An Open Letter To All Steemians and especially Whales...
This is an important post, and brings up some issues and themes that I haven't seen being discussed on Steemit. I feel that the time has come for us to have an honest and open discussion about certain issues that most of us will have noticed on Steemit, and indeed in life. As we all know Steemit is a unique and functioning model of Anarcho Capitalism, combined with a social network that is open to all people from all walks of life. Many of us who have joined Steemit have done so because we have seen the value of this decentralised model, and how it can be used to bring our world into a new paradigm. This paradigm shift is happening very quickly now, and Steemit is starting to draw a lot of attention and traction. This is incredible to witness, and gives me a feeling of hope and faith that in the future this world will indeed become a much better place for us all to live in and prosper.
When we join a system that is truly global we will always have a great diversity of opinions and truths shared amongst the people who use it. It is obvious that we will not all agree on each others ideas, and that is part of what makes Steemit very special. There is nothing like a bit of conflict, debate, and hopefully resolution to encourage our own growth and perhaps refinement of our own values and beliefs. This is great! I have seen so many differing opinions on Steemit on topics like whether the earth is flat, or whether climate change is a total government made hoax, or indeed a phenomenon that is a result of human actions. I have also taken part in these debates, and offered my opinions based on my own feelings and knowledge on the subjects. This is healthy, and I always welcome opposing ideas as they give me the opportunity to challenge myself and either firm up my own beliefs even more, or consider changing them!
What I have noticed on Steemit lately, however, is something entirely different and I would like to shine some light on it so that we may start to discuss this as a unified group of different people. When does a healthy debate become toxic? When does an opinion become a fact, and should an opinion ever become one? Scientists have the humility to say that there is, in fact, no such thing as a scientific fact. There is only evidence that can provide more proof about a certain hypothesis until the weight of that proof becomes so vast that scientists accept it as 'fact'. Nevertheless, they are always open to being challenged on these hypothesis because we have to have some degree of humility that nothing in life 100% certain! When I have challenged people who claim the Earth is flat, I have always kept that small 0.1% chance that I am wrong in my back pocket, and that has allowed me to listen, and be receptive to whatever others are saying. When i REALLY don't agree, i may simply give my opinion and then move on. I have never flagged someone for proclaiming something that I don't agree with, however far fetched it may sound. That is the first point I would like to make, that we can all use a bit more humility in our conflicts, because if we don't, we may give up the chance to admit our mistakes and improve ourselves.
This theme is something that I have seen being played out by several Whales of late, and it is the Whales I would like to address this part of the post to. Before I get into the guts of this, I would like to say that I KNOW that most of the conflicts and flagging that I have seen are due to people with very good intentions! Nearly ALL the whales I have seen who are either flagging or being verbally abusive are doing so because they TRULY love Steemit with all their hearts and would do pretty much anything to protect it. I totally understand that, and I feel the same way, which is why I am writing this post. In my opinion a flag from a Whale is tantamount to a slap on the face. It is an aggressive action, that is often combined with quite harsh words or comments. There are times when that is OK, and even justified, but those occasions are rare!
I would like to share a recent example that I have seen because I have some actual knowledge and understanding of the situation and it highlights an issue that is occurring in many different instances. There is a group on Steemit called @familyprotection, and that group is led by two Steemians who have set it up because they have the belief that there are Great injustices happening worldwide relating to the unethical removal of children from families by Social Services (CPS). In fact both of these people have had direct experiences with this and know that there is a serious problem, and they have decided to do something about it using Steemit as an uncensored platform of discovery and funding. Their plan is to accumulate funds that will one day be used in their entirety to protect vulnerable children and parents from very serious abuses and injustices. It is a very worthy cause, and I happen to know them both well enough to say 99.9% that I totally trust them, and know what they are doing is absolutely for all the right reasons. They are both extremely integrous people! A few days ago a very respected Whale (it really is irrelevant who it is, as this point is the same for many Steemians who are acting in this manner) has decided that what @familyprotection are doing is wrong, and even felt that they are in fact scamming the system and not being honest. This opinion was also shared by a minnow who was very abusive, and felt strongly enough to throw some quite serious allegations in the face of @familyprotection.When I read both of these peoples comments, and saw the extent of flagging, it really upset me. The utter irony of the situation was that these two people were quite anti conspiracy, and whilst they felt that @familyprotection were totally lost in their conspiracy theory, they were in fact also playing into the hands of the very same theme! I could sense no openness to knowing the truth, or any sincere attempt to find it, ask questions, or engage with @familyprotection. Instead it was like they were judge, jury, and executioners. This is a disturbing trend, and one that I have seen with quite a few other people. I do not want to point any fingers here, because it is not important who it is, rather it is important to understand why it is.
With great power comes great responsibility. Those who wield the Steemit light-saber are the ones who will shape and guide this platform to wherever it is that it is headed. Let me ask you this, would you slap someone around the face in real life for having a different opinion about something? Should we not behave on Steemit as we do in the real world? Why do some people get SO angry about opinions that they do not share. Is this not how we learn and improve as human beings? What benefit do we bring to Steemit by abusing people we do not share our views with? How can Steemit grow to be a respected and popular platform when we do not respect and honor each other? What is the future of Steemit if this theme continues, and escalates? How terrible would it be if SteemFest 3 became a punch up between disgruntled Steemians? It is my belief that if we don't start to tackle these issues that that may well be the result! We need to temper our emotions, and understand that there is a difference between having righteous anger and simply being angry!
I would like to put a plea out, especially to Whales, but also to everyone who participates on Steemit. PLEASE everyone can we chill out a bit!? I mean let's take a step back before we end up being the people that we were trying to escape from. We have come here to be part of a brave new world ( I hope!), and it is US, right here and right now who are going to determine whether Steemit becomes that beacon of light for others to look up to, or just another boxing ring for people to fight out their differences. Let us PLEASE remember why we are here, and KNOW that by acting out on intense emotions that we can easily do more harm than good. Emotions are running SO high these days, this world is changing before our very eyes, and it is SO important for us to understand this. We can't afford to mess this up, we cant afford to risk losing this JUST because we feel strongly about one issue or another. Our personal issues and stories are not as important as the system itself, and we need to protect Steemit with our utmost care and integrity. Its just NOT ok to slap someone around the face and even rob them, just because we do not agree with them or suspect them of one thing or another. We MUST employ a certain degree of humility, because nothing in life is certain, and having that feeling allows us to act in a way that is compassionate and honest. I have a upper second class honors degree in Biology, and yet I cannot say with certainty if the Earth is flat. I would say that 99.9% that the Earth is indeed round, but i always hold that 0.1% in my back pocket because nothing in life is sure. By doing that I am able to bypass an awful lot of anger and frustration, because its only when we think we are totally right that the arrogance of abuse and threats rears its ugly head.
Let us ALLOW and encourage everyones ideas and opinions. This is REAL anarchy here, and there are no rules, no ways to act, no one to dictate how everyone should be. We all act in the way that WE feel is right. We all do what WE thing is correct, and through the consensus of the entire community we find balance. This natural balance can only arise when we allow everyone some space to be themselves, and we have to give everyone that room to move so that Steemit can evolve to become the incredible platform that it is shaping up to be. If we over control and try to direct and dictate it too much, we will suffocate her freedom, and the game will soon be over.
I hope this message reaches you in the light that it was intended. This is the most important post that I have written on Steemit, because I am one who is also desperate to see this world change from a place of abuse and over control by Governments and State to a world of true freedom, prosperity and diversity. If you are someone who has been very protective of Steemit by flagging and writing abusive comments, I implore you to consider these words and think about what really is best for the platform as a whole.
Live long and SteemOn!