About Empathy

2018-09-13_07-38-39.pngI am convinced that, as a general rule, my Republican friends pretty much lack empathy to any degree. I know this could be “painting with a broad brush” type thing but hear me out. I find example after example of this fact in my daily life. Let me give you a few examples.

I have a Republican friend who goes on and on about how all those people on welfare are freeloaders.  To him, they are just too lazy to go out and get a job.  I try to tell him that on the average most people are on welfare less than a year. He has admitted that his sister was on welfare, but he assures me that she really needed it.  He just can’t seem to understand that people who have temporary circumstances need and should get help. To him, everyone besides his sister is just lazy freeloaders.

Then there is Betsy DeVos, the current leader of the department of education who is now in the process of making sure that for-profit colleges get the money they need to pay their shareholders lavish dividends while at the same time making it harder for students to pay off their college debt. There just seems to be a serious lack of empathy among those who call themselves Republicans.

Then there is the soon to be ex-congressmen/ house leader Paul Ryan. His adoration of Ayn Rand along with her “Empathy is the scourge of mankind” certainly shows that he lacks empathy to any degree.

One thing I most admire about Jesus of Nazareth was that he had a huge amount of empathy. He even said that if your neighbor needs help give him the shirt off your back. He said that if you adore money give it all away to the poor and then you can follow him. Sadly, there are just so many who call themselves Christians who seem to believe the exact opposite of Jesus’ teachings! They rail against anyone getting something they didn’t work for. But isn’t that the foundation of Christianity.  “You don’t deserve it but since Christ died for your sins you will live an eternity in heaven.” Talk about freeloading…

About Your Enemies… and Reconciliation

2018-08-12_11-45-54It seems that at least for the last twenty months or so I have enemies who rant against my view of the world.  They come at me with a “love it or leave it mentality.  How dare I say some of the things I do.  Will those who spew out all the hate via social media eventually destroy themselves as the quote here indicates?

Hate is a self-consuming thing. It will eat you alive if you wallow in it too long and that seems to be what so many of the current ranters are doing They troll the Internet looking for places to strike. If it happens to you the question is will you return tit for tat or will you take the proverbial high road? From a personal standpoint my first reaction is to attack my attacker, but in most cases I just let them rant with no reaction from me. All I end up doing to delete their comment before it shows up on the blog.  If I engage them they just stay around longer as they know they have an audience.

Moving to a higher level with this thought, it was not that many years ago that I believed that I didn’t have any enemies, at least as I defined that word then.  Yes, I frequently view the world differently from others but that was just a difference of opinion between us, it didn’t make us enemies. Now those differences seem to have become points of serious contention for some and the difference between friend and enemy.

Why do so many now need to villanize anyone who thinks outside their tunnel vision view of the world?  Will the rigid Us vs Them mentality preclude any possibility of reconciliation between us?  That seems to be the question for our current times.  I pray this is a trend and not the new standard.  What do you think?

 

Listening To Your Favourite Music…

I2018-08-23_07-45-00.jpg know I have been more stressed out in the last 22 months than I probably have any time in my life. It is stressful to see the possible annihilation of our democracy unfold before your eyes.  It is pitiful to see the Oval Office occupied by a compulsive liar, cyberbullier, and narcissist. I couldn’t have imagined that possibility just a few years ago. I just can’t seem to be able to do much about my stress except to boycott every new source.  I have for the past couple months limited my contact to the political world to ten minutes a day. That helps but it is not enough. Being a political junkie who thinks it is important to stay informed that is about all I can do.

When I came across the quote here from my Facebook friends over at the Idealist, it showed me maybe why I can get no relief.  Being deaf makes even blasting my favourite music is totally ineffective. I sure do wish I could listen to Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, Don McClean, and Simon & Garfunkel.  I’m sure that would drain some of this anxiety built up inside me.  The last time I listened to any of them it was from those big black disks that kids today have absolutely no idea of what that is.

I do have several written lyrics from my favorite music that I pull out once in a while when I am absolutely alone and sing to myself. At least that helps a little 🙂

I Don’t Want To…

I don’t want to be united with people who think Trump is a good person

2018-07-08_09-23-38.pngThe words above came from a comment to the Facebook posting that centered around the picture here.  It got me to thinking about my personal attitude about those who think Trump is a good person.  I just returned from a uRV trip to see the Madison Regatta in southern Indiana. On my route there I stopped at a small town restaurant for lunch. When I opened the door I was greeted with a large screen TV with Fox News glaring at me! To make matters worse several of the patrons were wearing the now familiar red hats with the MAGA logo. I was very tempted to just turn around and walk out but I realized this was probably the only dining option available in the area.

I’m sure by many other standards most of these folks are good people, but does that ameliorate their political and moral stands? Can I look past that to see their goodness? The short answer to that is “I don’t know?” That stand just seems to tarnish everything else.  I know fear is what drives many of them. They see “their way of life” changing and are willing to grab on to ANYTHING to prevent that from happening. Morality and Truth are two of those causalities.

This is one of those times when I kinda wished I could hear again.  I would love to have heard some of the stories at the tables around me. I could only imagine that some of those stories are about all those people who are invading their world. But then again, maybe they were just chitchatting about their daily lives.