The internet brings our inner selves to the surface and if you think that is a good thing think again. A mob of nasty mouth pieces are chewing the world up like gluttons at a cheap buffet. While bashing bullies, they bully. While discrediting hatred, they spew hate. While expressing an ability to love those who are different than themselves, they crucify half of the population for not agreeing with them. They label, categorize, and pronounce judgment in the name of unity.
These are surely divisive times, but division only works if one side is willing to turn against or destroy the other. It is no coincidence that critical thinking skills have been cut from school curriculum, or that students are pushed away from a central prospective toward wildly varying extremes in efforts to coerce blind obedience to one narrative or another. There was, I promise, a time when our children were neither pawns nor targets. There was a time we were not girded in hatred and suspicion.
There was a time we didn’t feel so terribly entitled or supremely knowledgeable. There was a time we didn’t excuse bad behavior by insisting such behavior was a right.
Once I said and believed I would never lose a friend over differences in political or religious points of view, but that was before I understood people have grown to deeply believe reality is either black or white, never grey; that compromise is a sign of weakness rather than strength, and that one personal opinion far outweighs all of the other personal opinions in the world because it belongs to you.
I’m old enough to remember when it wasn’t cool to fall in love with the sound of our own voice, and rather than loving a rush that comes after having verbally slaughtered or shamed a perceived opponent, we would have ourselves felt shame. So, in deed, I have lost friends as I stepped into the new world where perspectives are carved in stone, and everyone demands validation.
But I have to say I feel empty inside; in spite of the fact that I know I am not alone. And as I pull away to rebuild, to light once again the inner flame of compassion and trust I’ve lost, I often find tears running down my face, and I am filled with disappointment and woe for what might have been.
I don’t want a trophy or special attention because I know I’m not special, and neither are you. We are all in the same boat, rocky as it is, and God help us as we bicker like spoiled children to see which lie we want to believe.
And God save us from ourselves.