We all have things we support. Candidates for office. Sports teams. Charities / causes. Brands whose visions we agree with.
But what does the word “support” mean to you? Merriam-Webster gives 6 definitions for the verb support (also 3 for the noun). They are:
- to endure bravely or quietly – to bear
- to promote the cause or interests of
- to pay the costs of – to maintain
- to hold up or serve as a prop for
- to keep from fainting or losing courage
- to keep (something) going
Why is the definition important? Because we’ve all seen this word used quite a bit lately, but it’s not being used correctly.
We’ve all seen the “Support Law Enforcement” posts/ signs. On the surface that seems like a lovely sentiment. Being an officer of the law is an important job. BUT, by “support” it seems that what they are really saying is more along the lines of “Never question law enforcement”. “They are more infallible than the Pope”. “Everyone in this line of work is perfect”.
This is, of course, ridiculous. Police officers are humans, just like the rest of us. They have good days and bad days. They make mistakes. And, just like in any other job, there are a certain percentage of them who should be in a different line of work. Officers of the law deserve to be respected, but they also need to be held accountable when they betray that trust. Pretending otherwise is at best naive and at worst some weird kind of religion. NO one, no matter their occupation, deserves that.