I was looking over various articles, YouTube videos, and tweets and it struck me how little I’m shocked by nowadays, and I don’t just mean by shocking things like edgy jokes or graphic scenes in televisions shows.
In the course of a few weeks I’ve watched as people wished death on someone just for being their political opponent, killed someone because they are their political opponent, burn down the neighborhoods of innocent people in the name of protecting the very people whose neighborhoods they burned down, watched as scientists attempted to deny science in the name of politics, watched as people ignored a major political scandal in Minnesota, and much much more.
While it definitely displeases me, I’m no longer shocked by it. I expect it now. What’s more, I’ve become amazed by the fact that I’m no longer even shocked by people who suddenly abandon each other because of political disagreements. Friendships have dissolved and the basis for getting along comes down to how much you agree with them.
I feel as if in this day and age, we all just want to be friends with clones of ourselves, and while it’s always good to be refreshed by spending time with people who like what you like, believe what you believe, and value what you value, it’s unhealthy to put yourself amongst these people at all times.
Yet this kind of attitude happens constantly. We reject each other, rage at each other, and more all because we just can’t agree that one man is very good or very evil. I’ve had several friends walk away from me and while it hurt it’s not shocking. I kind of expected it.
I’m reminded of a story my dad once told me about when he was a little way into his career as a police officer.
He had been dealing with someone who had recently died and whose body had been taken to the morgue. My dad was filling out the paperwork as the body sat in front of him on the table, and he realized at that moment that he was feeling kind of hungry. He had a snickers bar in his pocket so he took it out, unwrapped it, and began eating it as he was filling out this report.
It hit him as he was eating the Snickers bar. He had become so used to seeing things that most people would consider horrific that the sight of certain gruesome things no longer affected him. So much so that he could sit and eat a candy bar in front of a corpse without thinking about it.
While I’m not trying to say that what I’m experiencing is anything like what our men and women in uniform experience, I had a moment where I realized things just don’t shock me anymore.
And they should.
We should be absolutely horrified by how far we’ve drifted from one another as people and that this drift has caused us to accept the destruction and abandonment of one another over mere opinions. We’ve so demonized one another that we immediately assume the worst upon learning about each other’s political preferences.
It’s tragic that we’ve fallen that far and that we’ve just kind of accepted that to the point where many of us join in. I can’t completely blame people for joining in. There is a lot at stake and the vicious nature of what’s trying to take over America requires a concentrated response.
However, we shouldn’t be at this point. We’ve ingested a poison that needs to be purged ASAP. We need to recognize each other again as countrymen and community members.
While I know this could be considered rainbows and unicorns kind of thinking, I’m not asking for us all to join hands and sing “Kumbaya.” I just think we should be able to recognize our enemies from our friends, allies, or even acquaintances and treat each accordingly.