What I wrote yesterday can be applied to people like Bette Milder, as well as the reaction back to her. As a West Virginian (always a Mountaineer, regardless of where I live), I’m well aware of what many others around the country think of us and the rest of Appalachia, including that we’re “poor, illiterate, and strung out.”
That was not a mistake or an unfelt comment by her, and it wouldn’t be so kindly apologized for if not for her PR team. Personally, I preferred her first tweets over her apology, mainly because it was what she felt. Honesty is the best policy, regardless of what the outcomes are. Never lie to anyone just to spare their feelings, but just because you say or think it doesn’t make it true…..so learn the truth (not your version of it) before you speak.
Now with all honesty in return, I don’t care what others think of me, West Virginia, or anyone else. I’m well aware there’s a disconnect from many in Hollywood and politics (and many other areas and professions) that lead them to see themselves as superior to others…..and just as guilty are those who are angry at them for being so or wrongfully judging everyone by the actions of a few or even the many. Not all Californians are like Milder, and not all West Virginians are like me. I’m willing to wager that those judging places like West Virginia have never been there or talked to its people, and the same bet goes for the other way in return.
Judge righteously…..not out of anger, contempt, or especially hypocrisy. As I said yesterday, love everyone regardless of what they think, say, or have done to you. You are responsible for your own feelings and actions, no matter what someone has said or done to you. I love Bette Midler, but obviously I won’t be singing “Wind beneath my wings” anytime soon or sending my money her way. You can love someone but peacefully not support them or their actions. Still going to watch the “Rochelle, Rochelle” episode when it’s on though. You can turn the other cheek peacefully and without hate when people have wronged you or even simply hurt your feelings (not nearly as serious of an offense as people make it today).
Obviously I’ve been guilty in the past of having a strong disdain for people I’ve never met because of what they’ve said or done, as well as holding grudges against or blaming others in my personal life…..but I learned to love and take personal responsibility instead, and so can you. To be very direct about something else, Milder is right about far too many West Virginians. No, not all as she so eloquently stated, but more than should be are illiterate, and way more than that are indeed poor and strung out. It’s the truth and we all know it. Rather than be angry she said it, wish for a government program to fix it (impossible), or just accept it…..we need to address it at home, throughout Appalachia, and everywhere else. Yes, even including the streets of Hollywood. We’ve allowed a government and pharmaceutical industry to flood our streets with opioids, punished one by having them pay pennies on the dollar back to the other who I’m sure uses the money appropriately, and then created a nightmare scenario of dependence and incarceration throughout every corner of America.
We’ve also developed a backwards mindset of the poor, where people now blame someone else for others misfortunes or chosen lifestyles…..rather than giving true charity and pushing them towards personal responsibility. Solutions: Quit voting for career politicians, change who is in there until we get leaders with enough marbles to start punishing those who created the problems as harshly as we’ve punished the recipients, start being God’s hands and feet that lead people away from drugs and poverty rather than apathetically waiting for someone else or the government to magically do it, support the police who have been burdened with enforcing the laws created by our politicians and cleaning the streets the same have enabled, and especially stop dehumanizing those who have strayed away. Oh, and go out and be a part of your community instead of wasting time on things that truly don’t matter (such as social media, entertainment apps, or whatever it may be).
We need a return to God in our homes and communities, and if we truly do so we’ll see the differences in how we treat others, how we spend our time and resources, and who we elect. Merry Christmas to Bette and everyone else. May you find the true gifts and blessings in your lives, learn from our mistakes, and be thankful for the life and opportunities God has bestowed upon us. I love you all