My goals for writing are simple. I write to make the world a better place. To help someone feel better. To empower others. To share what I have learned. To create conversation. And to question the way we think
I’ve come to understand that beyond our differences we’re mostly the same. Our differences do matter. Not everyone wants to change the world. Some people want to simply enjoy the world they live in. We have spotlight seekers and we have those who prefer to be behind the scenes. There are those who use others to feel good and those who spend their life bringing joy to someone else.
A favorite color to one is disliked by another. Difference is part of uniqueness. How bland would the world be with only one color in it? Taste in sports, style, entertainment speak to a persons individuality. Our gene pool, culture, and exposure will be factors in our choices. Judgement isn’t always rational and fact driven. Sometimes, its reactionary, based on personal pain or disappointment. Two of us can see an event or hear a story and report two separate versions.
Our perceptions of ourselves affect how we see other people. We can be uncomfortable with what we know and also with the unknown. Fear can be a friend or an enemy. We will be constantly reminded of our differences. Authenticity isn’t about standing in a crowd it’s about finding the courage to stand alone. Whether there’s a crowd or not. To be real it might take facing the crowd in opposition.
Negative points of view are much different from positive points of view. But they each draw conclusions. Passion comes in two dominate flavors; love and hate. Much of the driving force behind creative endeavors is traced to these dictators. They inspire the pictures we paint of our lives. Love and hate show up in our movies, music, and in our motives. And, in writings.
Shock jocks might think they’re teaching us all a lesson but, if they didn’t get attention, they wouldn’t do it. You will find many doing what they receive praise for doing. Others only get involved if they can remain anonymous. I think there are people genuinely embarrassed to be publicly acknowledged. And there are people who are wrecked if they don’t get their due.
Our achievements allow us to taste possibility. Our failures can and should alert us to things we’ve been ignoring. These are two of our best instructors. They can show us the abundance in moderation. War-mongers and conquest thinkers get a lot of publicity. But peacemakers are needed to keep things in balance. Often people think their opinion reigns supreme while tragically discarding difference.
Those of us who understand equity, the value of a dollar, and how to protect an investment will make repairs before trashing anything. Our most prized assets will always be our relationships. We can each stomp our feet, throw temper tantrums, and threaten one another with excommunication from our social world order. But, I ask the question, can’t we do better? Is destroying other human beings the best we can do? It just seems a bit too much like Hitler, Stalin, and McCarthy. An attitude of, if you disagree with me, you have no right to exist! Really? I mean, really?
The internal battles we lose have a way of showing up in the public square. To wage a successful campaign it’s best not to confuse fighting within ourselves with fighting among ourselves. The human experience is best savored when no one has to be eaten, devastated, or destroyed. I’m doubtful being unreasonable will ever become virtuous. I will defend my loved ones when needed. It’s just that, I’ve never met a paper tiger, with any actual teeth.
How can we improve on civility?