For the last several years, the Intramuralist has published our annual “State of the Government” analysis in conjunction with the President’s annual State of the Union Address. While the themes remain the same, this is a tougher blog to write this year, aware of the seemingly increasing challenge to specifically discuss the government’s role respectfully.
It’s been a tough year. It’s been a tough several years. Some believe respect is no longer necessary. Sometimes that even, unfortunately, includes the current president. We then each take turns being disrespectful in response.
And so with my heartfelt desire is to communicate respectfully, regardless of topic, I acknowledge that I can’t control anyone’s Twitter feed. I can’t stop the flurry of social media memes that mock another whole party or people group. I can only encourage each of us individually to be aware of how we contribute to the division. This is about no one else, friends. This is us.
In recent years, we’ve opined here that the state of our government is “too partisan, too influenced by money, too big, too financially imbalanced, and too far removed from the Constitution.” My limited perspective also senses that the respect level has deteriorated so far — fueled by partisans on both sides of the equation — that we can no longer see the actual state of our government.
Partisans on both sides consistently blame someone else. We then blame someone else… if only they would _______.. The focus is typically on “they.”
I get it. It’s easier. We are far more comfortable pointing the finger elsewhere and demanding someone else change their thinking or behavior than examining our own negative contribution. We are far more willing to point the finger at someone else’s errors in thinking than to examine what aspects we are currently unable to see due to our bents, bias, emotion, and experience. We are far more wanting to point the finger at someone else’s…
Blindspots. Unwillingness to listen.
And their lack of loving all people well.
We fail to look at our own…
Unwillingness to listen.
And our lack of loving all people well.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… if we’re only loving and respecting the person who thinks like we do, then we are only loving and respecting some people well.
When we fail to love and respect all people — regardless of whether we are a public citizen or elected official — we are fueling the division.
I once shared my earnest, impractical desire to wave some sort of unifying magic wand that could somehow end this growing, disturbing digression; that would no doubt be easiest. But perhaps the best place to start is not with any magic nor fictional tool that relies on something other than me.
The best place to start is with self — putting away our pointing fingers and looking instead internally…
How have I fueled the division?
Tough question. Tougher answer… albeit necessary.