I like to think I’m known as a person who always does my best to look for bright side in life, no matter how tough things are. I have to work hard at it sometimes, though, and today is one of those days. The world seems to be pitched in darkness, filled with people spouting polarizing angry words. I’m tired of it, exhausted from the constant stream of venom coming from every direction.
What bothers me the most are the sweeping pronouncements of evilness of “the radical this and the far that”. I watch the ridiculous commercials and see memes posted on Facebook that are meant to demonize the other point of view and divide us. I have never liked grouping people like that; there are so many layers to people. We are so much more than our political views. At least I hope we are.
I do understand that we all have different perspectives based on our own experiences and beliefs, and it seems the divide only gets wider. However, I truly believe that we still have more that unites us than divides us if only we’d take a moment to open the door to civil dialogue. I pray for that to happen.
In all honesty, what spurred me to write this this morning was a post on Facebook posted by someone I consider a friend and a good person. My friend is on the opposite side of the political divide, and that is fine- most of my family is, too. That doesn’t matter to me, but what did matter was that this person made a point to post something stating all of the labels of what they are and what they believe, and included “and if I haven’t offended you enough yet, I’m going to vote for…”. Why? Why the in-your-face hostility?
It is so easy to sit at a computer and post divisive things or only discuss issues with those who believe the same way that you do. When you have to actually look your friend or neighbor in the face and say those things, would that be different? Maybe not, but I sure hope so. I’m afraid that we’ve taken the humanity out of our interactions with people by communicating solely through social media and talking heads on the news.
I wonder if my friend would say those things to me, someone who is their opposite in my world view in so many ways, but has never been anything but kind to them and staunchly supportive of their right to believe what they believe?
I don’t know all of the answers. I can only do my best to not get drawn into the bitterness, to remember that there are countless good human beings out there that commit acts of kindness every day. I don’t want to block people from my life just because they think differently from me- what a boring world that would be. I don’t want to become close-minded and inflexible, no matter how easy it would be to do in times like these.
What I will do is to choose hope. I’ll do my best to not see people as right or left, but as people- people who come from all different walks of life that have shaped them and their views of the world. Hopefully somewhere in there compromise can be found. I really hope and pray that it can.
And now I’ll go back to posting dog and cat pics and humorous things…and finding that bright side that I know is there.