Just to Clear the Air

The Day after election day November 4, 2020.
There is no rule that says we have to agree. There is no law which states you have to like what I say or that I have to like what you say.  There is also no law that says we have to be enemies if we see things differently. 
Enter our current situation and we find ourselves arguing on social media. We find ourselves getting involved in online arguments about politics. Enter our current status and here we are, waiting to see an election come to an end. And the truth is, I’m tired.

This is me just thinking out loud. Or, better yet, this is me writing out loud. Read if you choose, if not, I will understand.

I am not the left or the right. I will say this again the same as I have said this before. I am not the right or the left but instead, I am part of the heart of this country. I am a piece of machine.

I am a cog that spins the wheels of this country. I work and pay into a system with hopes the system I support will be around to pay me back when I retire. In fact, I work a lot. I work more than 40 hours on any given week. I have my day job and my after hours job and then there are the overtime hours that come with either of the two.

I am part of my city and state. I am part of my county and my town. I believe in a civic responsibility and I believe that to see change, I have to become part of the change. This means my voice can be as loud as ever but if I have no weight behind my voice and there is no work behind my views then I am as helpful as a loud noise that does nothing else but complain.

I am not sure why people argue online. I am not sure why people that were best friends and even family will no longer speak because they differ in political beliefs. I am not sure why people feel so comfortable to interject their unsolicited opinions whenever they choose.

But yet, they do.

I see this and I see the world as it is. I see what’s going on in my community and all that is going unaddressed. I see mental health slipping and I see finger pointing, blaming and no one willing to listen to anyone else.
I see people argue online, and also live and in person. I hear them talk about their opinions and talk about the beliefs, which they have the right to do but how is this helping.

See, me?
I don’t want to argue. I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to engage in an online dispute with someone behind a computer screen, smashing their fingers on a keyboard to emphasis their point, and meanwhile, neither this person nor I have done anything successfully except piss each other off and complain at one another over the internet.

I am not interested in changing anyone’s beliefs and I am not interested in anyone changing mine. I am not here to promote or lead by promotion. No, it was taught to me the way to lead best is to lead by example. And this is the example I choose to follow.

There was a man that I worked with. He used to talk to me and teach me about God. He was born again. He was a nice guy but we found ourselves in long talks and intense debates about the fact of God or if there really is one.
He was kind to me. He was kind enough that I would call this man a good friend. I say he was a good friend because he listened to me about my beliefs (or the lack thereof) and at the end of our discussions, he would tell me, “Either way, we’re gonna find out who is right eventually”.

We shared a commonality which was to be better people. We both wanted to live a better life. Neither of us had ever cornered the market on God or had the right to say we knew better than the other.
There are some people, however, who believe with all of their hearts that if we do not pray to “Their “ God, that we are just wrong and we will automatically be condemned to hell.
This was not the case between the man and myself. He had his beliefs and I had mine. And do you know what? We sat together. We broke bread together. We worked together and we laughed together. And we got along without any issue. We may have seen things differently but differences to the side, both of us just wanted the best for ourselves.

I am not proud of what I see in my community. I am not proud of the name calling that comes from either side; the left or right, democrat or republican. I am not proud of the division I see or the promotion of fake news that leads in either direction. I am sad to see the separation between friends and family because their opinions may differ. 

See, to me, politics have become the new religion. Only, it’s not pray to my God or be condemned, it’s more like vote for my party or go to hell! 

Years ago there was a movie from my childhood, which I look back upon now and I laugh. The story was about Montgomery Brewster. The movie was called Brewster’s Millions. He inherited a lot of money but there was a catch. He had to spend $30 million in 30 days without having any assets at the end of the time period; and in accordance with the rules, he would inherit $300 million.
Sounds easy, right?

In an effort to waste a lot of money, Brewster decided to run for mayor. Only he didn’t want anyone to vote for him. He didn’t run to win, he ran to lose. Brewster said, “Only an idiot would vote for me, which is why I’m asking you to vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE!”

Unfortunately, this is not an option for us now. But you know what, I would rather vote for “None of the above” and see a better display of civic responsibility and community than what I see now. I said goodbye to organized religion a long time ago because I never believed anyone had the right to corner the market on God. I say the same thing with politics because I don’t believe anyone has the right to corner the market on freedom. But that’s just me.

Agree or not, if we were really friends before the election then we’ll still be friends afterwards. And if we’re not, then we weren’t friends to begin with.

060417-N-8157C-162 Hawaii (April 17, 2006) Ð The American flag flies prominently during the World Patriot Tour performance at Hickam Air Force Base. This is the last show for the World Patriot Tour. The tour started in early April and included concerts for service members and their families in Turkey, Japan, Korea, three deployed locations in Southwest Asia and Hawaii. The performers traveled more than 26,000 miles on Military Airlift Command flights in just under two weeks. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Dennis Cantrell (RELEASED)

One thought on “Just to Clear the Air

  1. We agree that in this great country, what so many struggled and worked to become, that communication is at the heart of sharing ideas in the hopes the best becomes. In a true democratic republic, there will be calm discussions, heated discussions, name calling, and debates. It is par for the course, though I would like to see politicians setting a better example, for they are adults in an adult world, having very important jobs: working for the people. And with all the problems we have, there are going to be people seeing the sources, realizing their livelihoods and those of their children will be affected, even future generations, and in this, they want to do everything possible for a better tomorrow. It’s kind of like parents who see their children going down the wrong path, though they raised them well, were good examples, and provided for all their needs, setting the stage for their lives. Calmly talking. But when they see the tragedies ahead with their wrong decisions, they want to “wake” up their children, and sometimes, that comes with arguments and heated debates. It’s par for the course. We agree that better communication, seeing each other as brothers and sisters is better and sets a better tone of discussions. But sometimes, when times are very serious, perhaps because past generations didn’t do the work they should have, we have what we see today. I always like to talk with a calm voice, encourage understanding, but even I understand that sometimes direct, strong, confrontational speaking is what’s required to “wake” someone up. But it’s a timing thing. But we need more calm voices of reason.

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