Whatever happened to “agreeing to disagree?”
When I first launched this blog in 2014, it was really an experiment in storytelling, and engaging a small community to join me on a mission to benefit a local Habitat for Humanity affiliate. It was part personal challenge, part fairy tale, and part “get on board or get out of the way” sheer determination to make what some deemed impossible possible.
And oh, what a tale it became, with a “happily ever after” ending leading to a Habitat home for a veteran. (Curious? Click “The Beatles Adventures” tab.)
But so much has changed since then.
The Right Brain Diaries has become somewhat of my online diary when I have something to say—not necessarily for others, but sometimes just to share things that inspire me, celebrate triumphs and to vent about injustices. There’s something quite magical about tapping keys and turning words into sentences, and sentences into stories, and every now and then, those stories resonate with others. But I digress…
Recently, I feel I’ve lost the magic. The mojo. The fire.
Sometimes, I have so much to say and no idea how to say it.
Other times, words fail me.
So much of what we, as a nation, are experiencing is sad and troubling and mind boggling. I’ve pretty much avoided social media, because it feels like so much of it has become a toxic cesspool of hateful political vitriol that darkens the soul.
I’ve watched lifelong friends have fallouts and families fractured because they don’t share the same political beliefs. In the past, we could civilly agree to disagree, then move on to other topics. But somehow, so many have forgotten what it’s like to do so.
I do my best to remain politically neutral in public forums, in part because in a relatively small community, in some of the races I have friends who are running against each other so neutrality is my best option. But for some, the sacrifice of family or friends simply because they don’t share the same beliefs is perfectly okay.
I just don’t get it.
The dark political campaigns only add fuel to that divisive fire.
We see politicians making promises they know they can’t keep, but it matters not if they can convince voters they can. We see vicious attacks on opponents that are downright sickening.
To that, I can only express my personal belief: if one must spend an entire campaign spinning falsehoods and viciously attacking an opponent rather than touting qualifications and a commitment to serve the people, that person has no business running for office.
I know I’m not the only one who’s downright exhausted from the toxicity, not only from such campaigns, but from the many for whom dirty politics has become the rule rather than the exception.
At what point do we decide enough is enough?
At what point do we return to agreeing to disagree?
At what point do we value lifelong friends and family relationships more than politics, especially given that in the big picture, these times are such a small sliver of our lives?
I’m ready to return to those times.
I know I’m not alone.