Choosing a side of the vaccine fence is not my thing.
Vaccine your kids. Don’t vaccinate your kids. I don’t care. Your family. Your body. Your choice. (And if you’re raising an argument about the “your body” thing now, I’ll get to that).
But there is a fence on which I have chosen a side - It’s the bullying fence.
I’m strongly on the side of not bullying.
I try to stay out of heated debates, carefully hiding all facebook posts from pro-vaccine parents and non-parents alike that are laced with anger, hate, and demeaning language geared at their potential newsfeed audience who may not vaccinate. All for the sake of controlling an outbreak of a once eradicated disease, but done so, with threatening, mean, and demeaning language.
Then, I reached a tipping point.
This is when I saw more and more of this behavior moving into the spiritual community - those supposedly acting to “spread the light” started joining in on this trend.
Usually social media posts on the Vaccine Debate involve a shared article or public post, in which the original author has written a satirical story poking fun at those who don’t vaccinate, or who has written an angry, fear based tirade directed at those who don’t vaccinate. Then, the sharer adds a few choice words about their own personal insistence that you have to vaccinate, or else you are personally responsible for hundreds babies dying all because of your decision. You know the ones. You’ve seen them.
I wince and cringe every time I inadvertently read them.
Let’s be real.
This is bullying.
This is adult to adult bullying.
One group of adults bullying another group of parents into a personal health decision.
Somehow, we’ve come to a place in our society where bullying in certain areas is totally unacceptable - but that when it comes to vaccines, it’s completely fine to bully other parents into making healthcare decisions that you think they should make.
Because of your medical training
Because of your own moral standing
Because of your education
Because of whatever
I’m not sure how this has happened, but is has.
Bullying is bullying, and this is it.
I get it. Another person’s healthcare decisions could impact many other people. It’s not just their body, it’s the thousands of other bodies they come in contact with who they could harm by their perceived to be ill informed choices.
The argument of course is that death from vaccine preventable diseases is senseless. Only an uneducated person would chose not to get a vaccine, risking their own child’s life as well as the lives of thousands, if not millions of other people.
While yes, this is true, we also come into contact with millions of people throughout our lives whose decisions and actions have the potential to critically impact or end our lives.
Many of these too, could be considered preventable.
In the end, each person makes a decision that they believe is best for their path and for their family at the present time with their current knowledge - whether or not you agree with this decision.
And no amount of bullying by the other side will ever work to change that decision.
After all, since when have messages laced with anger, hate, and derogatory language EVER convinced anyone to do anything?
Historically speaking, has this ever been a successful method of winning over the hearts and minds of the people?
Not to my knowledge.
People don’t want to die. They don’t want their children to die. There’s a fear of death. A fear that these awful diseases will make a resurgence and kill millions of unsuspecting people, all because of a select group of individuals, who chose to make a health care decision for their family that was against popular western medical recommendation.
In spiritual healing circles, and among intuitives, we know that it’s so much easier to point the blame finger of hate at someone else, than it is to look inward and examine our own selves.
Are you to blame for spreading measles when you and your kids have been vaccinated?
No, not necessarily.
BUT if you post hateful, angry, and fear based messages directed at anti-vaccinators across the internet, you are *to blame* for spreading negative energy far and wide.
Negative energy emotions called hate, anger, and disgust are low vibrational emotions that can and DO actually cause physical illnesses. They can hurt feelings, and they can dig deeper and cause severe psychological, mental, emotional, spiritual and physical unrest. Negative energy can result in a physical manifestation known as illness. Being the target of anger and hate can cause serious damage to someone’s overall health, even in many cases, causing death. Just like those pesky vaccine preventable illnesses.
The build up and holding onto of these types of emotions, the ones directed at the universe when you contribute to sharing and posting these types of messages in a non-loving way, have caused far more deaths than vaccine eradicated illness ever will.
Yes, I’m serious.
(Read this post for my stance).
When you spread fear and anger based messages, you’re unfortunately contributing to the problem in a whole new, yet different way.
Having an opinion on vaccines either way is not the issue.
We all have opinions and we all always will. The issue is how that opinion is shared, spread, and implemented throughout social media, in conversation, and in our overall interactions as a society.
Spreading demeaning, angry, and hateful posts that blame and point fingers at those who do not vaccinate will not get anyone on your side.
You won’t win supporters by being mean and talking down to those you wish to convert.
Even worse, those words - they carry with them negative (low), hurtful energy. This is the energy that causes pain and illness.
Anger, rage, hate, and disrespect directed towards another human in a way to poke fun at them, call attention to things you don’t like about them, and get them to do something you want - that’s bullying. Straight. Up. Bullying.
If you want people to vaccinate their kids, fine.
If this is your mission in life, promoting widespread vaccination, I applaud you.
But I beg of you, please find a nicer way to do it.
The next time you share a satirical article that pokes fun at parents who don’t vaccinate, ask yourself,
Is this compassionate?
Is this loving?
Is this respectful?
Is the message contained within this article a positive, loving, and respectful message?
Will it accomplish my goals with kindness or compassion?
And if it isn’t, ask yourself, do I want to be responsible for spreading negative energy across the internet?
You don’t know who is reading and you never will.
The person reading your article could be the same person having a terrible day, currently sitting hospital bedside with their baby, who has just had a serious vaccine reaction.
I’m on the side of the fence of getting things done with compassion and always being respectful to another person, even if their decisions and path differ from mine.
I’m not on the side of fence of bullying - no matter what it is for or why.
My only hope, is that you choose stand on the side of the fence of compassion, love, and respect of your fellow man, too.
When you’re on the love side of the fence, you can accomplish any goal.
Full disclosure: My family chooses to vaccinate.
LAST UPDATED: February 13, 2015