Feelings. They sometimes hurt, other times delight. Many times confuse. Either way, I understand it’s good to express them. So, let’s talk. Feel free to jump in.
What Was Lost this Past Year
In my previous post, I wrote about what was gained during the past year. But what was lost? The passive tone here is intentional, as I feel we all lost something, as individuals and as a society.
Lives, too many lives were lost. The deadliest year on record in the U.S., according to Keiser Health.
If you were able to keep away from social media and arguments, congratulations. Don’t mean to sound flippant.
I did not fare as well.
My list of virtual friends (not sure that is the proper word) is smaller. So be it.
Faced with for and against arguments, tribalism and narcissism flourished. A cursory glance would be enough to see that from the moon. We all became experts in subjects foreign to us months prior.
New political sectarianism is one of the greatest national security issues in the world, according the UN. We are forming tribes and going at each other with little remorse. Never mind the adults, I see tension-ridden political conversations among teenagers in my son’s group, not a thing in years past.
Know any highly opinionated people? If not head over to any social-media site. Caring deeply gives us strong opinions, sure, but there is more. At times, it feels as though outside forces are moving us, like a puppeteer his puppets. I no longer recognized people I knew well. In my most honest moments, I no longer recognize myself.
There is a political truism out there: when there is unrest look at who benefits if you want to trace its source and reason. Having come of age in Eastern Europe, a hotbed for political unrest and two world wars, it’s hard not to see the same old political forces at play, only more subtle, more tech savvy.
Of course, agreement doesn’t always bring alignment. At least one group I belong to, people of similar minds, turned on each other recently. If you are A you must not be B, and having uttered this word makes you C. Tolerance is running low among friends as well. The argumentative personality seems to be the dominant trait everywhere I turn.
It’s the early days. Too early to tell how this ideological war among the highly opinionated will shape the world but look for the world to be different within the next decade or sooner.
I take refuge in long conversations with my mom, who at the age of 80 has seen a lot in her days. She tells me the world is going through growing pains. She’d seen worse. The world, she assures me, will adjust and everything will be okay. I smile, thinking, Yeah, that’s what I would tell my son, whether or not I believe it.
It’s what mothers do.