We're very good at focusing on what is wrong in the world and what we don't like. And we express a great deal of emotion - especially anger - about what we don't like and don't want. Everywhere you look, people are talking about what's wrong and what we hate. It's not a liberal thing or conservative thing. It's not a religious thing or an agnostic thing. It's the American culture today.
We obsess over bad news, people who should be hated, and things that shouldn't be happening. We do it at both ends of every spectrum and across most of the in between. We focus on what didn't/doesn't work and love to place blame on somebody - anybody.
With the energy we put out into the world, we help create that world. If our vision goes no further than what we hate, what we don't want, and who to blame - we will get more of what we hate, what we don't want and someone to blame. We need to create a vision of what we want to see happen and put more energy into that vision than we do focusing on what we don't want. That vision needs to be facing forward creating a beacon for where we will go.
Things change. That's one thing we can be certain about. It doesn't need to be a whirlpool or a cesspool. If we help create the change we want to see, we can be positive about it. It can be difficult as often things seem to be beyond our control but I tend to think every effort we make in a positive direction will help change the course.
Here are some small strategies I'm trying:
1) Try to state a positive outcome instead of focusing on the negative thing that happened.
2) Consider how to get to that positive outcome
3) Avoid inflammatory characterizations or statements
4) State facts and avoid emotional reactions
5) Don't make fun of anyone - in other words, do no harm
It will be a great deal easier to talk to one another if we can all do these few basic things. We still may not agree but we might get a lot closer to real solutions to real problems. I know I can't change the world but I can change me. This is where I'm starting.