Were you ever forced to eat peas or some random food you despised as a kid? Do you remember vividly, sitting down in front of a seemingly gargantuan serving of a nondescript casserole surprise and you weren’t allowed to go out and play until you ate it? While we didn’t “force feed” in my family, we also weren’t given a list of alternatives if we didn’t like what was on the menu. I carried on the tradition with my own kids and they’ll tell you they always had two choices when they ate, “Take it or leave it.” They could go play after dinner, whether they’d eaten or not. If they didn’t have a choice in what was being served, they still had a choice to refuse it. They weren’t yelled at or punished or told about starving kids in Ethiopia. They just didn’t eat the peas. I was caught up in the middle of reading a heated Facebook thread a few days ago, and without chiming in, still checked in on the ping pong match every so often. Both individuals are educated, well read, informed friends. It started as a respectful disagreement and, damn, did it ever spiral, to the point that the last comments I saw (I stopped following the disaster) did not even resemble either the original refutes or worse, the personality of either poster. And, it was over, of course, headline news. I couldn’t tell you how many hours and blood pressure points went in to this nonsense. And, that was just ONE conversation on ONE thread of the millions taking place every hour of every day, all across the world. It was a waste of time, on both their parts, and of mine to even skim it. There is all this talk of division in America, over parties and guilt and innocence and race… I feel it is much simpler than that. Stop eating the peas. You see a thing. You don’t like the thing. Another person does like the thing. You are angry at the person for liking the thing, and they are angry at you for NOT liking it. What if I told you there is exactly a 0% chance that you will not make this person eat the peas? You already know there is a 0% chance that they will change your stance, so why, WHY are we wasting our sweet lives on such ridiculousness? Think any lucid person in hospice, with days left to live, are on a mission to sway the political leanings of all their friends and family before they die? Think that sounds like a noble way to go out? I doubt they’re eating the peas. And, I doubt they care if you eat three servings. They don’t give a damn because at the end of the day, or the end of a life, IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER. What I believe, and why, what you believe, and why is deeply personal. It is not my job to waste my time telling you your thoughts are wrong. And, you get to save your breath for better things, as well. Well, THAT was easy. Why are we all acting as if we’ve been strapped to a chair and forced to consume trays of unpalatable politics, policies and then die either defending or crushing those who influence them? Little secret: The world will keep turning if our broken-record meaningless, droning, long-winded opinions stay right inside our incessantly chatty little mouths. Who remembers Peewee’s Playhouse? If you don’t, there was always a word of the day, let’s say it’s, “puppet”…every time, throughout the show someone said the word, “puppet,” all chaos would ensue. Yelling, running, the flailing of limbs, bells, buzzers, nonsensical voices…chaos…kind of like the headline of the day sets off a never-ending stream of posts, rants and screaming stances from the rooftops. But, just next door is another guy, also screaming HIS stance from the rooftop. And, all around the block, everyone’s on their proverbial rooftop, yelling over their next door neighbor and the whole damn block is insane. Can we all just have a nice big bowl of “shut up and mind your own business,” and stay off the rooftops for a while? What do you think is the worst possible scenario if you don’t voice your opinion, the one that everybody already knows, anyway? Anything? Will the world die less informed because you held a special piece of information that would have brought an end to all the old-as-time discord, the key to peace and harmony…and it would be a disservice to humanity not to air your tired gym sock smelling opinion, AGAIN? I’m not talking to any side, any affiliation, any right, left, libertarian, blue, green or orange group. I’m talking to my humans who are acting like the frat party never ended…we just grew into a more educated, much older and richer version of a screaming bunch of twats who thought we knew it all and hated the Greeks across campus. What happened to restraint? This disease of “diarrhea of the mouth” syndrome is highly contagious and from what I can tell, the only way to prevent catching it is to keep your mouth shut. And, come on, we all are carriers. Seriously, friendships are ENDING over defending people in positions of power that wouldn’t let you in their front door if you were suddenly hungry and homeless tonight. Your friend would have, but the guy you’re losing friends over? He doesn’t give TWO SHITS that you’re rallying for him. Or, that you’re against him. He also doesn’t care that you lost a 15 year friendship over him. This is HAPPENING, folks. What matters? What REALLY matters? Do you know the only thing anyone ever wants to say before they leave this place is, “I LOVE YOU…” That’s it. I. Love. You. No conditions. No rants. No new angles to get someone to agree with their view. We all want to tell someone they are loved by us. Listen to the 9/11 calls made and see if that doesn’t power-wash your thinking. If you can’t stay off cable, the news, the headlines or social media, for a solid 24 hours and you find any or all of these things are detracting from the quality of your life, interfering with your relationships, interrupting your peace, you CAN dismiss it ALL and reclaim your neutrality. It doesn’t mean you don’t have a view, it means you’re not willing to look and sound like a crazy person disagreeing with “them.” So, while we can point fingers and make lists of reasons why we are where we are as a nation, start in your living room. Better yet. Start in your kitchen. Are you eating the peas every single time they’re served and then screaming about it for the rest of the day? Stop. Eat a nice avocado. Or some chocolate covered strawberries. Or, don’t. I personally don’t care what you eat. But, please, for the love of all that’s holy, can we all step away from the peas? Peace, Not Peas, Warriors.