Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Walking the narrow path
We are, as a country and a planet, in a place of deep turmoil. One of the things I know beyond any doubt is that my words will not change anyone's mind, nor will theirs change mine. I forgot for a moment the truth of that. It was an uncomfortable reminder. Discord has no place in my life. I simply do not believe in arguing, in feuds, in estrangements, in being at odds with those I love or even like. I've learned through years of stress-induced ills and infirmities that fighting is very bad for my health. It weakens the immune system, erases a quiet mind and produces only grief. It steals sleep and the ability to trust in a good outcome.
I also don't believe that hate is an appropriate word to apply to other living things, least of all to my fellow humans. Disagreement needs to include tolerance, the forebearing of hate-filled exchanges, of baiting, demeaning, ridiculing, insulting, oppressing, bullying. It is unreasonable to expect to hold the moral high ground when one is spouting venom, no matter how perfume-drenched it may be.
I do not feel we are required to explain ourselves to others. I believe all are entitled to the dignity of choice, for which we each have very personal reasons, strongly held ideas.
It is a narrow path, trying to walk through this mine field, not staying neutral but maintaining what I hope can be a respectful silence. My voice added to the din would only make it louder. I hear of families so divided they cannot sit together at the Thanksgiving table, detente a distant illusion. My immediate family, never exactly large, has dwindled. Its members are too rare and precious, our years here growing too short to treat recklessly in the election's aftermath. A harmonious life is hard-won, not by abandoning our truths but by asking them to sit quietly in the back seat for the duration of the ride.