“Name-calling, Morgan, is still just that.” An Open Letter to Morgan Freeman

Thanks to @EastBayRJ https://twitter.com/EastBayRJ for the Retweet: http://blazenfluff.com/2013/12/the-power-of-empathy-animated-short-explains-the-difference-between-empathy-and-sympathy/ by http://brenebrown.com/2013/12/10/rsabear/ and Katy Davis. AND, a special thank you to Morgan Freeman.


Eight hundred, forty-eight thousand, four hundred and twenty-two people have liked this post on Facebook. Two hundred, ninety thousand, eight hundred and thirty people have shared this post. More have looked at it.

I totally disagree with this placard, and I want a Don’t Like button on FB, haha.

Although, I empathize with Mr, Freeman’s level of frustration, it is human to fear the unfamiliar. And, it is in part social constructs that induce fear of the self. But, these are talking points for resolution. Name-calling shuts down the conversation. I read this post and had to ask myself, when do I get so frustrated that I have to call someone an “Asshole?” And how sometimes, when I am so frustrated that I feel the need to shout, sometimes, I am able to reevaluate. It’s really just a simple cost-benefit analysis. Am I most productive when I feel exasperated? No. Is it good for my physical or mental wellbeing to be completely stressed out? No. What about safety, am I making the most beneficial decisions when enraged? Probably, no. So what can I do?

One thing that I can do is make a fist.

It is in the car when I feel this frustration most often, while driving, while having to deal with the way that other people drive in their best way. Comedian George Carlin did a bit on my stuff versus other people’s sh*t, and this is my point. I drive in the way that I think is best. Others drive in the way that they think is best. So, then I ask myself, “Do I really need to be so all-amped up?” I reevaluate my needs. I discover that my peace of mind is more important than the car driving five miles an hour below the speed limit that I am following. So, then I make a fist.

I imagine all the stress-causing agents, (ie. the car and driver in front of me, or for that matter, the homophobe), balled up in all that tightness. Breathe. While slowly counting down from ten, I gradually release the tense fist. I feel the tightness leave my body, and the stress as well, with each counted number. This allows me to better evaluate, and to achieve my desired goal of “Just calm down, Joe,” and “Give yourself the opportunity to find a solution.” In the car, my solution may be that I accept that my 15-minute travel time may now be 17 minutes because the car in front of me is more snail-like than cheetah. Simple. But, we must also accept that changing the mind of others in the face of fear can be dangerous, complicated and time consuming. So, Mr. Freeman, I agree that equal protection and rights by law are important for every human being, and for all citizens of the United States. But, this placard acts as reason for the opposition to fight resolution. Who wants to enter a conversation that begins with, “Hey, asshole…?”

Name-calling, Morgan, is still just that.

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