Principles of Prosperity in an Era of Snark
Not sure what is going on for the rest of you, but here in the U.S. (and also the U.K.), things are really getting nasty between the two main political parties. Republicans are outraged that a restaurant asked White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave. But they thought it was great a few years ago when a deli refused to serve Vice President Joe Biden. So how do you respond to this kind of a situation with prosperity consciousness?
The president often speaks at his rallies in ways that could incite violence against others. A Democratic congresswoman has recently suggested that people should harass and follow around Republicans in a way that could also be dangerous.
Then of course is the issue of medical professionals who don’t want to provide birth control, or bakers who don’t want to bake wedding cakes for non-heterosexuals, because it conflicts with their religious beliefs.
What began as a debate on the issues has turned into personal and very vindictive attacks. Each side seems to have a visceral hate for the other on social media and it is playing out all across the culture here today.
So what are the principles of prosperity that apply here? And how can you rise above the pettiness, judgment, and ignorance?
My take is pretty straightforward. Since I’m a Libertarian, I absolutely defend to the death someone’s right to refuse service to anyone else in their private property business. If you have a café, bar, beauty salon, car repair, or any private business, I have no problem if you discriminate against anybody. Doesn’t matter if it’s because they’re Asian, gay, or Republican. Doesn’t matter if you hate people with red hair, astrologers, Mormons, or those over 40 years old. Doesn’t matter if your justification is religious, moral, or simply because you hate an ethnic group.
The principles of prosperity would hold that you have the right to deny service to anyone you don’t like for any reasons. Even hate, ignorance or racism.
By this principle, you should support the rights of the baker who doesn’t want to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, and the restaurant owner who doesn’t want to serve anyone who works in the Trump administration.
But there’s only one catch…
You should support their right to discriminate on their own private property. (And even welcome the fact that they are advertising their racism, sexism, ageism or whatever other ignorance they are proud of. This allows you to avoid patronizing people who act this way.)
But while you support their right to do such actions, you should never respond in kind.
Because if you do that, now you’re operating at their level; being driven by hate, ignorance and other forms of poverty consciousness.
I saw a post on Twitter saying, “Want to send a message to Trump? Consider helping a refugee.” It’s getting lots of retweets, because doing so seems to make some people feel virtuous. But that’s delusional bullshit. You shouldn’t be helping a refugee to send a message to Trump or anyone else. You should help a refugee because that’s the kind of human you are.
If you want to be an enlightened person, you have to live your life with prosperity consciousness. That means you love everyone. Even if you don’t like them.
There was a time we thought some races were inferior, women didn’t have rights, mixed race marriages were illegal, and people thought it was acceptable to own another human being. And sadly to say, there are people who still believe these things.
Attacking them on social media will not change that. Trying to treat them back with their own style of hate won’t make things better either. Ratcheting up the divisiveness will only prolong the time we spend dealing with such negativity. So please don’t try to “even it up” with what you perceive as the other side. You have to rise above that.
It won’t change in a day, a week, or a month. It may not even change in a lifetime. But you will change. And that’s the most important thing. Because when you change, the world actually changes.