‘Canceled,’ or welcomed home?

I was recently reading how a lot of high-profile people have been “canceled” this year. This trendy notion of canceling someone whose expressions you disagree with means making a public statement of withdrawing support from that person. It is mostly connected to social media, and is directed at those whose political, artistic, or other views are seen as unacceptable. It’s sometimes described as a cultural boycott, depriving someone of attention, status, or prestige.

It’s certainly important to be alert to inappropriate, offensive behavior. But these days, the rush to find fault with, insult, and blame others has reached a deafening crescendo that goes even beyond canceling someone on social media. This got me thinking: Is dismissing or overtly rejecting someone a healing response? What if we considered a different approach, one in which what we “cancel,” reject, and dismiss isn’t each other, but every statement, intent, or act that would stain and darken our world?

February 11, 2019

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