We only experience a tiny blip on the map that is recorded human history, our lives merely a speck in the vast story that is who we are. I only have personal experience with a fraction of that, about 25 years, but the themes of history rarely reinvent themselves. War, ethnic cleansing, political and cultural revolutions, corruption, economic highs and lows – whether your 25 or 75, by this point you’ve witnessed these human conditions in one flavor or another. The specifics of the conditions are irrelevant – merely semantics.
What underlies all of these themes, and the many others on a list you could spend days creating, is the competition of ideologies – the differences that separate “us” from “them”. Of course “we” are the righteous and altruistic while “they” are the nameless, faceless, humanless enemy of everything that is right and just.
The fundamental problem with society right now is everyone wants to look at the faults of others, which they can’t control, rather than looking within at their own issues. If people began with introspection, rather than with projection, they would improve the world by improving themselves.
Trying to change other people is a fruitless endeavor and often breeds resentment and distrust on both sides – much like we are currently experiencing as a nation. No one likes to be preached at, and telling people their fundamental beliefs are wrong is far from a winning strategy.
The coastal liberals think that Middle America is the problem and vice versa, inevitably ending in gridlock and a trip further down the rabbit hole then we’ve already gone. Two opposing political views barrage the American public with more polarizing ideas, and the rhetoric is so divisive that it’s toxic.
Macro change occurs on a micro level and sanity – as well as truth – lies in the middle ground of opposing ideologies.
Why does it bother me so much that people have different opinions than I do? Why is it so important to me that I am right? Why do I desire total victory instead of working together to compromise?
These questions all have answers that are deeper and more personal than politics. Some of us have insecurity issues, prejudices, traumas – the list goes on ad infinitum – which we have not dealt with yet.
Regardless of what our political or other beliefs are, we all desire the same fundamental things – to be happy and create a better life for this generation and the next. There is no reason why we can’t meet somewhere in the middle, taking the best aspects of our competing ideas and using them to our advantage as opposed to using them as weapons to attack others.
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