While this blog takes its name from an iconic movie line, it has never been more true in our society today. News and barbs coming out of our nation’s capital in recent days makes that fact even more evident. There is, it seems, no longer a middle ground – for thought, opinion or conversation. There is no black and white, only areas of gray with everyone seeing red. When one or both sides attack and claim victory, there can be no real winners.
How have facts become so skewed? How have lies and inappropriate behavior become so accepted by so many members of our society? Why can we not have reasonable, nonpartisan examinations of and discussions about hot button topics and issues – especially those that threaten our democracy? Instead, there is a divisiveness that serves to distract from the real challenges at hand. And so we learn nothing, accomplish nothing. Get nowhere. Vladimir Putin must be pleased. The rest of the world (and Baltimore) looks on in astonishment.
When we become so entrenched in our own opinions while seeking out and conferring with only like-minded individuals and media outlets, we become blind to a much bigger picture; something larger than any one person or party. We can’t see what is literally staring us in the face, let alone the proverbial forest through the trees. We can’t even agree to disagree. And what are we teaching our impressionable children?
The word “communicating” is defined in the dictionary as “sharing or exchanging news or ideas.” It says nothing about attacking or offending. Time for us all to adjust our approach. To stop hating and start debating, albeit with mutual respect. To treat social media as a place to stay connected rather than a forum for spewing personal, toxic insults. An idyllic dream? It shouldn’t have to be. But we have to right the ship before we are too far gone and seek common ground before that precious ground is lost.