The Pulse of America
Taking the pulse of America these days is a bit of a challenge. On the surface, it seems that the new administration has lowered the temperature a bit and began to re-establish ‘normal’ government activity. They have done so through the promotion of truth, transparency, action, and outward goodwill. With the division in the county, obviously, this isn’t going to resonate with all Americans. In fact, for many, it will be too stark of a contrast to be deemed favorable. It seems difficult to believe that doing good would be met with resistance, but it seems that the definition of good is an illusive term as of recent, which seems to be established not by the norms and standards of society, but by some individual beliefs and thoughts which may be determined through some roundabout methods.
Feeling as though we don’t all fully understand the status of our country is somewhat or an unnerving feeling for those who follow along and choose to be engaged in the current events. Attempting to process the fact that the thoughts and feelings of our fellow Americans can be as different as night and day, can leave one to more deeply consider how we may have gotten here. It isn’t an overnight process and not something that just happened accidentally. The series of events that led up to it are as varied and complex as the issues themselves. Unraveling it at this point feels much like a tangled ball of Christmas lights. Unsure where the start of the end is, but positively a big mess which will take time, perseverance, and patience to get it straightened out without causing too much damage.
The quest for truth, it seems, is still up for discussion. As difficult as this is to believe, establishing and promoting one set of facts continues to be a hot spot in America. When it comes to the nature of truth, it would seem as though there really is only one set of facts and how it is spun, conveyed, or viewed is where the slope gets a bit slippery. Knowing that the truth can always be a bit subjective means that we absolutely must start with a correct set of information out of the gate. It is so elementary that it seems almost like it doesn’t need to be said, but it does in fact need a kind of reinforcement that almost seems uncalled for.
With so much dissension at the top, how possibly can the common folks get in alignment? To me, the answer is both simple and complex. I think it is like any other fix and you sometimes just need to start walking in that direction and build it up like a snowball, taking bits and pieces along as you go until it is a massive force. We simply cannot stand by and listen to lies or go along with variations of reality, this will surely lead us down a deeper hole. There is a careful balance that has to occur between being knowledgeable and aware of the destructive forces and happenings around us, while not playing into it or spending too many calories fighting against it or disputing it. The strategy can be somewhat the same as dealing with any bully, ignore it and it loses force but be aware that it is present. While there will always be some who choose to play along and keep focused on keeping the bully in power, it will gradually lose steam and disintegrate into obscurity on its own.
The quest for truth and goodness in our world seems like something everyone should want or would want, but it seems the reality of the current state is that many have grown so accustomed to there being something they disagree about that now even the simple things are up for discussion. Realizing that complexity in any situation generally lies below the surface, much as an iceberg represents itself only to its true magnitude after you look under the water, we need to be willing to spend the time and effort on every opportunity that comes our way to smooth out the bumps in the road as they come along and look for places where common sense kindness can be interjected. The process of rebuilding is much like a war-torn county must feel, except our destruction isn’t visible for the eye to see. Our devastation is only felt through the heart and mind, which makes the solution so much more complex and grueling. And being a matter of the mind versus a physical dilemma makes it that much more personal and that much more psychological to deal with. Solutions from the past will not necessarily be relevant for today, and therefore require a recipe not yet developed.
The question of the solution isn’t so much if, but when and how. And in the meantime, how long can folks hang on, and how much destruction and irreparable damage will be done during that repair process.
No matter what the answer to this, what is absolutely apparent and inequitably decided is we need to lead with kindness and consideration. Somehow these basic human decencies have gone out of fashion. It makes one wonder how we could lose sight of these values and still expect to function as a dominant country. But, as with most other things, these principles still do live on in the hearts and minds of many- or dare I say, most Americans. But it is the misguided few who sometimes end up representing the majority through some accidental broad brushstroke. As much as we try and ignore or push back on the misguided few, it seems that their voices always tend to be louder and more dramatic than those who are on the side of goodness and decency. Maybe that is because the message is so much more harmful and destructive that it attracts more attention than the good that we all assume will just be forever present in the background. Human nature tends to be very much a factor in this entire thought process, as for whatever reason the bad in life does seem to burn hotter than the good. Knowing that is in play here, we just want to keep trying to topple that scale over on the positive side which is going to take an enormous amount of vigilance, determination, and tenacity. Are we up for it? The answer to this question is simple- We have to be.