“The Rant” Part 3: Rant Revised

by Ashley Bean Thornton

(This is the last in a 3-part series of posts inspired by a rant I found on Facebook.  Click here to see the original rant.  This post may not make much sense without reading the first post.  Click here to see “The Rant” Part 1.  The second post in the series explains a little bit more about my motivations for writing.  Click here to see “The Rant” Part 2.)

I love Facebook.  I know social media is terrible and it’s probably destroying the fabric of our society, but I like it. (I have a similar relationship with Whataburger sausage biscuits and Diet Coke. I know they are bad for me, but…)  I like keeping up with friends and seeing what they are doing, and I like hearing what my friends think – sometimes.  In this series of posts I have been wrestling with those times when I don’t like hearing what my friends think, when what they think seems hateful, or mean-spirited, or unreasonably angry, or stubbornly ignorant.  Specifically, I have been working my way through thoughts about a rant one of my friends copied and pasted on his Facebook page. Click here to read the original rant.

My main idea in the first post of this series is that as readers we can choose to get riled up by the way our friends express their opinions, or we can choose to dig in and try to figure out the core, and often legitimate, concern they are sharing.

With that idea in mind, I re-wrote the original rant.  I tried to pull out the main concerns and phrase them in words I could “hear” and think about more calmly.

Here’s what I came up with…the rant revised…

I have worked hard all my life.  I’ve worked for everything I have ever gotten.  I think most people who know me, think of me as a kind, generous person, who would do anything for you, however…

    • I work hard for my money.  I don’t want my taxes to go toward supporting people who I do not think are willing to work to make their own money.
    • I am not sure the trade-offs we are being asked to make to avoid global warming are worth it.  I think the evidence for global warming is being accepted without being thoroughly vetted.
    • I feel like I am being unjustly labeled as a racist and that makes me mad.
    • I think our society is leaning too far in support of people with one narrow set of beliefs. I feel like I am being asked to be tolerant of that point of view, but other people are not being asked to be tolerant of my point of view.
    • I have made responsible choices in my life. I don’t want my taxes to pay to subsidize other people who have been irresponsible, for example by taking drugs or dropping out of school. 

You need to take responsibility for your own life.  I can’t help you if you make bad choices.  When I tell this to people, especially young people, I don’t feel like they listen to me.  I am worried for the future.

All this re-thinking and re-writing took up a lot of time. I doubt the person who originally shared the rant will ever even see this revision.  We will probably never have another conversation about these topics.   So why do it? Was it worth it?

I don’t think the point is to come to agreement.  I don’t agree with these re-written statements.

I don’t know.  I just feel the need to switch gears from “indignant outrage” to “attempted understanding” every now and then.

This business of trying to work together to govern ourselves is complex.  Living with the complexity is hard. The disagreement can be intense.  It is disturbingly easy to get mad and stay mad at each other all the time.  As much as I like Facebook and my other customized, ubiquitous media feeds, I recognize that along with pictures of puppies and babies they are feeding me aggravation and impatience.

I want to be a responsible citizen.  I want to try to keep myself informed.  I want to advocate for the ideas I think will work best for our community and our country.

I don’t want to just unplug and forget about it but participating is a roller coaster of feeling worked up and then worn down.

Sometimes it feels like the world, or at least the social media world, is telling me that I have to be in hyper-adrenalized attack mode all the time.

When that world gets to be too much, a little attempt at understanding feels like a balm to me.  It helps me re-center on the idea that maybe we are not all so different after all, that we can understand each other if we try.  It helps me restore my inner peace a bit.  That’s worth it to me even if no one else ever sees it.


  1. Ferryn Martin on April 25, 2023 at 7:18 am

    Writing has always helped me clarify my thoughts and get them out of my head so that I can quit dwelling on them. I think this is where the peace comes in. And, might I add, you do it so well.
    The other thought that comes to me is this. I’m not sure there is a more important skill than putting yourself in someone else’s place and trying to see things from their perspective. It changes your brain.

  2. Rick on April 25, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    Thank you for not unplugging. Thank you for being a friend who listens and then…steps up.
    We have recently seen how a breakfast sandwich at Whataburger can help a group of people find their joy.
    Hooray for love!

Leave a Comment