Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The separation of us

It's the vitriol I find chilling-- the vituperative name-calling and threats against those who disagree.   When did we lose sight of the fact that we are all in this together?  I disagree vehemently with Trump voters, but I am horrified at threatening people online, doxxing or swatting them.  This is particularly favored by a brand of right-winger (often alt-right winger) but there are some on the left as well.

We must stop this.

A favorite blogger Paul Kowaleswki at the Desert Retreat House writes,

I almost can’t bear looking at Facebook posts or Twitter feeds nowadays because the vitriol is so strong and the attacks against one another are so strident.

Buddhists teach that a primary cause of our human suffering is the false illusion that we are separated from one another. I embrace this wisdom as a basic truth about our human condition. Regardless of how many walls we may build or how tall we may build them, our borders are always artificial because as human beings we “are” a web of dynamic interdependent relationship.

Priest and author, Richard Rohr, puts it this way:

The problem is that we think we are separated from one another

Exactly—this is exactly what the problem is.
But we cannot re-join one another when one person refuses to listen.

How do we bridge the divide?  First, we stop namecalling, and of course threats of violence and online attacks have no place.  Those who engage in that level of behavior must be ostracized by all.

Next, we frame our discussion in each other's values. BP had me watch this effective  TED Talk, "How to have better political conversations" and I commend it to you highly.   Conservatives don't share my values.  How do I express my values in their framework so they "get" what I mean?

How do we reunite our fracture polis?



PseudoPiskie said...

The first use of "libtard" makes me realize productive conversation is impossible.

Kevin K said...

Rethuglican has a similar meaning. On a practical level I think if we can avoid "snark" it does a world of good. I try to avoid angry words although sometimes it is challenging.

John Julian said...

And then, of course, there's the simple option of plain avoidance of those folk—or at least silence in the face of nastiness—so nothing need be said, pro or con.