Last week, after the tragic shooting in Texas, I posted something from Moms Demand Action on my Instagram account, inviting followers to make their voices and choices heard. Not long after, a couple of readers who have followed my work for a while started arguing back and forth with each other in the comment section of the post. This went on for hours until one of them finally deleted the rant.
As I watched the fight ensue, I thought about how, for a few years now, the media has warned of a civil war here in America. Last night, as I lay in bed thinking about those followers on Instagram and all that transpired in the media this week, it occurred to me that we are already in the midst of a civil war. But the battlefield has changed. This new combat is waged online, in social media circles, through Tik Tok videos, and on Facebook and Instagram reels. It’s fueling the polarization of America, a condition that warps perspective and keeps us divided and at odds with one another.
I wish there were easy answers. I’d love for things to be simple, black and white, and crystal clear. But life is complex. Human beings, even more so. We share vastly different perspectives and varying levels of consciousness and self-awareness, and we are each shaped by our individual histories. Add to that the reality that when we’re scared, we lose perspective, and we turn to survival behaviors like bullying, taking sides, freezing, running and hiding, or fighting to get our way, and we know all too well where that leads.
I’m tired and I bet you are, too. I want leaders who understand what it means to live in a complex world with complex problems. I’d like politicians to have integrity and to care more about doing the right thing for all than supporting their own interests. I want representatives who are self-reflective, emotionally intelligent, and who possess sound, critical thinking skills.
Oh, and I’d like politicians to be enrolled in therapy so they are actively growing themselves up and moving beyond any insatiable desire for wealth and power.
Yes, I have big dreams :D
At the end of the day, when my own rant is done, I remember that change requires consistent action and that it begins with me. I need to be that kind of leader in my home, in my daily interactions, in my community, and when engaged in my own work in the world. But that’s still not enough.
There is no perfection when it comes to people, but there are those who lean toward the light. These are the people I intend to support with my money, my time and energy, and my vote. I hope you will, too.