it's not just about "surviving until the election is over"? It doesn't begin or end with the campaigns. With social media, there is an ongoing tirade every day. Each election, about half the population's vision for what our country desperately needs just doesn't pan out. The very idea that someone has to win means someone has to lose. In the more recent years, especially with the advent and exponential growth of social media, the latter have begun to express their unhappiness by filling every space possible with their rants and raves, their commentary on every event, newsworthy or not, from the lens of their political bent, and blame the half that got their way. It doesn't matter which half is which.... the behavior is the same. And our anger doesn't come and go after a few months each 4th year..... it's an ever-present ugly atmosphere that is just easier to keep track of in 4-year increments.
All this discord and hatred sewn are taking root and producing a foul fruit: US-ISM. And with it, the idea that hatred is acceptable. That it's useful. That enough of it will change our world into something better. That we can say just any old thing during this season and it won't have any impact when the election is over. It's "not personal, it's politics."
The ONLY thing that comes out of destructive behavior is destruction.
We talk about leaving less debt to our children, less pollution, a safe and clean world they can live in..... why not a NICER world? Just by.... you know, being NICER? We can go green AND be kind. That way we don't leave a nice healthy planet full of GREED, ANGER, HATRED, RACISM, SELFISHNESS. Because our attitude and actions toward our fellow man need as much consciousness as our treatment of the planet. In a word: BALANCE.
I recently had an argument with my youngest brother on Facebook over politics. A few years ago my sister had a fight with that same brother and it took them about 2 years to reconnect. This year it's driven them apart again. Now, the argument I had with him came because I wanted to point out to anyone listening that (in reaction to Hillary Clinton's fall/stumble/whatever she had at the 9/11 service she was attending) it is just WRONG WRONG WRONG for any side to become so gleefully hopeful for another human to have some crippling disease because it will further their ambitions or hopes for their respective group. On one hand, I was trying to say LOOK IN THE MIRROR AT WHAT WE'VE BECOME and on the other hand LOOK AWAY FROM THE MIRROR AND START SEEING OTHERS AS HUMAN AND WORTHY OF COMPASSION simply by merit of the fact that they are humans. And, if you are a person who believes in a Creator, a FELLOW CREATED BEING with a common creator. And it doesn't matter what the other person believes, because if you believe you were created, you believe everyone was created.
So far, these are the things that my journey has impressed upon me. And I think they're worth sharing. If we can overcome our own whatever to feel compassion for others, we can begin to actually heal down to the roots of our problems, rather than lopping off branches and being surprised when the same thing grows back.
Social media can be fun, and a nice way to keep in touch, share a laugh or a concern or even voice an opinion. It has such potential to be used to spread good....and unfortunately, evil. We dehumanize the audience. We even believe they are "our" audience rather than our co-created human family. They "deserve" what they read.
So what, right? I'm even doing that just typing this up. The only positive is that I'm AWARE of it and am making a point of being MINDFUL of the words I use and the story I tell. And to show compassion to my brother, even though he thinks right now that we are enemies.
One thing I will ALWAYS say is that Americans are forgetting the why we have freedom of speech, and discounting the fact that with any freedom comes responsibility.... we really need to exercise judiciously our freedom of speech by speaking responsibly.