I pump my fist in the air a lot these days.
YES! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!
NO! No way in hell!
I am not, at least, I was not until recently, a pump-my-fist-in-the-air person. I consider myself a thoughtful, stand back and watch, sort of person. I make a conscience effort not to impose. Oh, sure, I’ve got my opinions and predilections. I’m not so tucked in the background I’d be mistaken for a wall flower. I like to discuss the issues, personal and topical, but I primarily enjoy hearing others out.
Hearing others out is an important characteristic of centrists —the folks who dwell in the middle grey area. People in the middle grey area are not fist pumpers. They are arms-crossed-head-nodders. Chin scratchers. Lean-back-in-your-chair contemplators. Time was, being a member of the extreme middle meant you were willing to negotiate. Those who understand the true meaning of “the art of the deal,” are masters at negotiation, and understand that the ultimate goal is to find common ground.
But, living in absolutes seems to be the way of things nowadays. It’s one way, or it’s the other. There’s no middle-ground to go to anymore. These days, if you claim to be a moderate, you’re labeled a non-committal wimp.
I miss my life in the middle. Being a fist pumper is weird. I miss having the ease of time to consider things. I miss genuine (however heated) debates. Suppositions. Deliberation. I miss simple conversation. I miss having my opinions challenged (as opposed to being outright threatened).
All that said, I gotta say, I’m really, really, really glad sexual/power-play/hostile workplace misconduct is getting a square sock in the jaw. My fist is high in the air as the righteous gesture it’s meant to signify. From the abhorrent, everyone-cover-for-me criminal, to the disrespectful boys-will-be-boys dolt and the insecure bully-boss, I’m glad a day of their reckoning has arrived.
Now comes the hard part; the long, drawn out process of redirecting the whole of human history into the new world order. I’m talking about redefining the meaning of power and what it is to be powerful. Power is the ability to bring something to pass for the greater good. Nothing more. Power should no longer be synonymous with gain or gratification at the expense of others. Period.
(I suddenly feel like belting out a verse from Lennon’s “Imagine,” you know, the one that goes, “You can say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us…”)
In the meantime, I support condemnation of each and every charge of rape and harassment (Oh, and to the women who think they have a new weapon? Just try falsely accusing someone. There’s a special hell, right at the front of the line, for you). Teach men and women that abuse of power in any form is not just bad, it has actual dire, life altering consequences. I encourage everyone to lift “Socially Unacceptable” high upon their fist-pumped hands, and to not succumb to efforts to silence complaints with pay-offs or some absurd legal technicality. Lastly, but no where near the least, demand help, real help, for those who cannot control their psychosis.
I may miss my life in the middle, but in this one regard, I am more than happy to express my intolerance and unwillingness to negotiate the terms. Bad is bad. Keep calling it out.