Is it the foxtrot or the tango? A waltz? A flapper dance? None really fit, but the dancing is daily and in full-force. Living in the United States is a whirlwind blur of movement. Everyone moves rapidly and all at once. Everyone stays confined to their circle. There is no crossing over. None is acceptable. What is right is only in one’s own mind.
The separation between people today in the United States is at an all-time high. Propelled by two political factions who want to separate and divide, the citizens seemingly must choose an edgy ground, polarized, and perhaps incomplete of their true views. Extremists exercise their value systems in the press, on social media, and as the computerized AI robot and its algorithms further carve us into our own caves, we as a people become separated, tense, unable to agree.
It’s hard to imagine people in society getting along and being able to compromise when their leaders can’t show any compromising of their own. I am amazed in my own life when I encounter so many people who have their own agenda and expect everyone else to ascribe to their complete value system, no questions asked. Most of these people (which in my view, is most of the people in United States society these days) can’t and won’t take a look at, read about, listen to the “other side’s” viewpoints. The solution is instead to continue to belligerently subscribe and listen to, read, soak up the views of those who also have joined them in their cave of sorrows (or of successes, if their chosen political allegiance is in power).
But what if things don’t work out? Where will these people be if their party no longer occupies the roost and their power position is diminished? First, I think we have to ask ourselves about how we apply and use leverage and its power. If we can’t get past the idea of “stick it to them while you can”, we’ll never climb out of the trenches and face one another as equal men and women. Second, we have to begin to realize that examination of a variety of positions and ideas, even if you’ve never shared those before, isn’t a way to transform a person into the “other side”. Instead, it’s a way of building bridges of understanding.
How can we all get along if all we do is harrangue each other all day and refuse to exit our caves?