Politically Inspired Addictions


Provided below are four approaches to public dialogue I believe significant portions of our western culture are addicted to. Next to each "approach" I ask a question or two. The questions have a purpose; and since I believe those purposes to be somewhat self-evident, I provide no additional commentary. Do your utmost to ask and answer the questions as honestly as you can. I've done this exercise, and, to be quite honest, it's affected my behavior significantly.

Outrage...

What is it about those who anger you that you dislike about yourself?

Do you ever delight in your anger because it makes you feel like you're better than someone else (like, say, Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump, or Yours truly [the worst of all sinful creatures])? Or like you're on the side or high road of righteousness?

Do your expressions of anger help you feel better because now you have someone specific to lay all your frustrations upon?

The disparaging and divisive dissemination of hyperbolic misinformation...

Of the last 10 politically charged emails/social media posts you forwarded or reposted, how many did you research to confirm that what you were forwarding was in fact true beyond a reasonable doubt? How many were kind and respectful of "the other side?"

Minimization...

Pain and suffering is horrible, is it not?

When confronted with another's pain and suffering, even though you don't know the exact causes of her (or his) sufferings, does that make her any less deserving of empathy and compassion?

For those of you who judge another's pain because you believe it to be self-inflicted, can you genuinely say you've never suffered from things brought on by your own actions?

Dismissiveness...

When someone you disagree with speaks, do you actually listen with the intent of lovingly understanding where that person is coming from? And do so to such an extent that you're able to restate what that person said back to him (or her) in a way that makes him feel (1) like he was truly heard and (2) like what you said helped him better understand his own opinion and perspective?

God's peace to you, dear friends...

 

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