Updated: Jan 13
The election for the next president of the United States is just around the corner. It seems nearly impossible to ignore the cynicism about it at every turn. The president sows doubt and mistrust about what might happen. Senate and congressional leaders sow doubt and mistrust. The various news agencies report on, and often expand, doubt and mistrust. Real news becomes "fake news" through calculated convoluted retellings.
Cynicism can be created in a number of ways. Us vs. Them thinking separates us from one another and causes us to suspect the other of self-interested actions. Our current social network has been strained in a number of ways. Social media, online and others, is fraught with comments and reposts without proper context...or any context. The Covid situation has reduced social contact and masks, designed for our safety, hide all those subtle facial expressions that say "hi" and tell others that we are friendly.
Hostility can lead to guiltless revenge behaviors (carrying guns in public, shooting people with paint guns, looting or other property damage, physical assault, etc.
Mistrust has been accelerated by conflicting statements made by all political parties, the president, news media, etc. It has also been fueled by regular people as they hoard products or companies that buy up products to store in order ensure their ongoing success if production slows. That, of course, makes those products impossible to find by families who need them now. Those types of behavior poison the wells of positive relationships.
Type-A people who feel the need to exert themselves on the world to fulfill their needs, exhibit their judgment in their conversations, tweeting, and other social media outlets. Those with a negative outlook on life pass their views on as well.
Extracting ourselves from all of this can be difficult. It used to be said that "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Not only do I think that no one believes that anymore, we are experiencing bone-breaking and powerful words that do hurt us. One way out is to look inward at who we are and where we need to change and grow. Then, take that change out into our day-to-day world to everyone we meet. Make the effort to let people know that there is a smile behind our mask. Give others the benefit of the doubt even when we are "certain" that we are right. See the glass as half full rather than half empty. Recall that we have recovered from other dark times. Hope doesn't have to be right around the corner; it can be here...now.