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Protests: Judging Others for Their Coping Mechanisms

Updated on April 23, 2020
Kyler J Falk profile image

Social issues can only be remedied by a collective acceptance of those opinions we view as opposing our own.

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For as long as recorded history can reach back, we have seen protests as part of human nature. Protests are accurately described by many to not only be a way of bringing positive change, but also an extremely valuable coping mechanism. As with any action, any opinion, or any thought, there will be those who judge others in ignorance for them.

It isn't fair, and it never will be unless we all make it so.

Protesting Is Coping

According to the Oxford Dictionary: To cope/the act of coping is to, "(of a person) deal effectively with something difficult."

It is in times where protests arise that I begin to lose faith in humanity, not because people decide to protest over things I don't agree with them on, no. I begin to lose faith in humanity because of the way people are so quick to judge one another without seeking to understand the other person(s). For many, protesting is a way to step off of the ledge, to take the barrel of a gun out of their mouth, or to remove the razor blade pressed against their wrist.

When someone is struggling, because of what they perceive to be an institutional problem, protesting could be one of the only ways they have to cope with such a serious issue. For example, as a child I once got pelted with eggs for holding up a picket sign during the grocery store protests. The men and women driving by hit me with those eggs, a child of no more than twelve, while screaming profanity that I cannot mention here.

What these ignorant imbeciles didn't know, my father was coping with losing his job by protesting, because at the time the stores had to pay reduced wages for those who came to protest on behalf of the unions. He had attempted to line up other work, but at the time everything was temporary for him and until something fell on his lap he was left to picket with the union lines. None of us really wanted to be there, our lives had been flipped upside down, we just wanted justice and for everyone to get their jobs back.

Sure, there are some who the media likes to focus on, the ones who are as ignorant as they are outspoken; but are you going to be prejudice and judge everyone based on a few idiotic individuals? Many are doing just that, and as such many people are losing my friendship. The time of prejudice and ignorance is long gone, time to step into the future people.

Do protests often have an immediate, detrimental effect on your life?

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Stop Judging People

Unless you have sat down with someone in a quiet setting, had a conversation in which you sought to understand someone without prejudice and bias, then how do you feel you have any right to judge and generalize? Those of us on the sidelines, and even many of us out on the front lines of the protests, are simply trying to cope with unprecedented times and events. To be lumped in with the marginal amount of individuals that just want to cause trouble, by people who have the privilege to stay at home, now that hurts.

Rather than take what the media says and running with it, the same media you are willing to admit is constantly lying and trying to cause issues anyways, go and talk to a protester or twelve. Collect some actual data for yourself and see why people are actually out there doing these protests. I can guarantee you that you'll find that most people are simply out there for coping purposes.

No need to hate protesters when you're sitting safe at home, especially when you don't even have the gumption to ask every person why it is they are out there, risking their health in order to do it.

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    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Then I've been doing something wrong for the last eight years!

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      5 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      Call me Lord of the Flies, then! I'm facing my highest income month right now, and though I'd sooner have my lighter pieces be the reason, after posting a few controversial pieces my viewership has skyrocketed again.

      I absolutely hate to do such things, but it really does win some profit. Profit that I need to see more of in my life so as to feel validated in my traditional gender role. Not only that, but the increased income and viewership is getting my other pieces attention as well.

      Where I've tried the nice route, it gained me nothing. People want to feed, and so I'll feed them; if they want to try to poison me with words I can rest easy knowing that translates to cha-ching!

      Rose-colored glasses on this one!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 weeks ago from Central Florida

      You always have me to talk to and we can do it privately, Kyler. Don't put too much of yourself out there when you're in conflict with yourself. You won't find answers, only consternation. Publicly posting your conflicts will only add fuel to the fire. People thrive on others' misery.

      Yes, put your thoughts on paper; it can help you tremendously. But not everyone deserves the right to see into your inner thoughts, especially if they can't relate, will only judge, and do nothing to help you heal.

      The public doesn't care about other people, the wildlife we share this planet with, or the planet itself. Humanity is destroying itself. Think about that. I don't mean to be cold, but voicing your inner conflicts only gives (most) people fuel to chastise you and break from their own conflicts. Not too many people are willing to go inside and take a good honest look.

      You can and you do. But frankly, the rest of the world doesn't care. They'll land on your publicly voiced hardships like flies on shit.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      5 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      I shall take your advice into consideration and implement it in matters that seem to bring me down. Mostly, it is when I am left to my own devices, no one to talk to, no critiques and thoughts on my writing, that I start to get down. The art of walking away is a tough one.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 weeks ago from Central Florida

      My dear friend, my rose-colored glasses come from a different place. They coincide with the bootstraps I use to pull myself up from holes I've dug for myself throughout my life. They help me to see the good in everything, for everything we experience has a bright side of the lining. We need to train ourselves to see it. We also need to train ourselves to avoid the pits in the road that bring us down. That comes from experience and letting the lesson move us forward from destruction. The people we gravitate towards can be toxic if we're not willing to blow toxicity, including destructive habits, from our lives. Even self-induced. At the same time, we need to learn to eradicate toxic people from our lives, no matter how hard it may be. Toxic people want you to swim in the cesspools they've created and refuse to leave. They bring the weak into their depths because they're not strong.

      You are strong.

      The right and left sides of your brain can sometimes cause friction that's hard to soften. Choose your battles and know when to leave the playing field.

      Trust me. I know what I'm talking about.

      Love,

      Shauna

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      5 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      If I redirected then I would never have even written this piece, though I see what you are saying.

      I find the duality in everything, immersing in both good and bad, is a great source of inspiration and knowledge for me. The good and bad are really important, and I don't want to dull my ability to immerse in either side.

      You never know, if I run away from the bad I may just be running away from something I only perceived as bad. In experiencing I can come to true understanding, and much of the time this leads to developing new and healthy facets in my own life.

      My father was the "Rose colored glasses" type, to the point he won't even speak to me about all the abuse I've suffered, denying me the therapy I was told to seek from my family. That is a bad I have decided to run away from, and in running away there is a void to mend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Kyler, please try to shun your propensity to judge. That doesn't help you or the world. When you come across people you feel propelled to judge, that should be a flag to your psyche to eradicate them from your life or redirect what you read and/or see.

      I'm offering you a pair of my rose-colored glasses. They've gotten me thru life and they'll (proverbially) be on my face when I die.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      5 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      My point exactly, Shauna, although I will judge many of the people who not only judge, but hijack protests and their messages for their own agendas. Even further, anyone who'd attack, or otherwise subjugate a child for their agenda.

      Very valid and important input, thanks for reading!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Kyler, I guess I'm ignorant to the protests of which you speak.

      I've often wondered why America hasn't stepped back into the '60s and protested the wrongs that are forced on mankind, wildlife, and our planet overall.

      It took a twelve year old school girl from Sweden to sit defiantly in front of her school in order to make a point. That sit-in went global. She's been chastised by our government and other folks who believe she's only spreading propaganda. The fact of the matter is, people are listening.

      Protest, yes. Judge, no. That only makes you part of the problem.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      6 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      I absolutely agree Mr. Happy, my scrutinizing eyes are on the ones in power, not the ones begging for the ones in power to take proper action.

      As always, wonderful input!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      6 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

      "why people are actually out there doing these protests. I can guarantee you that you'll find that most people are simply out there for coping purposes." - No they're not. They're professional protesters, paid by [insert name of a billionaire You hate] to be there. - That's the lame, clueless, general-type of ignorant comments that I often get for being out at protests. I'm paid by George Soros supposedly ... it'd be funny if it wasn't so misguided and detrimental.

      Well, to be honest every country on this planet failed this time around. Well, our gov'ts failed. We have had many, many pandemics in the world's history and we had many in the last 100 years, like the flu pandemic of 1918, or 1968; Avian flu in 1956, SAARs in early 2000, followed by MERS and we had AIDS and Ebola ... sigh ... it was not a matter of "if" but a matter of "when". Yet, we're all unprepared, around the world and some are acting surprised. I'm not impressed. If You want a gun, or a bomb, willl get You one in no time but if You want a surgical mask, or protective gloves, sorry I can't help You. We invest so much on how to kill ourselves and not nearly enough on how to take care of our well being. Maybe now we realize the importance of social safety-nets, of the importance of a good health-care system and so on. We have so many lessons to learn from this.

      Anyway ... those protesters have all the right to be there in my opinion. I think it is highly risky to be in a crowd right now but "protesting" is a pillar of any democratic society. If we destroy the pillars on which our society is based-upon, we're going to be in big trouble, to say the very least.

      All the best!

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      6 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      If saying it affects me makes you feel better then okay, it affects me. Nonetheless, still not going to judge the protesters when the government has yet to do anything to stop them from organizing such things. I'll stick to analyzing those who are doing nothing while having power, and avoiding those who judge people that are just trying to cope without even trying to understand them.

    • PT Richard profile image

      PT Richard 

      6 weeks ago from USA

      These protests will do nothing but spread the virus and delay the return of normalcy, the very thing they protesting for. Of course it affects you!!!

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      6 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      I'm not at risk of anything, I practice safe behavior everywhere, all the time, regardless of circumstance. Me, my family, we are fine regardless of these protests. I'm not about to judge people for things that don't affect me.

      At most, they're putting doctors, nurses, and first responders at risk. The only judgement I have is for those allowing it to occur without consequence, I mean, these times are so serious yet they are allowing these people their rights of expression.

      Interesting times, truly.

    • PT Richard profile image

      PT Richard 

      6 weeks ago from USA

      Kyler, if they're protesting a social issue that's one thing. Coronavirus protesters are advocating for a dangerous public health rebellion. They are putting me, my children, my parents, you -- all of us -- at very real risk. NOT ALL PROTESTS ARE CREATED EQUAL.

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