Personal opposition: active vs passive

When we confront things in life that we do not like or find distasteful, we have a choice between taking an active or a passive position in opposition. It occurs to me that understanding this distinction and contemplating the difference in our daily lives is an important part of our personal maturity.

There are few positions that I actively protest. This list would include violence, bigotry, other forms of prejudice, misinformation, racism, fascism, and environmental injustice. This attitude can be described as “stand up for justice”.

There are far more things where I am passive and just do not actively support. I simply find them distasteful. I disengage and silently back away from the instigator without voicing any protest. I do not oppose other people who are active in these things. That list would include foul language, name calling, bullying, potty jokes, conspiracy theories, gossip, religion, contact sports, motor sports, golf, sport hunting and fishing, air travel, entitlement, NIMBYism, MAGA attitudes, junk foods, tobacco, sugar, and drugs. This attitude could be described as “live and let live”.

Knowing when to stand up and when to stand down is a key to personal effectiveness.