She and Portia went and Ellen was seen sitting next to President George W. Bush.
Ellen Degeneres. Someone who has political beliefs. Someone who encourages others to be kind. Someone who has faced trauma and public speculation about her orientation.
That Ellen Degeneres.
I’m not a huge fan of Twitter. It may have a purpose but I’m not sure what it is unless that purpose is for people to not think about 140 characters they put out in the world for everyone to see.
Twitter, apparently blew up because Ellen was seen (cue the horror) sitting next to the former president with whom (cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth) she has different beliefs.
This woman who has dedicated her life to comedy and to animals and her wife and equality and so many other positive things has now become a pariah? Because she sat next to a former president?
Can we just stop this now?
If I chose not to associate with people who were not in lockstep with what I believe, I would not speak to my husband, boyos, friends, family, colleagues, strangers, busboys, clergy, police officers, firefighters…you get the picture.
I’d be sitting in my room seething about everyone and everything that happens in this world.
I’ve got news for everyone. I’m not right about everything. And neither are my beliefs.
And here’s another newsflash. My opinions change over time. With the introduction of more information, my views change. I change. And not only am I okay with that. I’m proud of it.
It means that I can listen to differing viewpoints. It means I can have adult conversations. It means that even if I disagree with you, I can love you still and be kind.
There are times when you have to take a stand on things. Who sits next to who in a luxury box at a football game is not one of them.
Being with people who have different ideas than you do can be refreshing and enlightening. You can learn something you might not have known. It expands your horizons.
It doesn’t mean you are a traitor to a cause or that you should be skewered on social media.
I’m glad Ellen responded the way she always does, with class and grace. It would be nice if the people who call themselves fans would do the same.
Don’t be afraid of hard conversations. And don’t judge. You don’t know other people’s motivations for believing what they believe or doing what the do. Be okay with that. Be mindful. But most of all, be kind.