Can we be alright if we are all right?
Election day is coming soon. I suspect most people have decided who they are voting for and if not, the online demonizing and rationalizing of X or Y will NOT be what determines their vote.
So.. I’m going to write about civility and shared experiences. I believe in a humanity we share and that most people, when stripped of masks and pretension, want very similar things.
Sadly, in online debates, the rhetoric is to castigate your opponent.. Phrases like, “sheep”, “idiots”, “blind”, and similar terms allow one to smugly sit in judgement from their throne of enlightenment. We all have that throne and find it a bit too comfortable.
Sure, our rhetoric does not sway anyone – but the name-caller gets the satisfaction of believing they are superior to the dirty, unwashed masses who would dare have an opinion different than theirs.
Rather than address any specific issues or engage in true dialogue, every issue mentioned is already decided upon – and then a volley of personal attacks or rhetoric meant to villainize those who disagree. These are met with a response of similar intractable statements. Like a tennis match with exploding balls.
It isn’t that having an opinion – and a reason for it – is a problem. That’s the nature of opinions and debate. Every person believes themselves right. Every person holding a position is dogmatic. No one holds a position because they do not believe it.. That would be strange.
We all believe we are right! or know it! am I right?
I certainly have an opinion. And, I believe it is logical and based on the evidence I’ve seen regarding the issues and their impact on the country.
And I enjoy spirited debate.. Word-play, sarcasm, and self-deprecating humor. You know what they say, it’s all fun until someone loses an eye.
But, I won’t get angry at someone who disagrees with me. It serves no purpose.
What I do know is that in the end, regardless of election outcome, we will be left with the task of waking up the next day and engaging in life and the world around us. The earth isn’t going to stop its rotation. Our rock will continue its journey around the sun. Well.. I’m sort of betting that it will…
We will continue our daily work. We will drive through streets, walk through parks, visit stores, etc. all with people who disagree with us on fundamental issues.
They will, like us, have worries, dreams and aspirations, stress, and generally want the same things in life that we want. I know it is hard to believe but, I promise, they do not want the wholesale destruction of our country…. really!
Those who disagree with you.. those who like the other candidate.. they are far more similar to you than they are different.
I like people
Recently, a friend asked me what trait I liked best about myself. I found the question odd and somewhat difficult to answer. I, like most people, sit with insecurities much of the time.
What I arrived at – what I like best about myself – is that I genuinely like people. Particularly, I like people who are different than me and those I disagree with. I love the input of a perspective that challenges mine. I like the back and forth – and I like knowing that, regardless of our perspectives that they, like me, mostly want the same things in life.
I like knowing that when they see a rainbow, an amazing sunset, a toddler laughing, etc. they are often struck with the same wonder that I am.
We have an election coming.. We have opinions. We have our team. We have our position – the right one I am certain. (God knows, it is always the right one) We have our fears. We have our frustrations. We have our outrage.
The most important election ever
This election is, as was the election prior, the most important election ever! I get it.. I remember reading that 4 years ago, 8 years ago, 12 years ago.. Surprise.. It always is. (please read, Notes to my daughter on election day)
But, I am convinced, after every vote is cast and every poll closes, we all share the day after. And the day after, and the one after that, and the one after that, etc. That day (and today) is always the most important day we, humanity, share.
I’m going to try to make it a good day!
Namaste and all the shit!
Note: Any and all political comments on this post will be deleted.. nothing personal.. I just feel it distracts from both the tone and the intent of what I am saying.
My blog.. my rules! Harumph!!