I’ve removed myself from much of the political chit-chat, vitriol, and BS on social media. The distressing condition of dug in ideals — regardless of political agenda — is no good for my personal well-being.
This does not mean that I don’t like those of strong opine. My opinions exist, based on life experience — as are most of those with strong opine. But there is something else going on. I believe it is a sour mix of extreme fundamentalism, my way or the highway kind of thought, blended with a blatant absence of critical thinking. There is also evidence of meddlers in the American opinion markets. These meddlers have no interest in the well-being of this society, you or I.
Now I sound like a conspiracist. I’m not. This is based on evidence as discovered by America’s own to include not only those of whom spy for a living, but the very fact that social media barons took money from the meddlers eager to throw division and chaos into America’s conversations. People I know bought into the meddling when they shared the hateful memes and truly phony news, and then claimed, “It was all over social media, so it must be true.”
I see a big picture darkened with shadowy beings, greed for power and wealth that cannot be satiated, and people like starlings blind to the fact that they may be forcing this vessel to lilt beyond rescue.
Rarely am I this negative. Yet at the same time I am willing to look reality in the face, accept that it is so, and then make changes that keep oxygen and light along my personal path. And oft times that means leaving others behind.
I leave them in the sincere wish that we will find together a middle path that binds basic truths from both sides of the road. Life has taught me that sometimes this works. And when it does work, it is beneficial to our hearts and souls.
We are born in search for life’s center — or middle path. Allegory aside, the center always emanates the life force both within the circle’s boundaries and outside of those boundaries when allowed to flourish.
Tribalism is a word I hear often used to describe our state of dis-union. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines tribalism as “…loyalty to a tribe or other social group especially when combined with strong negative feelings for people outside the group.”
This time last year I wanted to gather my own tribe around my dining room table. I craved their ways of thinking, experiences, wisdom, crafts and talents. But the problem with “my tribe” is we are not very tribal and gathering these folks at one time is akin to herding feral cats — which is why I love this weakly defined tribe. As far as I can tell not every one in my so-called tribe is on the same page or even walking the same path.
So, instead, I hiked the desert, wandered through the forests, listened to the rivers and ocean, bought mounds of books to read and ponder, and took to what I’ve always done at challenged life moments — threw words on paper in hopes of sorting it all out.
I have no interest in further tilting the ship either port or starboard. It’s a blessing to be born in America. And I feel even more blessed for my history as a California girl. California’s geographical opportunities are as wide and varied as America’s cultural opportunities. There is something for everyone’s taste and sustenance.
It’s my hope that we learn to respect those differences again and understand that like geography, our differences are what the deserts are to the mountains, what the rivers are to the sea, and what the plains are to the forests. Gilt and power come and go. The basics of connection remain and are discovered when we travel via the middle path — or the road to our well-being.