Hello and welcome to Friday, February 14, 2020! This is a rare and precious Valentine’s Day that will never come again. And though it may not seem like it at first, this week’s topic really is focused on love – the unconditional variety!
Without voicing any opinions, statements or judgments regarding the innocence or guilt of President Trump, what was reconfirmed to me after the recent Senate impeachment trial is that so many people are more concerned with being true to their tribe than seeking the truth.
It’s comforting to sit around and have meaningful conversations with like-minded friends. It’s a safe environment to voice concerns, rant and let some steam off meow and then. I get it, I really do. I appreciate my like-minded friends and I wholeheartedly believe they’re important in our lives. I want to stress that I am in no way trying to communicate in this piece that we should abandon our like-minded communities! Absolutely not! What I am awakening to, however, is the potential detrimental effects they can have on our society. As we become more comfortable within our groups, if we are unmindful, our friendships may trend towards being less about common interests and more about common enemies.
In our like-minded groups, it’s easy to allow ourselves to be condescending towards those who don’t have the same beliefs. This patronizing superiority can often become dehumanizing. I have heard Trump referred to as a “disgusting pig” and that “democrats are not even human.” As history will confirm, this prejudiced dehumanization is the first step towards genocide!
As our like-minded conversations regarding “those people” progress, we may focus more and more on what we consider deplorable and less and less on all their other qualities. “Their” preposterous opinions on one or two “hot topic issues” becomes who they are! We tend to lose sight of the fact that just like us, they are trying to find happiness and avoid suffering. We tend to forget that just like us, they have all know despair, sadness and pain. We can’t seem to recall that just like us, they are doing the very best they can to get their needs met and are learning how to live and navigate this messy world without a comprehensive “how to” manual.