Common Bonds…

I don’t know exactly when this round of” Us vs Them” started, but it is proven to be flat out destructive. Let me spend a few minutes here trying to show you the damage it has done and what we might do to reverse it.

From what I can find making those who think differently than you do in the political arena started in earnest during the Newt Gingrich era of the 1980s. I like to blame Reagan for most of this stuff so I will add his name here too. Since that time partisanship has almost completely evaporated! It is now all about defeating your bitter foes on the other side of the great divide.

The problem is that today’s divide has become so wide and vitriolic that it comes down to friend vs enemy, politics is always war, and life in general is eternal conflict. We have it in our mind that if we can just defeat our enemy we can make a perfect world where everything goes our way.

Little do we realize that can never happen. Once that mentality takes shape in our mind it fashions enemies where none were previously present. All we do is peel the onion down to the next conflict level.

I would like to believe, whether it is true or not, that most of us don’t always live our lives in that mode. We manage to get along with our neighbors, even if they are different from us. Those of us in small communities actually enjoy those around us. Yes, there is the tribal instinct when it comes to family but there is also a community instinct outside of family.

The underlying problem in America, and much of the rest of the world, is division, or how we separate ourselves from others :

  • The widening gap between rich and poor
  • rural and urban
  • whites and people of color
  • educated and less educated
  • conservative and progressive

But I can’t help believe that somehow these divides can be conquered using things where we agree with each other. The first part of this very long journey is to find those things. Let’s look at a few possibilities here to get us started:

  • We all love our children and want what’s best for them.
  • We are bound by our work ethic and can find improvements we all want to see in that area.
  • We all want a sense of belonging so maybe we can find a way to pull the political power more to the local area.
  • We all have a shared sense of community. If only we can see that there is a diversity of poeple in that community that are not threatening to us.

We need all of these things to begin coming together as a nation. Let’s all try to take baby steps in these areas and before you know it we just might be taking giant leaps together.

The Us vs Them Mindset Just Might Take Down Our Country – Let’s Find Our Common Bonds To Keep That From Happening

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?