Playground Banter Won't Help

Let’s grow up fellow Americans - Playground banter won’t help!

Why are we getting sucked into this immature playground banter?  Are we so weak we need to feed our egos with the tweets, Facebook posts, speeches just to affirm that “we are right - you are wrong”?  We must get off the playground.  This is real life and there are serious issues to consider.  And the 5th grade “I must have the last word or I will lose” mentality is distracting us from learning the facts, forming intelligent opinions and taking a selfless stance on our principles.  I believe we are (or at least we can be) more mature than this.  I believe for the sake of our country and our communities we must be more mature than this. None of us, individually or as a group, need the last word!  Our energies should not be wasted on this nonsense - we must direct it to creative problem solving which will only happen when our countrymen come together.

Emily Post said that etiquette stems from three values; consideration, respect and honesty.  

That’s all it takes! When we stop feeding the banter and start feeding real communication that is based on consideration, respect and honesty then we will get somewhere.

Consideration in communication looks like curiosity and listening - considering one’s past experiences, knowledge and circumstances. Consideration is not spouting one’s own opinion and leaving it at that. It’s a woven tapestry of ideas among two or more people - colorful, rich and with texture.

Respect goes deeper than politeness - it’s being polite with sincerity.  Believing that their worth, opinions, experiences, knowledge and circumstances may be just as important, just as meaningful and just as worthy as ours.

Honesty is more than truth telling and spouting facts. Honesty is considering the facts, considering events in history, considering our own experience and how it all fits into this complicated puzzle.  It’s thoughtful reflection based on facts and experience.

When did we become a society that needs to have the last word to be the winner?  It’s playground mentality. Let’s get off the playground or change the game. Let’s be curious so we can grow, expand to a place of compassion, understanding and creativity. If we continue to argue, like/dislike, share, retweet the banter we agree with, then we promote and perpetuate small narrow-minded thinking. Solutions will be postponed and solutions will be difficult. We must use the differences, the discomfort and the curiosity to create healthy expanded forums.  When we welcome creative ideas and push ourselves to grow and expand, accept differences - not as lesser but as equals - then our society will grow and expand with forms of solutions, agreements and policies that are more creative than any one individual could conceive and achieve.

We all see a gap among our fellow Americans. It’s being perpetuated by this ego building playground banter. Until we set aside the ego and “getting in the last word” mentality then the gap will only widen. This is based on fear - maybe it’s fear of government control, fear of the top 1% control, fear for the health of our planet, fear of our guns being taken away, maybe it’s fear of our loved ones being shot, fear of losing healthcare or reproductive rights, or maybe it’s fear of government control of healthcare.  We do have much to fear. But wallowing in fear, bantering without listening will not help us rise above the fear to find solutions based on consideration, respect and honesty. The fear will eat us alive if our energy continues to focus on these fears and then we are losing solutions. Let’s change the focus to creative, collaborative solutions.

I beg of you, my friends, let’s get off the playground and grow up. Let’s move past the banter, the “I’m right and you’re wrong” dialogue. Let’s create something beyond our limited beliefs, beyond our limiting fears and beyond our wildest dreams! Let’s create a new way to think for ourselves while at the same time considering and respecting the opinions of others. Let’s create productive dialogue that leads to creatives solutions.  The time is now to be vigilant, protect our freedoms and promote the welfare of our society together as one.

How do we do this? How do you rise above the playground banter? How do we help right the ship and move to a direction of unity? I have come up with a couple of things that I am adding to my day and I will share them with you - if you wish me to. Where am I going to improve:

My answer so far is to love more, learn more and apply more.

I can love more. Martin Luther King Jr. once said how grateful he was that God didn’t say he had to like his enemies; he only had to love them. So the first step I am taking is to consciously choose to love those who are the hardest to stomach.  I don’t have to like them, I don’t have to agree or accept their actions.  I do have to love them. I can pray for them just as I pray for myself and my family. After all, all people are part of my extended family. I can ask for love in my heart and understanding. This is the highest form of faith I believe.

Secondly, I will study civics and the art of debate.  I didn’t have these courses in school and many scholars today believe this has been reason for our lack of effective communication and our lack of appreciation of the design of our democracy.  Join me and let’s study them together. This will support progress conversation and ideas within our society.

Lastly (for now) I am studying how the principles of yoga can be applied to politics. I believe that all life principles can be applied not only to us as individuals but also families, communities, businesses, cities, states, countries. Yoga is brilliant, fascinating, vast way of thinking and living that incorporates life principles in a challenging way that is non-threatening. I will explore that more and share my thoughts.

What else, how else can we raise the bar, reawaken, take back our democracy so it’s of the people, by the people and for the people?  

Share with me your ideas, thoughts, suggestions, please.  I would love to listen. Your thoughts, opinions and ideas are safe with me!