If you know me at all, you know I don't enjoy conflict...especially of the political variety. With the recent shutdown of the U.S. government due to childlike conduct on both sides of Congressional aisles, there has been an abundance of political commentary sprouting up like sprigs of spring grass all over Facebook and other social media outlets. I'll admit I read them. I have to since my husband is incredibly vocal on all points political. But I generally tend to sit silently on the sidelines occasionally tossing out tidbits of ideas for my dear husband to lob at people online.
I watch as debates that begin with mutual respect and logic time and time again avalanche into emotional fits of name-calling and other base behaviors. And I didn't get it. Until today...
In a moment of brilliant epiphany I realized that all people want in these often emotionally violent discussions is to be heard. It's quite a basic human need, the one to be seen and understood by a fellow human being. And when the opposing side doesn't seem to hear, people start shouting more adamantly...or at least start using their caps lock key with obnoxious frequency. And when the opposing side throws their facts and view points back, it makes the initial side feel even more misunderstood and desperate to communicate.
It's okay if we stop the political convos and just listen to each other. After all, we all want the same thing. We want life to be better...it's in the agreeing how to accomplish that that things start getting sticky.
Remember people, there are real living breathing human beings on the other side of cyberspace. They get up each morning and put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you. And just like you they get grumpy in traffic and feel all the same pressures of paying bills and all of the same little insecurities you do. It's okay to just listen. Sometimes there's way more triumph in that than in actually winning the argument with facts and logic.