January 16, 2022- I had a satisfying breakfast at Zeke’s, yesterday. I always have a satisfying breakfast at Zeke’s, once a week, when I’m at Home Base. I had a satisfying breakfast at American Legion Post 6, this morning. I most often have a satisfying breakfast at Post 6, each Sunday morning, when I’m here.
I had civil and mutually informative conversations, both days, with people who think differently from me, on a good many topics. We learned from one another, because we are not engaged in World War Ten against each other.
Years ago, I recall telling a pacifist friend that I was going to VietNam, to see for myself, what was going on there. It was the last conversation I ever had with him. Whilst protesting our involvement there, he adopted an authoritarian mindset. No other point of view could thus be entertained-or even approached.
All these years later, we as a society are headed in the same direction. On one side, we see a clamour for restriction on those who seek a more inclusive society. On the other side, we see a clamour for restriction, on those who seek a more restrictive society. In the end, each will get a leadership which will restrict everyone not in agreement with its agenda- unless we, the people wake up, become awakened– not “woke”, which is a verb tense, not an adjective.
Psychologists speak of approach/avoidance- a dichotomy in dealing with those people who, and situations which, are at variance with our own mindsets. Some people, such as a conman or grifter, are best set straight and then avoided, henceforth. Some situations, such as a riot, are best not joined-and are a good bet to be avoided. Then, there are those occasions, when a true lover of the human race moves towards the crisis, approaches those suffering or in need-and gives of self-especially of one’s strengths and capabilities. These could be natural disasters, acts of terror or a vulnerable person in need of protection.
When I contemplate how to respond to such events and situations, in the days, months and years ahead, I only ask the Creator, the Higher Power, to grant continuing strength-to approach all with a clear sense of love, fairness and justice-but above all, with the strength of discernment, to not fall victim to any preconceived notions, arising from the person’s stated beliefs or political leanings.
Always a good tactic to avoid situations that are out of control. We have lost the ability to have civil discourse and forego the hurling of rock, bottles, and the use of weapons. The idea that the tongue is mightier than the sword is being put to the test in our society. It causes me to fear for our democracy.
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There are more people, around here at least, who can differ without demonizing one another. There was a march for Voting Rights, this morning, that proceeded without so much as a middle finger lifted in opposition, though there are many here, who fear “Federal control of elections”.