Respectfully opinionated

Over the weekend, as the tragedy in Tucson, Arizona unfolded and comments from politicians, spokespeople and your next door neighbor started pouring in, a huge collective magnifying glass was pulled out by some to look at the rhetoric that has been used on political platforms throughout the country. I will refrain from naming any well-trodden examples here, as I'm sure you all read about them and commented on them in your various blogs and social networks. I watched comments pouring in on the Facebook news feed, with heated verbal sparring going on, and, on some occasions, massive venting of the less than respectful variety. I do understand the need for immediate expression. But I also believe strongly in the power of words and thoughts, in the weight a word carries and in the wounds it can inflict. I have put my foot in my mouth plenty of times and am still working on getting better at being respectfully opinionated. The oft-quoted "vitriol" that political exchange is often soaked in these days permeates not only political stages but also our everyday lives. How we treat each other reflects on how we behave as a nation. I cannot directly change the level of discourse on national political level. What I personally can do is add a pinch of mindfulness to my own behavior as a human being. I can only, as always, start with myself. Or, to say it with Ghandi: "You must be the change you want to see in the world."

1 comment:

  1. I hear you, Elisabeth. As much as I dislike this rhetoric of 'reloading' and 'targeting' politicians, what I worry about more is a second amendment solution; that is to say, a solution to the problem of the second amendment. It seems much less likely that an attack of this sort would've happened in England, Japan, or Scandanavia, where it's much harder to obtain a gun, legally or otherwise. Now, perhaps it's also consequently much less likely we'd hear this rhetoric in these places to begin with; it's a bit of a chicken-or-the-gun thing. Now you can say that you can prove something like that, but the statistics about gun deaths in those country don't lie, even when you adjust for differences in population.

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