I write today’s blog with a heavy heart. A great feeling of gloom and despair has settled into my soul, and I can’t seem to shake it. And when I look around me, I see that same despair on the faces of so many people. We’re all just barely holding on. We all look like Rose as she let go of Jack’s hand and let him sink into the icy waters in the glow of the last lights on the sinking Titanic. We are the survivors with little hope of being rescued. Yet it isn’t the political plight of the country that upsets and worries me the most. It’s all of the other things that we are losing in the process.
Every day I see another post on FaceBook where someone is lamenting about all of the people he or she was forced to ‘de-friend.’ I hear conversations in public about people who will no longer speak to or associate with other people because of their political views. I’ve had arguments within my own family that I deeply regret. One party cries sexual assault while another cries rape, and the people are just crying for peace. The “p” word has been used and referred to more times in mainstream media and online in the past few days than I ever wanted to hear throughout my whole life, and now it’s something my girls have to hear every day. I’m just sick of it. When are we all going to grow up? When are we going to demand better for ourselves, our country, and our children?
There is a clash of wills going on in every community, every church, every home, every family. We have become savages who can only articulate (and I use the word very loosely) by yelling and screaming and insisting that one person is right when the reality is, everybody is wrong. Is that what the ‘Great Experiment’ is really all about? Brother against brother, father against son, mother against daughter? Didn’t we fight that battle already? Didn’t we lose 620.000 people in a battle to save our country from bigotry, segregation, hatred, and fear? Why are we still fighting it every day in our streets, in our media, and in our homes? What is wrong with the people of this country that we can’t make the tiniest attempt to find the good in our neighbors instead of only seeing the bad? And on top of that, we actually make an effort to search out and dig up only the worst!
Since the writing of the Constitution, we have come ten steps forward and fifteen steps back. There are too many who think only of themselves instead of reaching out to lend a hand to others. There are too many who see the color of one’s skin and can’t see the makeup of the soul. There are too many who talk about fighting for justice but support a system that is anything but, that allows people of different colors, backgrounds, or economic status to be held to a different standard. The same people who talk about reform and rehabilitation, won’t allow education in prisons. The same people who preach tolerance, spew hate. The same people who claim to want all people held accountable for their actions will hide and cheat and steal to cover up their own crimes. Am I talking about a political party, the current candidates, the Republican establishment, or the Democratic Administration? Yes, yes, yes, and yes – all of them, and all of us. Because the problem didn’t begin with the politicians, and it doesn’t end with them either.
Let’s stop bashing each other, stop spewing hate, stop objectifying women (in ANY and ALL ways), stop seeing the color of skin, stop teaching our children that it’s okay to be a bully, to always have the last word, to never allow topics to be open for discussion, that what ‘I want’ matters more than what ‘we need.’ Stop the de-friending and start being a friend. Let’s look for common ground, find what’s wrong and fix it, find what’s right and expand upon it. We’re in real trouble, folks. There’s talk about taking up arms. I’ve seen posts saying that neither candidate, if elected, will survive their first term (literally). There are those (in both parties) who are sending up a rally cry for revolt. But you argue, haven’t we come so far that these things are just farfetched and unreasonable? One look at the dirty, disgusting, disparaging, and vitriolic rhetoric on social media at any given time says that we are not. For the sake of our families, our country, and our world, let’s put an end to this hatred. And let’s start within our own homes and on our own streets. Our ship is sinking. Let’s find a way to hold on and make it through this dark night. And let’s pray that help is on the horizon.
Amy Schisler is an award winning author of both children’s books and novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her book, Picture Me, is the recipient of an Illumination Award, placing it among the top three eBooks of 2015. Her latest book, Whispering Vines, is now available for purchase.
You may follow Amy on Facebook at http://facebook.com/amyschislerauthor on Twitter @AmySchislerAuth, on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/amyschisler and on her web site http://amyschislerauthor.com.