Thursday, July 3, 2014

Living Moderately in a Polarized World

I don't always notice it... usually it's when some major political issue or election comes up, like recently with the Hobby Lobby ruling. But, on a political scale, I believe moderately.  What does that mean?  I tend to run towards the middle... there are some things that I would fall on one party's side for, and there are other issues that I fall on the other. And I think that, because of this, it's easier for me to think sanely about the people who lie on the other side of the issue of the day -- because sometimes those people are people I agree with, and sometimes they aren't. But, whatever the issue... they're the same people, with the same heart.

But, our world has become one that isn't very moderate. I don't know if it's always been this way, or if it's just that I notice it more as I've gotten older, or if it's truly changed with the advent of the internet. People are polarized... They believe all the way one way... or all the way the other way.  And there isn't a lot of middle ground.

But, I think that what's worse is that, with the polarization, people have somehow lost the ability to see the people on their other side. People who believe otherly have become the bad guys, they have become objects of anger. People forget that the people who believe differently... they're just people. Maybe with different thoughts, but with the same hearts.

I don't really know how to live in a world like that, so usually I just stay quiet about what I believe... or even what I'm not sure to believe. (Except for the occasional "HMPH" blog... I'll be honest.)

That happened to me yesterday... in two different places, amongst two different "sides," I voiced my thoughts that I wasn't sure. There were parts of both sides' arguments that I could identify with, and I hadn't yet worked out in my head what I fully thought about everything. Truly... I was the person you wanted to dialogue with if you wanted to draw me to your side.

But, in both places, the responses were merely filled with anger... and I've learned long ago that, especially on the internet, anger isn't what I want to tangle with. That's not dialogue.  That's just anger.

The truth is... I don't want to be polarized. I don't want to be unable to see the hearts of other people who may disagree with me. I don't want to forget that there are people on the other side of what I believe. And I certainly don't want to treat anyone who believes differently than me with hatred.

And it's easy for me to sit here and say these things on issues that I revolve around on the middle. But, it's made me think about what things, perhaps outside of politics, I am polarized on. It's made me think about how I treat people on the other side. And it's made me think about how I treat people who are in the middle.

Maybe it's just made me think of how I treat people... good ways, bad ways, and ways I'd like to tweak.

1 comment:

  1. I read something the other day directed at the people who are in the middle. it was called the myth of the middle of something like that. And it made me sad to think that at least some believe the only opinions and beliefs of value are those out on one side or the other.


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