When the World is Upside Down

There are days I want to isolate myself from the world.  The hate, conspiracy theories and broken systems are simply too much.  I do not thrive on chaos, it does not energize me or give me purpose.  I have those already.

I remember a time that good, thoughtful people worked to bring things back in balance.  They did not always succeed, but you recognized the effort and in time, things did change. Utopia? Hardly, but there was at least enough progress that you felt hope and saw some advancement.

What I see makes me fearful.  I am more distrustful of the federal government than I am of protesters. I’ve spent 35 years working in government, so I have learned a thing or two.  I am more concerned about hate and misinformation flowing from cable “news” shows and talk radio, than I am of the “fake news” branded organizations.

Sadly, I do not see efforts to work together or resolve differences, just a growing sense of combat.

What I find most concerning is where I find messages of intolerance and conspiracy coming from.  It is all around.  Across the street, the next office over, next to you at the grocery store, even in the family.  Inside the wire, as soldiers would say when a threat was inside the perimeter.

Disagreeing is fine if you can discuss civilly and perhaps explore perspectives.  A discussion is not being preached to and verbally condemned.  Opinions are not the same as facts.  Pushing aside facts, simply  because you do not agree with them, does not allow you to create alternative “facts” that will better support your position.  In this society we seem more concerned with being right, than being informed and doing the hard work of sorting through sources and verifying the accuracy of information.

I do not rely on just one news source, or one type of source.  Sometimes, information that is too good to be true, is not true.  I have been tricked into falling for false information.  I blame myself.  Even if it is false or misleading, if you keep repeating it, people will believe it.  The power of repetition.

The United States is not so united, it is at war with itself.  Deep divisions are evident.  The sides are entrenched and it is about winning, not problem-solving and healing.  The stakes are high and the frictional energy should alarm everyone.  Many people behave as if they are islands, not caring about a network of interdependent actions and systems.  Society is a chain of humanity, linked together for common purpose. I still try to believe that.  However, if I could afford to buy an island and move there…depends on the day.

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