The Space Between…
There is a story making the rounds where a certain union leader made incindiery comments towards an opponent group that can definitely be read as a call to arms for union members to ‘take ’em out’ (whatever that means). This caused me to think (something I am lead to do more and more frequently these days) – what generates the space between those that yell and scream from those who are the receipents of those vocal and at times physical abuses?
I am an individualist – rabid but not radical; I wish no one ill will or feel animous toward those who believe differently than I. I cannot say the same for others on the opposite end of the idealogical spectrum. Wherever I encounter those who are championing the cause of the ‘little people’, invariably I find that the love for their fellow person ends with those who believe as they do. Call it what you will – progressive, liberal, socialist, anticapitalist, unions, social welfare advocates and so many other titles – the defining factor of these groups are one of hatred and acrimony toward those who believe differently than they.
I have my own reasons for not shouting and raising my blood pressure where issues are concerns (well, most of the time) – however I cannot fathom those who will leverage their full volume for simple, often stupid points of contention. I cannot understand the MTV “real world” generation of those who will yell and get in one anothers faces for the silliest things. I don’t understand those who target others personally for topics centered around ideas and beliefs – those who will attack others verbally and/or physically whether violent or not. I want to believe that those who behave in such ways have poor impusle control (I know I once did) or don’t have malice in their hearts – this is however a fools desire and I know it.
Bullies, thugs and gang members (whether from areas of squaller or from marble palaces and office buildings) are convinced they are better than the rest of us. If you swear allegince to their cause, you’re fine; if you disagree with their message or approach you are akin to slave property in their minds. Beatings, verbal abuse and general pit bull behavior are acceptable because we are in their way. Their enemies must be defeated – even though there is no war outside of the one in their minds. Any means is acceptable if the ends are met.
The space between us and them couldn’t be more stark. I want the world to be as Lennon wanted it but in a libertarian framework. I want the hunger and poverty to end as much as Tia Leone does (UNICEF spokeswomen) but I wouldn’ think of taking from another to make those wants come true. I want the dialog in our country to be spirited and lively with zero personal attacks and the job of representing the Republic to be one that is honorable and prized for the message it says about the one entrusted – not one of graft and corruption where the lowest common denominator runs to get a choice job.
I don’t want what another has through theft or entitlement. I want to earn my way even where it causes me great pain and impact to do so. It is my desire to talk and not to yell. Rather than stick around and bark at someone I will walk away and remove myself from that situation. I have had incredible discussions with friends and strangers that have been fulfilling and informing without being flogged or talked down.
I do not know what the answers are related to making progress toward civility and retarding scandalous behavior where human interactions are concerned. My dogs deal with one another by barking and making more noise and alpha positioning. I cannot imagine a world where humans are devolving towards pack behavior with one another – this however is what I am seeing and it scares me. The only choice in that world is one the 12th century mongols would recognize.