Civility

These days, in the modern era we live in, we have access to endless information, followed by endless opinions! Our brains and psyches were not created to receive so much input, nor so much negativity!

This morning I was perusing “Next Door”, a neighborhood website which delivers postings and comments from the e-community board right into my email inbox. Most times, I am very selective about what I read, keeping the input to things about what is new in our community and recommendations. For whatever reason, I began reading a political post with comments following about the RNC’s first night on air. I saw the comments expand from there and we are now on the 4th day of an ongoing thread that is getting nastier and more snide as it goes along!

By now, at my age, nothing should surprise me, but I am always amazed anew at the meanness of spirit when it comes to political discussions. I do not know any of the commentators personally, but after 4 days of reading, I have formed opinions about the people contributing to the debate.

There are the obvious intellectuals who put out their opinions with facts to support them in a non emotionally charged way! (This is ALWAYS what I prefer to read, because I just want the FACTS, not someone else’s spin on the facts, so I can decide for myself.) Then there are those who voice their fears of what is to come depending on who becomes President. They are definitely an anxious bunch and they speak with an urgency of what they fear is ahead! Of course the two sides go at it because they see only from their personal view and do not believe any possible good can come from the other side.

Then there are those who engage in a verbal mudslinging contest to defend their belief system and as it progresses, so does the anger and hate, because the mudslinging comes from both sides! With the mudslinging comes the name calling, the ridicule, and most disturbing, the meanness of spirit which shows WHO they really are as their character begins to rear its ugly head! Like anything we read without illustration or pictures, we have to form in our head a visual of who these people are and what they must be like as human beings. It is as if everyone has returned to the schoolyard where we all sit in our little groups of people with similar views to ours of the world. We watch the bullies fighting and we see people forming a circle around the altercation, egging them on because they are enjoying the conflict! This breaks out into additional side altercations and the chaos begins.

I suspect that some of them sit in church next to us and we would never have a clue how degrading these people can be to others! I think this is because some people are chameleons where their personality takes on the color of the environment they are in. In the case of politics, the color is very dark!! I see riots in the cities where buildings are being looted, burned and destroyed, and some people will INSIST they are peaceful protests. Well, yes, they BEGAN as peaceful protests, but how can anyone turn a blind eye to the riots going on and not try to at least stop it when fellow citizens are losing everything they have worked for in their life? I believe we are on the cusp of a civil war and I believe it is that serious! Why do I think this? Well, when civil discourse goes out the window from the general population, this is what it can possibly devolve into. I am always a supporter of individual thinking, but group think is very dangerous. I am always saddened when I see my friends or family speaking in a tone of derision when sharing their political beliefs. I have never seen so much hate thrown around in my entire life! Where has the hate come from? I am not talking about who or what it is they hate…I am talking about the hate itself. Where does that dark emotion come from? It isn’t healthy physically, emotionally or psychologically for anyone to live with feelings of hate as an internal emotion. It eats you up. I know who I am going to vote for and I believe I have done my homework! I have spent the last 5 months of “shelter in place” re-educating myself about both political sides and there is one clear cut winner (for ME). I have no intention of trying to convince anyone to come my line of thinking. I just pray that when we cast our votes, it is done fairly and without any cheating! That will be another story, I am sure! I will also pray, NOT asking God for MY chosen candidate to win, but for HIS choice to prevail! As I pray, I say “THY will be done LORD, THY will be done!”. This is what faith looks like! I also pray that peace will come back to our society. How can we live in this beautiful country and be so angry? I pray for Peace and Love, knowing that we may not ever find that perfect combination, but maybe along the way we can rediscover human kindness! The next life has peace and love in abundance! I look forward to the time when I can live a life where peace and love reign supreme! (I am in no hurry to go there, but am so happy to know this is ahead of me when I am called back “home”!)

Amen!

8/27/2020/jjb

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