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His volume and intensity sent me scurrying for a safe place. Even though my stepfather has been in the grave for several years, he still holds the deplorable position of being the most miserable man I’ve ever known. He was an angry person! And, he made most everyone who entered his space afraid, on some level.
If you want me to hear you don’t drown out your words with emotions too uncomfortable for me to pay attention. I want to listen to what you have to say. I want to understand you. You’re important to me and the world we share. I desire to affirm your value. In return, I expect to be equally valued in spite of any differences between us.
I recognize our political climate. It’s broken, dysfunctional, and will not be easily changed. It has taken years and years for us to develop our current state of affairs. Our two prevailing parties have had their opportunities to serve the greater good. What we have are unimaginable failures. We are left with excuse making and blame gaming at epic proportions. Personalities aren’t going to save us from ourselves.
When both sides of the proverbial aisle speak, I hear the same worn out and tired elitist propaganda. I’ve never seen the level of commitment to immaturity I’m witnessing in our public discourse. One great marvel for me is the notion that we have the brightest among us leading the way. Some of our politicians have been in office so long it defies logic to give them a pass on being responsible for the disorder we’re living in. This is an absolute crisis of leadership no matter which camp you choose to pitch your tent in.
We can stay the course or we can rise to our potential. We can look inside to calm ourselves with compassion toward one another or we can continue to justify our hatred of disagreement. Don’t expect anything to change… if you don’t. The only thing special about individual agendas are how damaging they are to the well-being of the larger community. Specific issues have appropriate responses if we will get our attitudes adjusted to adult settings. Until we each acknowledge accountability for donating to our present fiasco the storm will continue to form.
I had no choice but to be subjected to the temper tantrums of my stepfather, who had the emotional makeup of an adolescent until I became old enough to go my own way. When I became a man I put away childish things. I find it gratifying to resolve conflict and remedy challenges with wisdom instead of war. The roots of bloodshed reside in the depths of our internal workings. If you can’t make room, for those who don’t see it precisely the way you do, you don’t carry the message we need to move forward.
Public service has been replaced with public office, (career politicians). Our judicial system has been turned into a legal playground where justice happens only on accident. Our religious institutions are often self-serving. Corporate corruption is rampant. From education to homelessness our Country is in steady decline. We have a lot of work to do to correct our course. It has to begin with us. We must accept individual responsibility for the change we want to see.
Whatever virtues our traditional media outlets were designed in have disappeared long ago. We now have to fight for pure information. The facts are hidden under layers of carefully crafted rhetoric orchestrated for maximum mind control. I have too much hope for a better tomorrow to yield to cynicism. I know we can do better. I believe in us!
People are angry. I get it. But, anger is an invitation to compassion. It’s our understanding that must grow up. When hate is used to argue against hate it’s just noise. If we will climb down from our imaginary pedestals of superiority and listen to one another, with a desire to make sense of the other persons’ point of view, we can seize an incredible opportunity to advance in the direction of inclusion.
I don’t have an aisle to reach across. It’s a void that I’m referring to. A gap in our collective consciousness. There’s a lack of awareness in our understanding that every person has the exact same value. True equality is altruistic and has a clear sound. An egoistic argument has the distinction of amplified selfishness and nothing more.
Image courtesy of FredMikeRudy via flickr.com
If you, in fact, have an answer, please don’t disguise it behind name calling, the antics of a bully, or the rants of a spoiled brat. We all need something to respect here. We have an abundance of pollution… what we need are solutions. I’m looking for poise, not noise.
Laws are for the lawless. Painted lines and traffic signs along the highway are there to keep us all safe. Violate the rules of the road and the law hands you a note of penalty, hopefully. If you are hell-bent on passing laws, to give or gain unmerited exemptions, releasing you from adherence or penalty you have saved me the time and trouble of identifying the real you. Burning buildings, destroying property, causing bodily injury or death won’t bring us together. It’s the wrong kind of kind of noise.
It was Mother Teresa, who so eloquently stated, “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Anyone can tear down. It takes a courageous soul to build up. I hear all the ear-piercing noise of disappointment. We all do. And, we are the only ones who can make it go away.
Together, if willing, we can find meaning in the noise.
Rick is an author, speaker, blogger, and TV host.
“Rick on Life” at http://www.facebook.com/TLBTV airs Sundays at 10:00 am PST
Book: If Only I Had A Dad available on Amazon
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