The great philosopher, Mary Poppins, taught me about pie crust promises.
“That’s a pie crust promise,” Poppins says to the children, “Easily made and easily broken.”
This thought was on my mind today as I tried to catch up on political news. Every four years the rhetoric of politicians fills up with pie crust promises. It’s frustrating because the words of each candidate get twisted, people over react, and the most opinionated voices seem to be preaching fear rather than hope.
I understand why I’ve been seeing a movement on Facebook to block political status updates lately. Heaven knows there are some strong opinions out there on where this country will go depending on which candidate is elected!
Despite sometimes getting offended, occasionally rolling my eyes, and sometimes classifying my Facebook friend as a naive and uninformed citizen, I won’t be blocking political posts any time soon.
Discussion is very, very important. If we silence the discussion we surround ourselves with apathy. That is absolutely disastrous for our country and way of life.
Consider this quote:
“The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to selfishness;
From selfishness to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependency;
From dependency back again to bondage.”
~Alexander Fraser Tyler, A Bird’s Eye View of the Evolution of Nations ~
Apathy kills. Choosing to bury your head under the proverbial sand during election time is similar to a small child plugging their ears because they don’t want to hear it’s time to leave the playground – it does nothing to change the action that is looming!
As human beings we also need to practice how to have a discussion of differing viewpoints with a happy ending. The phrase “agree to disagree” is so important!
I’ve talked before about my frustration with 24-hour news channels. The sheer volume of minutes needing to be filled has eroded the foundation of journalism. Talking heads and political show flamoyancy is not journalism – but is masquerades as journalism as the guest commentators cut one another off, mock opinions, and basically behave in a horrible way.
Spaces to post comments online take the humanity out of a comment – people will say horrible things via computer keyboard and not worry about it because they can’t see the whites of the eyes of the person when their flaming arrow of acid hits its mark.
We cannot expect to re-learn the social skill of conversation if we block every opportunity to freely discuss difficult issues. We have to put ourselves out there in a real way, willing to learn and teach in a symbiotic relationship with our individual communities.
We cannot be right all the time. Nor do we need to be wrong all the time. That’s the benefit of a give and take relationship with others – we are constantly learning!
My final plug for staying involved in the political discussions as they heat up is to do so in honor of those who have died long ago. The ability to vote is a significant gift, one we should not take for granted. Generations before us did not take it lightly – and their sacrifices created a space where we can be more interested in the next episode of Parenthood than in the family dishevelment at our next door neighbor’s house.
We deserve more than that. We’re smarter than that.
Stay involved – we’ve only got a few more weeks left. Please, find out which candidate aligns with your values on issues and vote for them! Don’t get fooled by the soundbites… take a look at the big picture, societal issues at hand this election and decide which candidate(s) are coming at them from the direction you agree with the most.
Don’t give up… unblock your political feed… and talk nicely if you’ve been feeling rabid about this election. Remember, you win more flies with honey than vinegar – persuasion is rarely accomplished with a 2×4 smack upside the head!
How are you handling the upcoming election?