communication along with ownership and resilience are Dadly principles. These principles are of utmost importance in the current social media age.
The below article touches on something that has developed in recent history. As a society, we seem to have some pathogenic problem with interpersonal communication and our own introspection. We are less and less motivated to find productive discourse to refine and bring logic to our views. Instead we increasingly search for affirmations to our views producing a comfortable little echo chamber that’s cozy as fuck. Even the most radical, outrageous, and incorrect view points can seek solace in these warm and fuzzy chambers.
Social media giants like Twitter even fess up to being complict in mobilizing negative users. According to Jack Dorsey on The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, “We incentivize echo chambers. We incentivize outrage and hot takes – there’s no nuance for conversation.” A good article by Jack Turner summarizes much of what Mr. Dorsey said.
Below, we try to expound on how the Men of Dadliness avoid these chambers to foster growth in themselves and their children. I hope you like it! Thanks everyone.
I speculate everyone is in agreement when I say politicians will cut off their nose to spite their face. They’d rather bitch and moan over the most minute issues than reach out to the good people of Flint, Michigan. The citizens are STILL dealing with tap water that looks like it came from a GWAR concert. Heavy metal, literally. But why can’t anyone get their shit together to help Flint? Is there NO room for compromise?
I’m not going to write about political views on this subject because the debate is extremely tribal. Much like the polar politics of this era, to even bring the discussion up pits you in a certain camp. Your placement in that camp is determined by the opposition of that camp and you will be fucking ostracized. I’m going to save myself from the doxing, deplatforming, and just straight up bullshit. Gone are the days of having a political discussion between others of differing viewpoints and walking away without killing each other. Today, the discussion lasts maybe a minute leaving someone running away saying, “I can’t fucking listen to this bullshit!.” Then that person buries themselves six feet under into a political safe haven never to consider anything outside of maggots and disease. Productive, I know.
What happened to rationality and reason? What happened to actually reaching across the ideological aisle and considering other viewpoints? Or just flat out compartmentalizing menial ideological views in hopes of maintaining interpersonal relationships? Do Bob’s views on flat earth or chemtrails make him a shitty person so vile you can’t even look at him through a one-way mirror? Yeah Bob is a dumbass, but those views aren’t a testament to his capacity to love, share, or enjoy a beer and a good laugh. See where I’m going with this?
When did we become not okay with difference? Why have we, as a people, become so uncomfortable with social turbulence? The answer is pride…and it makes us assholes. Unempathetic assholes.
As fathers, husbands, and frankly, as men, we have to be okay with something so damn uncomfortable it’s hard to even write. I know my dudes are with me on this. We have to be okay with being wrong. *Cue the wife yelling from the living room, “did I hear what I think I heard?” Yes. Being wrong. We have to exercise empathy…and maybe work on the asshole part later…
You’re Here Because You Were Wrong
Believe it or not, we’re wrong all the damn time. We’ve historically been wrong a good percentage of the time. Because we’ve been wrong so many freaking times in our life, it’s shaped who we are, given us our identity, set us on the path we’re currently traveling. Our consistent fuck ups are like the bumpers keeping our bowling ball dadbod on the greased, wooden platform of life. As long as we learn from our mistakes, we stay on the bowling alley surface, heading towards the 10-pins of righteousness…or death. When you do or say something that is flat out, unequivocally wrong, a crossroads presents itself and you face the bumper. You either bounce back on track or get stuck. And right here, this very moment is what delineates ethical individuals from the blood-sucking, glutinous troglodytes we never want our children to become.
In today’s ever connected society, we are instantaneous to point out another’s transgressions or wrong doings. We are quick to place people in a box or categorize them because of one fucking statement. “You’re against same-sex marriage? You’re a right-wing fundamentalist conservative that loves their gun like a fat kid loves cake” or “You’re pro-choice? Get outta here you blue-haired feminist liberal that defies the laws of science as we know it.” People do this to make themselves feel better, to support their beliefs, to hide what is wrong with them. They’re PROJECTING. Though these radical social justice warriors usually hurt the reputations of others, they miss one fundamental point. They aren’t doing anything for themselves.
Nobody cares. When they’re stewing in their own purulent sludge, scrolling through Instagram with their social police cap on calling for someone to be doxed or publicly humiliated; no one cares. Sure they could potentially call for action and recruit several other mucous-brained zombies to help smear someone’s image, but no one cares about them or their particular views. They smear others because what they believe in has no ideological foundation or reason. They choose to be unethical and bash someone else as their supporting evidence. They are uncomfortable with the threat of being wrong and unreasonable.
As we discussed above, the virulent slime balls come to a crossroads when they deep down know they’re wrong. When there is a threat to their straw-man ideals they fight it as if their viral existence depends on it. The slime monsters aren’t comfortable with being wrong. They’d rather attempt to obscure other viewpoints with their thick, staining slime in order to corner others into the prison of belief. They’d rather fucking DIE than accept their view on the world is skewed. The slime population tends to congregate in a sludgy echo chamber of their own beliefs doing no good for anyone, not even themselves.
The virulent slime monsters refuse to accept being wrong and consequently refuse to learn. Learning happens when you confront being wrong. Its a negative feedback loop. You grow. You stay centered on the bowling alley floor in all your greasy glory. You choose to bounce of the bumpers and continue rolling forward to a better tomorrow and a better you. Slime monsters can’t roll, they cant slide; when they hit a side bumper they get stuck. They are fucking STUCK in ideological purgatory. This purgatory = positive feedback loop = echo chamber impervious to productive dialogue and cross-pollination.
The Dadly Opportunity
Where sludge bathing monsters typically choose the path of oozing all over opposing viewpoints, dad’s don’t see it this way. We, as dads, should view the situation of being wrong as a shining opportunity. An opportunity to say, “Hmmm” rather than, “go fuck yourself.” Yeah accepting you suck always bites, but it isn’t as ugly as transforming into an immovable depressed, angry, viral muck. The crossroads is a special moment. That moment in time and space is one of the few opportunities to be fucking Dadly.
Using our innate dad-powers, we can be empathetic in all situations and set the tone for our families. Showing our willingness to consider others and have civilized discussions with people of differing values speaks to our character. Our ability to understand, compromise, and change shows just how intelligent and Dadly we really are. It shows that we are open to learn, improve, and are comfortable with being wrong. You see, eliminating the fear of being wrong sets one free. In fact, we should be seeking out ways to be proven wrong! It enables you to do great fucking things! Thomas Edison once said, “I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt is a step forward.” Thanks Tom…you summed up this passage in one quote.
Being open to alternatives and criticism further shapes and sharpens your worldview, attitude, and understanding of all things. In the military, a great debilitator for many soldiers, officers in particular, is the fear of being wrong or sounding incompetent in conversation. It ruins people in a combat and deployed environment. It plagues would-be leaders and effects their personal relationships with peers and public speaking skills. You can sniff it out almost immediately. They’re either the overconfident, super perfectionist “my way or the highway” type, or the kind that resembles a teacup chihuahua trembling to death in the corner of the room. What do these two have in common? 1.) No one wants to be around them, and 2.) when it’s their turn to talk, no one listens.
Let’s be a great example for our children and our families. Let’s provide them the grindstone of empathy to sharpen their axe of rationality and reason. The only way we obtain the Dadly grindstone is to be comfortable being wrong; not fearing failure. It’s a basis of communication; accepting that you cannot be right 100% of the time allows cross pollination of ideas and makes one approachable. Our children need to be approachable and considerate of others in conversation. If we were all considerate of others ideas and came down from our egotistical pulpit we would 1.) be way more fucking intelligent, and 2.) be able to build cohesive teams. This is the sole reason why the current political climate is so polar. Neither side can compromise and say, “Hey. Your idea is actually pretty good, let’s go with that.”
As super-dads, let’s set the climate for our families. Eliminate the stigma of being wrong and apply it to the small things in life. We fall so we can get back up. We rigorously run to get faster. We get proven wrong to learn. And that’s okay…in fact it’s more than okay, its fucking Dadly.
I truly appreciate your readership and want to pay it forward. Please comment, subscribe, and follow my pages if you feel so inclined. We are ALWAYS searching for input, guest authors, and a sense of community. I look forward to your comments; stay DADLY.