Posted in Rants

Political Comfort Zones: Our Own Worst Enemy

bernie

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-could-replace-president-trump-with-little_us_5829f25fe4b02b1f5257a6b7 

Who will share the above article without reading it? A consumerist culture who wants more and more of what they want, and then move onto the next thing they want after they haven’t found satisfaction in what they’ve previously consumed (even if they’re only consuming titles)?

This is my first “political”-ish post (outside of my saying I was in Vegas at the same time the final debate was there — though that was meant to be neutral since “prayers” (however you view those) were certainly needed for the chaos of both parties).

Why don’t I post? Not because I don’t care, but because there are plenty of people out there spewing their ideas. Some right, some wrong, some just… there. But when you have a younger culture who exclusively gets their news from Facebook, we have a problem. So I don’t want to speak to how I feel on the outcome of the presidential election, I want to speak to everyone who is reading only titles; to those who are sharing memes that biased individuals (not credible sources) created; to those who are reading only their-wing news.

Furthermore, the amount of hate and alienation created on social media is appalling. I may not have had any political posts, but the day I posted that the World Series games were too late in the evening for kids to stay up for, someone made it political. (See post and its comments from Oct 26.) I provided facts and evidence in opposition to his opinions. Here I was thinking that I could have a nice, non-political discussion on Facebook (silly me!), and instead this is what happened: The guy said:

“This is honestly just another reason why this country is falling apart. Too many complaints about everything. You want it catered to you and you only. If I were a Cubs/Indians fan and worked in California, I would complain the game was on at 3:30 and couldn’t watch because of work. It’s never good enough, and never will be.”

In short, I am the problem with the country falling apart… Really though, it made me laugh. Especially that when provided with facts or beliefs that are against what people believe, instead of finding more facts and strengthening their side and having a healthy discussion, they will degenerate to personal attacks. And this is not directed at a particular “wing,” it is directed at both. This whole thing is meant to be neutral.

And if you are of the group of article-writing, click-baiting people who can’t believe the outcome of the election, then you just weren’t paying attention. Maybe you are guilty of only surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Just this weekend, I discovered that I was guilty of that. I thought: “How can there still be homophobia, racism, sexism, and such hatred toward others coming from people under the age of 30?”

In some delusional universe, I thought maybe the majority of these people were just in pockets of older generations and Appalachian youth. But no. Sadly, I had to hear very aggressive, derogatory homophobic and racist comments (specifically the F and N words) come out of a 22 and 27-year-old. One was watching football and the other was expressing his musical tastes. Those two words were littered in about every 3rd sentence, followed by talk of guns. This wouldn’t have surprised me in Meigs County, but I had an awakening hearing it outside of Appalachia.

Hatred is everywhere. I’m not entirely sure where it’s coming from, but it’s there. Is it logical? No, but that doesn’t erase it.

“When we judge others, we kid ourselves that what we think privately has no effect on those around us. The truth is that judgments, especially repeated harsh judgments, send an energy into the world that alienates others.”

Here’s the point: the dems alienated a bunch of people by calling them all homophobic, racist, sexist, etc. for being right-wing and/or Trump-supporting. (Not everyone who supports Trump is those things, by the way.) Either way, the dems created a very defensive group of people who became more adamant to vote than in the past because they were being attacked, singled-out, and cornered like wounded animals.

I am in no way trying to explain the outcome of the election or why the world is the way it is. That is something for constant pondering and improving. And my original point got way off track, but to come full circle, what I have is this: “The only real wisdom is knowing you know nothing.” Limiting yourself to things that only you agree with, do not make you stretch as a human being. To become a good human, you must constantly learn, and be open to that learning.

What we have from both right and left right now is a know-everything mentality. Both sides are done learning, and they just want to fight over who is right. You no longer see or hear discussions or someone saying “Hmm, that’s interesting I hadn’t thought of that.” Instead you just hear anger and rage about how right or wrong someone or something is or isn’t. And whether you like it or not, social media does give everyone a voice, including you. So please be more responsible for the voice you’ve been given because people are following and watching you: Young people; people who will vote in the future.

So for the sake of the future, please: Read the articles you share. Fact-check something when statements seem broad-stroking or radical. Get your news from more than one source, and for the love of humanity listen! Listen to what your fellow humans are saying, even if you don’t agree. Discuss with them, don’t attack them. See where they’re coming from and resist the urge to attack when they degenerate to personal attacks. These are the people we surround ourselves with every day, and the common thread is that we’re all suffering in some way. We should be trying to help each other lessen that suffering, while remaining skeptical about all organizations with motivations of power and wealth. (<-Very Vonnegut.)

So either ignore my words, or have friendly disagreements and discussions. That is encouraged. But please leave your attacks to yourself. Hasn’t there been enough of that in this world?

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