“Don't be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn't do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today.”
I had debated with myself about what I should do my next myTake on, but considering the state of the world right now, it quickly became clear what I needed to write about. Everyday I log into this app and I see the usual posts fishing for attention as well as genuine questions that somehow devolve into a gender war, which admittedly, I have been involved in myself. I think it is easy to take the stance of "My way is the only right way" when in reality the truth is closer to "My way is the only way I know how to be comfortable with".
It would be easy for me to start writing about my thoughts on politics, gender roles, my support of the LGBT community, parenting and many other topics. It would be easy for this whole post to devolve into another war being waged in the comment section. It would be easy for us to draw our battle lines and dare the other side to cross so that our reactions become justified. My challenge to you and to myself is to listen to what the other side has to say, whether you agree or not to their point. It's not about getting people to agree with you, it's simply about getting to vocalize why you feel a particular way and actively listening to what the others think about their position. Maybe, if we are lucky, we can even find a middle ground.
“If I do not believe as you believe, it proves that you do not believe as I believe, and that is all that it proves.”
― Thomas Paine
I can only write about the workings of the US right now. I am aware of the conflicts across the seas, but I don't dare try to speak on something I am not qualified or have the knowledge to discuss intelligently. I do think though, some of the same threads could be applied to most conflict. For those here in the US we are still having the same debates today that we have had since the founding of this country, the topic of race, politics, and wealth. As I stated earlier, I am not here to break these down further. I just want to know, when did we forget how to talk to one another? When did this become a battle of who can shout the loudest and get the biggest headlines? When did we forget how to be civil and learn to find compromise?
I question if we ever did have it at all.
Is this simply a modern reflection of who we always have been? Is this a reflection of who we always will be? Will complacency in allowing this type of rhetoric to continue ultimately be our downfall? I know among us there are rational, compassionate, hard working people who seek solace in the thoughts of "They are all crazy. I am staying out of it", but it shouldn't be that way at all. We need those people to stand up and command the room, temper the fires of debate from both sides, and help guide us to a more tolerant way of speaking to one another.
“In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.”
― Dalai Lama
Maybe this is all just a pipe dream. A fantastical wish from the young scared version of me just trying to be accepted by those around her. Will this have any impact at all or only be met with cynical doubt or derision? I guess it is up to each of us to decide how we go from here. I am not expecting miracles or for mass amounts of change. I just hope one person reads this and decides to take a different approach in their conversations. I hope that one inspires another to do the same. A slow trickle that turns into a flood to drown out and wash away the inflammatory voices of both sides.
In the end, none of us should die for an ideal that can't be molded into something better for us all.
“Discord is the great ill of mankind; and tolerance is the only remedy for it.”