As I ask questions of friends from around the country about the current state of affairs pretty much 100% agree that we are living in times that have grown terse and even somewhat savage.
One thing they all have in common is that they are a different kind of “thinker/perceiver,” and probably the best way I can explain the difference in their approach is by way of a quick illustration. Let’s say you invited two interior decorators over to your house to set up what paint scheme would best fit both your needs and situation. the first decorator shows up and pulls out his paint samples – all three of them; black, grey, and white. ‘which one would you prefer?” he asks.
Chances are you will pick the grey or white. But the second interior decorator shows up with a Pantone color wheel – which sports 1,867 viable and matchable colors. You can get precisely what you want.
Our current situation is not working with a polarized black-grey-white system based primarily on fear and blame. No one feels good about it, despite the illusion of it having some “purpose’ for the angry and rage-filled few – it leads to violence to innocent people (which proves its meaninglessness), and it is de-humanizing an entire society at a rapid rate.
Notice that I have not mentioned a political affiliation? I do not have to, for it does not matter. Human issues actually run far deeper than merely political ones. One can change one’s political ideas over time, but one cannot change inherent human questions concerning love, meaning and death. The former questions are made-up in the human imagination; the latter are organic.
Einstein to the Rescue
“Things should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler’– Albert Einstein.
I suggest shutting off the noise for two weeks (you will be surprised by what you have not missed) and take stock of what you then want to be and do during these difficult times. Do you want to foster compassion, healing, and genuine human connection (in other words, do you want to help “stop the bleeding”?) Do you want to help and make a contribution by loving your neighbor and lending a hand, showing courtesy, re-introducing respectful exchanges with people in a society that is in decline?
It’s a selfish thing to do- let me tell you – for you are the person who will benefit the most.
We all know this is true. How do I know this? Films. Think of some of your favorite films – what are the most meaningful ones you have seen? Aren’t they always the ones with a redemptive theme?
I realize I have taken Einstein a bit out of context – but it is true – whatever power brokers are busy at work trying to divide the country and make us simpletons, we can undercut all their noise by getting even simpler and quietly deciding – one by one – that the meaning of our lives ill not be born of despising others or judging them.
Now is an excellent time to be genuinely “counter-cultural” in simply choosing a more meaningful path of care and respect. I assure you that if you have lacked, or do lack peace, you will find your heart and mind settling down if you choose this simple path.
It does not mean the end of discourse nor tacit agreement. Mature people can disagree and the root of much frustration is that people do not feel “heard.”