Are you a democrat, or are you a republican? Do I really want to know? Unequivocally no!
I passed the 60-year-old mark several years ago. I have no recollection of any point in my life where I have witnessed people put one another down, outfaced ugly, walk on me until you have flattened me to the pavement hateful, solely (at least, it appears that way) because of political party preference. Of course, I have seen division on social media in the past few presidential elections, but it was mild compared to the rift we are seeing today.
I do not understand.
Simply put, in my eyes, people are people. People do not wear a big D or R on their foreheads. Even if they did, I would respect them regardless. Every party has its values and its downfalls. Every single one. There is no such thing as perfect.
What saddens and frustrates me, beyond the division on social media, are the news channels. We do not watch television in our household. We do watch YouTube, which gives us the ability to pick and choose what we want to see and hear, but we seldom dial into news because so much of it is exaggerated and biased. In today’s culture, news media is at an extreme soap opera level (melodrama with sensational exaggerated characters and dramatic events with one main purpose, to appeal to the public and to make money).
A person has to be an Inspector Jacques Clouseau type, with a magnifying glass in hand, assessing and dissecting every inch, every dotted ‘i,’ and every crossed ‘t,’ to ensure news is processed and received as it should be—sifted out to contain only the truth. Then, it leaves a person wondering, what IS the truth?
I do not have answers to any of these frustrations except for my choice to not hold people in contempt for their preference of political party. I believe in respect. I believe in treating people as worthy human beings no matter your hat or tie color, or which campaign sign is posted in your yard.
My choice is to be kind. I do believe kindness matters.
We need to get back down to basics. Basic humanity, a natural state that contains interest in the well-being of others. We live in a big world, but it is small considering that the ripples of caring empathy can start and spread from efforts made by one person.
A friend recently pointed out, “It is all about the small things in life.” The small things that we do for others and for our communities do make a difference, and it is catching.
Can we make a difference in our world today? I believe we can.