I’m not so much intrigued by politics as I am about human nature and how each of us responds to political stimuli. It has been such an interesting, polarizing time unlike any I can remember in my adult voting life. At the onset, I used every opportunity to seek to understand both sides of most of the major issues – read the RNC platform, watched all of the main speakers at the convention, read the DNC platform and listened to their speakers (probably a result of having a conservative Republican father and a liberal Democrat mother). I did this to “know myself”, find out what I really think, to discover what each party really stands for in their core issues and then find out what aligns with my values. Like many Americans, hubby and I watched the debates. Almost daily, we had discussions with friends with differing opinions, we also gave equal time to FOX, CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg news as well as the Sunday morning political fare offered by those same networks.
Here are just a few things I observed and learned:
1. OBJECTIVITY is on the “endangered thinking” list and is as rare as finding a journalist who doesn’t interrupt and continually talk over someone who doesn’t agree with him or her.
2. FACTS stand no chance against our deeply entrenched filters which are based on emotional responses and run as deep as our flight or fight reflexes.
3. LISTENING with the intent to truly understand rather than to formulate our reply is a virtue all of us need to aspire to and improve upon.
4. TRIBALISM or group think/blind allegiance to one’s team can become a cancer on our society which feeds off of our individual egos and creates a safe haven for an “us and them” mentality, feelings of superiority, disdain for differing opinions and hypocrisy at its most disgusting, distasteful display.
5. HATE is not owned by any particular group, party, religion or race and the justification for vileness can be skewed to fit anyone’s particular ideology and rebranded as “justified retaliation” or “righteous indignation”.
6. LABELING one another, in my opinion, is intellectually lazy and socially irresponsible. But, apparently it is so much more “comfortable” to place others in perfectly constructed labeled boxes than it is to truly seek to understand, which of course, would force us to step outside of our own very comfy box.
7. POSITIVITY and hope are still available to us all no matter how dire a picture is being presented to us or is our actual perception – as always, we as individuals have to choose how we see the world, how we choose to interact with others and how we choose to LIVE our own lives.
So, I’ve decided based on these observations, from this day forward if I’m going to make a difference in the world, I must “be the change I want to see” in the world. Therefore, I am going to work hard on these things in my own life each and every day from this day forward and HOPE that my actions will serve to inspire others to learn, grow, expand, evolve, and ultimately LOVE!