I don’t post political stuff here as a rule. “Politics” and current events can feel both very removed from and very intrusive in our daily lives. I know many quilters and crafters use their projects to escape the everyday, or to provide meditative time for processing events both worldly and close to home.
We have reached the point, are past the point, of too much. Yet I fear that it is still not enough, enough to break the hatred and fear rather than feed it. We (as a society, not necessarily you individually) feed hatred and fear when we escalate our language online, when we treat each other with less respect, when we reject common courtesies in favor of our own momentary needs.
What do we need, so DAMN urgently, on the phone, that we can’t leave it alone while driving? Think about how you used your phone ten years ago. Ten years ago did you need to have it against your ear as you made a sharp left turn? As you drove down the highway? As you backed out of a parking space? I’ll bet not. This is one trivial example of selfish concerns, of choosing our own needs over that of our fellow drivers. Now take this out another level. Ten years ago did we need to put in writing, with disrespectful language, how very very wrong a family member or friend or total stranger was? And if we did, did we publish that so anyone could see it? When did our need to express disapproval or disrespect become so important, more important than the other person involved?
And every little disrespect paid chips away at our common fabric, our community. It allows the fear and hatred to grow. After all, if people in your family, in your community, treat you so badly, so cavalierly, why should you trust them? Even more, why should you trust the “other,” the “foreigner,” the stranger, the refugee, the person of a different color or religion or occupation?
It is too much. I am tired and I feel helpless. I do not fear the “other.” I fear us. I cannot make this better by myself. While I have tried with great effort to become more respectful in my communication, I often fail. But I try. I need other people to try, too. I fear what will happen if we do not.