The Portland Writer

Copywriter | Freelance Writer | Storyteller | Content marketing |Branding, SEO & Social Media Strategy |

Portland Writers Portland Copywriters

The Portland Writer - Copywriter | Freelance Writer | Storyteller | Content marketing |Branding, SEO & Social Media Strategy |

Don’t Miss the Point: LOVE Wins, NOT Hate

rainbow heart


In the midst of this historic win for human rights with the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, I am seeing in some friends’ feeds and in online reports, the flicker of hatred simmering beneath the #lovewins hashtag for some.


Sore winners: Anger wins, too

Sure, there are your usual troll mobs on Twitter but there are also real LGBTQ community members and allies who cannot seem to let go of the pain and the anger of oppression — even in the face of their win. This is not the majority of people in the #lovewins tribe, at least from what I’ve seen but it’s enough to get noticed. And while it’s understandable to be righteously angry at a system of oppression that has denied you your rights (and your safety) for far too long, some of these comments are far from being in alignment with a vision of tolerance and acceptance.

A mob mentality

Folks are calling for things like the making good on the promise of a misguided and ignorant pastor, to light himself on fire. (A promise that was, in fact, never actually made.)

Some are hazing and pressuring friends and colleagues for not displaying the rainbow colors on their profile pic and encouraging those who said they would leave the country if gay marriage became legal to do so. And even worse allegations of hate from the #lovewins crowd (spitting on a priest in the crowd at a gay marriage parade in NYC, making fun of a war veteran’s loss of a limb because he had a differing opinion — though not necessarily a hateful one.)

All of this, to me, seems sadly, so beside the point.Which is why I just wanna say:

You diminish the win, when you diminish another

C’mon guys — let’s just celebrate the victory and the love and the potential for more and future change. It’s common knowledge that you never change minds by belittling people or by calling someone stupid. You don’t ingratiate yourself to those whose hearts and minds you must win over in order for real change to take hold by abusing those you disagree with. If your argument is strong, if your point of view just and fair, you need not stoop so low.

Our country wasn’t ready to accept this historic change because we beat down the opposition, on the contrary, a battle like this was won because little-by-little those minds and hearts were won over by proximity, kindness, empathy and love.

Familiarity beats fear

It’s so easy to hate that which we do not understand (and even easier to hate those who hate or oppress us) but once it becomes personal, once people get to know one another, once someone in your life is affected, once a kind, funny lady dances her way into your living room via your TV on a daily basis, that which you once feared becomes familiar. Fear dissipates in the face of this knowing, this proximity, this sameness.

THAT is why we are here today experiencing this historic moment in time AND that is what will extinguish hatred and war and prejudice on the face of this planet today — proximity, understanding, the sharing of information, person-to-person, no matter the country, race, gender, identity, orientation, abilities,  class, and yes, even the politics and/or religious affiliation.

ellenA plea for peace and hope for more change

When we open ourselves to one another, we connect, we expand, we find peace and common ground. We realize our humanity and that it’s all the same. We all want the same things and LOVE is the cornerstone of that — not clamoring for the death or destruction of those who oppose us but instead reaching deep for the wisdom to try to understand, to try to love one another, even in the face of adversity.

You don’t have to wrap your arms around those who would do you harm, but you also don’t have to pick up a stone to throw either. Just being, in love and light, that which you hope for the world, is enough to light the flame of understanding in someone else.

Marketing to Win Customers: Fred Meyer Gets it

best-customer-serviceSome days it seems as if we have landed in the specific point in time where customer service has gone to die.

We live in an age in which outsourced call centers located in India or Thailand (like the one parodied on Inside Amy Shumer) give lackluster or confused assistance, utility and cable companies give ambiguous “windows” of time in which their employees may or may not show up, and loads of online only companies ensure they have no guaranteed way in which for you to make contact with an actual person. The truth is — we’re all getting used to being treated poorly in our day-to-day transactions.

That’s why if you want to stand out these days, you really only need do one simple thing: Offer truly good service. Continue reading

Mourning Robin Williams on Social Media — Is it Personal?

Robin Williams dies at age 63Robin Williams was pronounced dead today at 12:02 p.m. He was 63. Investigators for the coroner’s office suspect “the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.” No other details have had time to emerge, except one — according to his people, Williams was said to be “battling severe depression of late.”

Robin Williams Trends Online

Williams had been outspoken about his depression, as well as his past issues with addiction. When the news hit social media channels today, it was first by those who were shocked or saddened by his death, posting links, pics, and RIPs. Some, seizing the opportunity that the spotlight both his life and death afforded, came forward to talk about depression, to share their own experiences, to offer help to those that might also be struggling, and to raise awareness.

Soon, there were those admonishing Williams for his selfishness in committing suicide (which at this point is merely alleged), there were those admonishing President Obama for acknowledging the loss of Williams, and there were those wagging their fingers at any and all of us who choose to discuss Williams’ passing — who deign to mourn a celebrity we never knew personally. Some people say that to stop to recognize the passing of celebrity, diminishes the deaths and lives of every one of us — for fame, fortune, and talent do not make one life any greater than another.

No Right to Mourn

While I agree that money and fame or talent don’t make a life greater or lesser — I do not agree that it’s wrong or diminishing to stop and take a moment for the loss of a life that touched our own. I think everyone has their own way with grief and none of us has a right to tell anyone else how or who to grieve.

To those grieving the loss of someone famous, it is not their general fame or talent that is being mourned, whether we knew them face-to-face in this life matters not — especially if their life or their work reached and touched us somehow.

As with all loss, what we grieve is our own end, not someone or something else’s but our own relationship with that end. Once someone is gone, there is nothing more for them to worry about. We cry, we rail, we post a link or a RIP, for ourselves, for our loss, for what once was and what we will miss.

A Personal Loss

In the case of Robin Williams (and probably most well-known people that pass and are widely mourned), his loss IS personal –for all of us. Not because of his fame but because his fame allowed him a greater reach — the ability to touch so many more lives. We will miss the joy and laughter he gave us through his work in film and television. Some will miss his charitable works, from which they benefitted directly. Others, like the many comedians and friends who tweeted their shock and grief today, they will miss his friendship, his insights, his kindness and advice.

Most of all, his family is feeling this devastating loss, even his wife, in her statement for privacy, acknowledged the impact her husband had on others, “This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken.”

She also asked that people focus on celebrating his life and the legacy he left and not his death. “On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

Is it Wrong to Mourn Celebrity Loss?

To me, the passing of a life, doesn’t have to be a greater than, less than game.  I suspect for most people it is not — no matter who it is. Just because you grieve the passing of someone well-known to the world but unknown to you in real life, personally, doesn’t change how you mourn the lives of those closest to you.

I truly don’t believe there are people walking around in this world categorizing their losses in descending order of importance. But, in terms of a celebrity passing, I’m quite certain that those expressing feelings of loss are not placing a heavier weight on those feelings than say the very personal loss of their grandma or best friend. We’re all just people grappling to come to terms with loss and mortality. If we take the time to recognize or grieve a loss, it is a personal loss that we feel and though it may not be one you share, it is still one that is genuinely being felt, nonetheless.

The post that resonated with me most today came from my beautiful, kind-hearted nephew on Facebook:

“ALWAYS BE KIND. That woman in line at Starbucks, or the man you exchange glances with at Taco Bell could be fighting depression to stay alive. When you recognize someone’s existence with warmth, maybe they’ll realize that their contribution to the human story is important. Remind them: WE ARE ONE. WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER.”

All of this discussion happened in less than 24 hours after his death and before any of us know the full story of the circumstances surrounding that death. What we do know though, is that a man who made us all laugh for many years, died today. For me – that is enough — RIP Robin Williams.

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