[THREAD] There's a lot of talk about divisiveness and unity right now. The country is at a low point and if you take the politics out of it, it is an opportunity for each of us to take a hard look at how we contribute to both divisiveness and unity. I've been thinking about /1
all the times that I retweeted something snarky, posted a meme that reinforced stereotypes about 'the other side', used words that I would never say in front of my mother or my child, and generally just gave into visceral, knee-jerk reactions to things I disagreed with. /2
That's not to say there wasn't plenty of crap that deserved strong pushback and loud protesting. It's our role as citizens to not only elect our representatives but also hold them accountable. The vitriol is optional, and I chose it more often than not. I don't know if I can /3
really change, but it's clear to me that I should at least try not to make things worse. I am a very different person now compared to 2016, capable of a sort of hatred I'd reserved for very few people I personally knew who did things I considered unforgivable. Not this. /4
Not hatred for a group of strangers who oppose what I believe in, just as I oppose what they believe in. Some may be vile, despicable, truly dangerous people. Most are probably not. I have led a privileged life. Born in comfort from parents who encouraged critical thinking, /5
educated in top schools, empowered to make choices unimpeded by cultural or religious traditions, able to travel the world and learn about other cultures. I grew up in large diverse cities and had access to different points of view. Not everyone is so lucky. If I'd grown up in /6
a small town and never left, if I were surrounded by people driven by the same ideology, maybe I would never understand or accept anything else. A smart friend of mine once compared politics to sports. From a young age you support a team - probably because your parents do. /7
You grow up surrounded by people who support that same team. You are taught to support that team even when they play badly, even when they lose. You may rant and complain, but you don't switch teams. You also embrace the rivalries your team has with other teams. I saw that /8
very clearly when violent fights broke out in soccer stadiums in Brazil. I never understood that. Why would you punch and kick people you don't even know just because they support the team your team is playing against? If your team loses or wins, does your life change at all? /9
I know that tribalism is a human imperative. It's our natural setup. But we also have intelligence and free will to balance it out. We can choose how to behave, we can learn from what we see. I will continue to disagree vehemently with anyone who is anti-choice, anti-gay, /10
racist, pro-trickledown economics, xenophobic, you name it. I have my beliefs and I stand by them. But I am not picking up a gun and killing someone who disagrees with me. I am not going to set someone's house on fire or threaten their family. Most people wouldn't. Just as we /11
condemn the inflammatory and hateful rhetoric of the other team, we should condemn it in our own team. We must not be hypocrites. The behavior we condemn in others cannot be an excuse to engage in the same behavior ourselves. The divisiveness will never end, because we will /12
never all believe in the exact same things. Our teams will always play against each other, and we may always stand firmly behind our own team, but we don't need to beat each other up in the stadium. If I learned anything after 4 years of Trump, is that words matter. /13
If we are to hold him accountable for what their words unleashed (and we should) why don't we also hold ourselves accountable? I'm not POTUS. My posts will never convince someone to burn a house down or invade the Capitol. But if you add my post to millions of other people's /14
posts about how awful, stupid, ignorant, evil, etc. the other team's supporters are, and at some point I have to think it adds up to nothing good. It's 2021, I'm fucking exhausted by politics, pandemic, and years without peaceful sleep. If I want better, I should do better. /x

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More from @boardingsoon

7 Jan
Prediction: Republicans who all of a sudden are “shocked” and “shaken” by the monster they helped create and have been nurturing for four years will NOT invoke 25th nor will they take any action against Trump. They will claim his lukewarm statement of an orderly transition /1
is proof that all will be well and no action is needed. You think a mob breaching the Capitol will make them develop a sudden case of integrity, after 4 years declining every opportunity to reign in the maniac? Don’t kid yourself. The outrage may be real, but so is the rot. /2
The @GOP will not remove Cruz or Hawley. They will excuse sedition in their ranks like they’ve excused four years of pissing on every institution, norm and principle that made the US a good country. Power justifies all means. Don’t hold your breath for accountability /3
Read 7 tweets
31 Dec 20
[Thread] New Year’s is when I typically post a recap of travel. In 2019 I broke my own record and visited 40 countries and 92 cities. In 2020 I made it to 5 of 45 planned countries before the pandemic hit. I don’t need to tell anyone how much this year sucked so let’s skip../1
...to the good part. I’m healthy. My loved ones are safe. I’m working and kept my clients. None of my friends is sick. I rang in 2020 at the street party in Vienna, something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I made it to two of my favorite countries: France and Egypt. /2
2020 had light too. This lone traveler found out how much fun it is to have a travel companion (thanks @PenlandKW). Katy and I met here and had never seen each other IRL before she planned to join me on my business trip to Jordan and Egypt. She’s brave as shit....😊 /3
Read 11 tweets
30 Sep 20
I know the big takeaway from last night being talked about is Trump’s refusal to disavow white supremacy and his “stand by” call to Proud Boys. But honestly, didn’t we know that already? Do you think his base gives a shit? Even those who aren’t racist themselves had plenty of /1
evidence of it before they voted for him the first time around. Also, his bullying isn’t new. Did anyone seriously expect him to show decorum at a debate when he doesn’t show it any other time? Please. His cult loves it. He’s a one-trick pony performing the same act for /2
The same audience over and over again. Only the setting changes. The important thing last night was that Joe didn’t lose it. He didn’t go down to the mud to wrestle with the pig. He remained composed, made his points, talked policy. He was a normal, boring politician. /3
Read 4 tweets
15 Sep 20
I knew a guy in Brazil in the 90s who sorely missed a corrupt president we impeached soon after getting democracy back. He was a nice guy, upper middle class, well educated, super smart. I couldn’t understand how a guy like that could be in favor of a corrupt government. /1
One day I asked him. He shrugged and said that sure, he knew corruption was bad for the country, but he didn’t trust bureaucrats. Too much of an unknown. With a corrupt guy, he argued, you know everything you need to do to get what you need. Whether it’s a bribe, a favor, /2
some kick back. It’s quid pro quo all the time, and business people get that. You get an honest guy in power, he said, how can you get ahead? I was dumbstruck and never forgot that. We are 7 weeks away from a generation-defining election. We hear about the evangelical vote /3
Read 7 tweets
11 Sep 20
If you want to hear real presidents remember 9/11, here is one (1/2):
And here's another:
What strikes me about both Presidents is the true pain on their faces, as well as compassion for all who live in a world where such horror exists. Both presidents show resolve, dignity and certainty that 9/11 would not come to define America. /3
Read 4 tweets
2 Aug 20
Lebanese/Mediterranean brunch today. My favorite breakfast item in Beirut was Za’atar Man’ouche (flat bread with seasoning). Super easy to make. You’ll need 2.5 cups of all-purpose flour, 75ml olive oil, 150ml warm water, 2 tsp yeast, 1 tsp salt for the dough. /1 Image
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, yeast and salt. Make a hole in the middle. /2 ImageImage
Microwave the water until it’s warm to touch, no hotter than 100 degrees. Add water to the hole then add olive oil to the water. /3 ImageImageImage
Read 10 tweets

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