I truly feel we’re at an impasse as a whole.
Nothing makes me more sad than this realization and I truly don’t have an answer.
What I know is prior to the election last November, it was pretty evident that we stood divided as a country. With so many sources reporting “fact,” we as a people feel more informed than ever – but are we?
Most recently the social media forum Twitter permanently suspended the President’s usage of its forum. Please read that again, forgetting of course the name of the controversial person at hand. The President of the United States, the country of free speech, has been both censored and restricted from free speech.
Now please don’t misunderstand or feel inclined to blow up my e-mail with facts about why Twitter (or any other forum) is operating within its rights. Truth be told, in my personal opinion this very forum never worked to the President’s advantage.
As we all know you can’t unsee things once on social media. Oh sure, they can be deleted or removed but the ever popular “screenshot” can keep anything alive indefinitely.
Without getting too far into my own personal politics I can openly share I was never a fan of the President’s over usage (in my opinion) of Twitter. To this day, I firmly believe it (among other things) was a key piece which cost him a lot of respect and support from the other party.
Oh yes, I hear you all in the “not my President” stand, a term which is now being passed across the aisle so to speak as a new party takes office.
But here’s the thing and really the root of where I’m going with all of this: when did we become so hateful? Now please don’t blame the current President or even the next. Just as I tell my children, I feel the same for each of us, we are responsible for our actions. Hate solves nothing, yet here we are as a country and no one is listening to one another.
Among all things, I think this is what breaks my heart the most. Somehow as a country, as a people we’ve stopped listening to one another. When I say that, I mean “really” listening. Not listening, as we anxiously wait with our facts to reply, but listening from a place of learning. I’ve always believed that we learn more from those with opposing opinions than we do from those which are like-minded.
Yet somehow through the beauty of social media, the World Wide Web and news updates, we’ve all stopped listening. Well, all is a bit of an overstatement, a few of us are paying attention and in so doing understand that this is about so much more that Black Lives Matter, a President who over uses Twitter or one who claims to be able to take our country back. This is about humanity, this is about being a model citizen regardless of who holds office, this is about expecting more from yourself and modeling that to our children, grandchildren and those watching how we navigate.
On January 20, a new leader will take office. For half of us, this is the answer to prayer, the first step to solving a four-year problem, the list goes on. For the other half, it’s a time of concern, apprehension and dare I say it … fear.
Yet here we are.
I know very little about what the future holds for us as a nation, as Americans. What I know for sure, is that I have spent the better part of the past four years watching grown adults behave like spoiled babies and that goes for both sides of the aisle. The end result … we are no longer dealing with a party problem, we are dealing in a humanity problem.
Think back 20 years … remember when we used to listen to one another? Remember when we used to respect one another, even strangers? The time when we did not know the term keyboard warrior and rather than call out perfect strangers in a way which was demeaning we just got on with our own life? I miss those days.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at email@example.com or by calling 209-847-3021.