Everyone is angry.
I’m sure that you have noticed.
We are all angrier than usual these days.
Everyone is talking.
No one is listening.
Eyes glaze over.
The volume increases.
The cacophony fades like static into the background
as we scream
desperately seeking to be heard.
no one is listening.
It’s almost like we’re living in some alternate reality
created by Springer
with Mamma Grizzlies and gun crazy Hee Haws.
Self centered righteous indignation
leads to anger.
Anger breeds more anger.
No one is immune.
Sometimes I can’t identify the source of my anger.
That makes me uncomfortable because,
if I can’t determine the cause, I risk taking it out on the innocent.
And that is just not right.
So I withdraw
from social interaction
just so I don’t inadvertently unleash my aggression on some poor unsuspecting soul.
Fresh air helps.
The political climate does not help.
is blown out of proportion.
is a scandal.
is an emergency.
How are we to identify real crises when everything demands our immediate attention?
News is no longer balanced.
Facts are twisted.
No one reads past the headlines.
Everyone has an opinion based often, on assumptions.
Never mind discourse.
Never mind trying to understand
another point of view,
another person’s experience
Never mind accepting
another person’s existence.
There’s little common courtesy.
It’s my way or the highway.
If your opinion differs, then you are the enemy.
And every day we get more angry.
Clear you mind.
Turn off the TV.
Put the phone away.
Power down the electronics.
it’s too late.
Thanksgiving inevitably leads to trips down memory lane. Random memories of family and friends that you thought you’d forgotten pop up out of nowhere. This year I found myself thinking about my father, and about a young woman from India whom I met way back in the 1980s. Two somewhat unrelated memories whose only connection is Thanksgiving, and maybe fathers.
In the summer of 1987 I was introduced to a young woman whose father had brought her to America to fulfill an arranged marriage. The problem was that her father didn’t know she was a lesbian. I hope you’ll forgive me if I can’t remember her name. It was 25 years ago. My friends and I spent the summer respectfully trying to help and support her throughout her coming out process. It was emotionally exhausting for all of us. I can’t imagine what she was going through.
As Thanksgiving approached, I asked how her family would be celebrating. She said “We don’t believe in thanksgiving.” I tried to explain that Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday. I pointed out that Thanksgiving is about showing gratitude for what you have. It’s about family, friends, etc. Still, she insisted that her family did not believe in Thanksgiving. I reluctantly submitted to her opinion and we continued along with other conversations. It never occurred to me that, in my insistence that she understand my point of view, I might be behaving just as stubborn as her father, and incidentally, my father.
My father and I had a rocky relationship. I spent most of my life distancing myself from his chauvinistic attitudes. (Notice I didn’t say misogynistic.) Dad wasn’t a bad person. He just had the misfortune of living precariously between two eras. He grew up in the 1950s, when men were kings of their castles. By the time I came along things had changed drastically. Racial equality, women’s rights, and gay liberation turned his world upside down. It was difficult, but he made an effort to change with the times. Dad’s limited education and preconceptions about the world often led to awkward interactions. He couldn’t understand why people didn’t always see things from his point of view. Sound familiar?
As I get older I catch myself doing and saying things that remind me of my father, especially around the holidays. Carving the turkey always returns me to my dad’s last Thanksgiving. His health was such that he couldn’t securely grasp and control a large knife, so the honor of carving the bird was passed to me. This was a very big moment for both me and my dad. He watched silently as I showed off my skills. I was proud. He was proud. Even my stepmother was proud. It was a very surreal moment. It took a lot for him to concede the duties traditionally held by the head of household. It was a ridiculously small gesture by today’s standards, but it wasn’t about the knife or my carving skills. It was a small example of the many changes that had occurred in my father over the course of his life.
* * *
I’m not sure what made me think of that young woman. I understand she moved back to India with her family the following winter. I never did find out how she resolved her coming out issue, but I hope she followed her heart. I hope she stayed true to herself.
I’d like to think I’ve achieved some personal growth since the last time I saw her, but I still see a bit of my dad in myself. But that’s okay. He did the best he could with what he had. He was human. He made mistakes.
Maybe, just maybe, if we all just accept that we’re only human, and give each other a little wiggle room, and a chance to make and learn from our mistakes, the world might be a better place.
* * *
Don’t let life pass you by. Enjoy the time with loved ones while you can.
File this under #DiggyRant
I thought it was really nice that the whole world paused for a few days while we learned about Pope Francis. Seriously, it was the only coverage on the Nightly News!
Don’t get me wrong. I understand that selecting a new Pope is important because of how the church influences the world. But that was all we saw on the news! For two days there was very little reporting on North Korea, as if Kim Jung-Un suddenly decided, “Hey, the Catholics have just selected a new Pope. Let’s hold off on trying to kill everyone in the Western World.”
This isn’t the first time I was disappointed by network news. It’s happens more and more. Half of the local news is sports. The last ten minutes of both the local and the national news is a report on what’s coming up on tonight’s prime time TV schedule.
Can someone please tell me why the ever changing list of contestants on Dancing With The Stars is considered news worthy?
The worst is when the news anchors ask for your opinion. I Don’t Want To Know What The Average Person Has To Say About The First Lady’s Hair Cut!!! Why is the First Lady’s hair cut even news???
Hey news anchors! Don’t ask me to follow or friend you. Just give me the damn news!
…we now return you to our regularly scheduled insanity.