By Daisy Luther
It’s the hottest day of the summer so far. The mercury is way up there, and all you want to do is stay in your nice air-conditioned home until it cools off after dark. But alas, you have a life, and you have to go outside. The second you open your door, the heat blasts you so hard it feels like a physical blow.
That’s exactly what it’s like online right now, no matter where your politics lie.
Except instead of heat, it’s a blast of hostility, hatred, and rage.
The Death of Civility
After the most tumultuous election many of us have ever personally witnessed, the animosity still hasn’t waned three months after the shocking (to some) results were announced.
In fact, it’s gotten even more heated.
I’ll try to lay this out without divisiveness because taking sides isn’t my goal here.
One side is unwilling to accept that the election didn’t go their way. Their rising and noisy discontent has enflamed the opposite side.
The result is ugly.
It’s all-out verbal war on social media, as people spew hate-filled, destructive things to one another. There is hardly any attempt for understanding on either side. Instead, there are threats, mockery, name-calling, and spite. If you call anyone out on their behavior, you are instantly named a supporter of “the other side.”
Basic civility seems to be dead, as people laugh at the fate of innocents, blithely plan violent events, and fan the flames of rage. They insult others and laugh at their misfortunes.
The rage level just keeps inching up.
Meanwhile, those flames are fanned by the media. Left. Right. It doesn’t matter which side. From both biases, there are breathless denouncements of “the enemy” that just tick people off more.
Politicians certainly aren’t helping either, using their platforms to stoke the anger levels even higher.
While there are some genuine hard feelings out there, these entities are throwing gallons of gasoline on the fire on a daily basis – and they’re making a ton of money doing it.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of it.
Not just annoyed. Not just a bit tired. Sick to my very soul to see how low so many people have plummeted.
It’s times like these when you see the true nature of the people around you. And sometimes what you see isn’t pretty.
I can only imagine that if the situation was truly dire, and the last bit of food was involved, that these are the people who would be out there fighting for it. Terrible picture, isn’t it?
A lot of people are feeling hopeless about the future right now.
These are the things you really can’t control.
We can’t change what is reported in the media. Heck, half the time we can’t even decipher whether it’s true or false. But here’s what we can do:
- We can refuse to be gullible.
- We can cross-check our facts and try to get an idea of the real picture, but we have to keep in mind that the media on both sides is biased and that the truth usually lies somewhere in between.
- We can support outlets we perceive to be more honest, but we must always remember that nearly everyone has an agenda.
We can’t change the hearts of people who have descended into hate. They’re going to have to dig themselves out of that pit. But here’s what we can do:
- We can offer a helping hand up when they’re ready, but until they want to climb out, that’s where they’ll be, regardless of our actions.
We can’t do a whole lot about the major policy decisions being made. Getting sucked into angry debates that descend immediately into ad hominem attacks is a waste of time and energy. But here’s what we can do:
- We can (and should) voice our opinions of these things in places where it matters. (Hint: Twitter and Facebook aren’t places where it matters.)
- We can make our points with facts and logic, rather than emotion.
You do not have to participate in the current climate of incivility. This is optional, and you can opt out.
No matter where your political beliefs lie on the left-to-right scale, there is something you can do to make life better instead of bitter.
Focus on the things you can control.
We can concentrate on the way we spend our days.
- We can be productive.
- We can be kind.
- We can spend our time with people who are also productive and kind.
If you spend all of your time wallowing in the mire, you’re going to get dirty too. It isn’t your job to tell people who aren’t going to listen that they should be nicer. Trust me; I’ve made plenty of those fruitless efforts myself.
I’m not saying that you need to live in a bubble, oblivious to the world around you. As someone who lives a preparedness lifestyle, it is essential to stay informed of current events.
Your take on things will make someone angry. It’s inevitable these days.
But don’t get sucked into the ugliness.
Walk away when you see incivility because you are not a referee, the official arbiter of right and wrong, or the person responsible for the behavior of others.
You can control what is in your own heart, the actions you take, and the company you keep. You don’t need to get in lockstep with a political party, an angry group, or a movement.
You need to focus on what is right, and you know that being cruel and wishing horrible things on people with whom you disagree isn’t right.
These things are certain.
With the future of our country looking so uncertain, some things are certain.
- You and your family will want to eat wholesome, healthy food.
- You will want fresh, pure water.
- You want to be safe in your own home.
- You want your children to be happy, kind, and secure.
- You want a roof over your head.
- You want your bills to be paid.
- You want to feel happy, healthy, and peaceful.
These are all things that you can control, at least to some degree. These are the reasons we prep and probably why you are here, reading this website.
The place you spend your time, your energy, and your passion is the place where things will grow. Do you want to grow something beautiful or something ugly?
Focus on nurturing that which you want in your life because therein lies peace.
Stop fertilizing the weeds. If other people want to fight it out online, will it really benefit your life to join the verbal battle?
When we add our voices to the hostile din, we just make it louder. Opt out.
Be a peaceful person in a hostile world.
Priorities are: Health, Happiness, and Prosperity…in that order.
Well said. For the first time in a decade, I’ve removed myself from the political noise. I used to scowl at people like me! I used to say “you can’t live in a bubble!” Well, now that I have a small child I am very welcoming to this protective bubble. My kid doesn’t need an angry, scared mom wasting her time with social media “debates” that go no where. Sure, I stay in tune with the general convo but I don’t give it my gold. I’m a mother, a safe place for a child, and that is a much more important and radical thing to do!
So join the bubble, rather, make your bubble and do it well. It’s the place you have the most influence and your good work can impact generations!
This is rather naive. As a former combat Marine, I must tell you that we are at war for our very survival. No guns and bullets yet, but there is always tomorrow.
I was definitely raised with manners and try to use them all the time. But to quote General Mattis, ‘be polite, be courteous, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet’ would be more appropriate in this day and age.
As far as being naive, you don’t really think these mentally unbalanced leftists are really going to wake up one morning and realize the errors of their ways?
You seem to be a nice young lady but this article is more wishful than reality.
Thank you for your courteous disagreement. (I’m not being sarcastic – courteous disagreement is such a rarity and is very appreciated.) You do bring up some excellent points.
I don’t think it’s naive. I’m not saying to be unaware of the people who hate us.
I’m saying that isn’t going to be the focus of my days. I’m going to focus on taking care of my family. This isn’t to say I won’t be ready and able to protect them if it comes down to it. You can live in peace but be prepared for war.
I’m not going to be blithely unaware of the world around me, but I’m not going to engage in pointless dialogue. I’m not going to get sucked into the anger. I just don’t think that is a healthy focus.
Anger feeds anger.
Respectfully while this is great, your focus will not solve the problem facing us. It will not just go away. One does not need to be angry to understand this reality.
Oops! If my previous mistake got posted, it would have said simply “2”. Hmmm…I think that’s nicely enigmatic, and I’ll leave it at that. 🙂
I agree with you that we have witnessed the death of civility. But I believe in keeping a watchful eye on what is being said and done by both sides, so I am informed and can react quickly if need be. That requires me to slog through the “mire” daily to get the info I need from the news sources I mostly trust. I would love to “tune out” the noise that most media has become, but I don’t believe that’s a wise choice.
Vicki – You’re absolutely right! It’s important to keep apprised of what’s out there. I just don’t want to engage in fruitless arguments anymore. Knowing and engaging and two different things. 🙂
I agree Vicki. Yes, we do need to be at peace but we also have to be informed. My husband and I met a nice couple last week. We had a very nice, long conversation with the lady and her husband. They were completely sold out to some things (an agenda) they knew nothing about. When I questioned them about why they believed certain things, they had no answer. I was able to provide some facts and direct them to investigate so that they could be more informed before making a decision about what they believe. The conversation was very civil and we listened to each other. If I was opting out of various viewpoints, and was not informed about what is going on in the world, there would be no way for me to have a conversation with them. I would be just as ill-informed as they were. I do agree with Daisy about being at peace though. I actually believe that we can be in the fray, following all the craziness, and still be at peace. It takes practice and self-control, along with a faith in the fact that God is in control and that He is working out all the details. Our job is just to be the light and to reveal the truth. He takes care of the rest. 😀
Your article reminded me of this from “The Screwtape Letters”
by C.S. Lewis, 1942…
WOW, Dave. That sums it up, doesn’t it?
Posted Dave’s link to my facebook page. Hope that’s ok, if not I’ll take it down. It was so apt that I thought as many people as possible should see it,
No, I think it’s awesome! You are right – more people need to see it!
Thanks, Daisy. And yes, please use it.
Thanks for that quote. It so exactly describes what is happening. People seeking power and control over others because it makes them feel bigger than they are.
There is no cure for this mental illness; just rebirth from its utter destruction.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for
they shall be called the sons of God”. “Sell a coat to buy a sword”. Daisy, you are not naive to say the least. You are one of the few who have ascertained correctly, the times we live in. And yes, things will get worse sooner than later! You certainly have applied the afore mentioned scriptures, in my opinion. Check out z3news.com
for more of an explanation regarding things getting worse very soon. Time is short for prepping both physically and spiritually. Keep up the good works….Blessings to you and yours
This article is like a breath of fresh air! It is just what I needed to see. Excellent advice!
I too am tired (and shocked) by some of the hostile and hateful posts I have seen on Facebook.
I had no idea of the hostility, hatred and rage some of these people feel.
Hope you have a great day!
I agree that it is not worth the stress of trying to argue with those who seem to be living on hate or even simply irational invective. I am all for rational debate but when it is obvious that some one is not really listening I shut up and back away. Much better for the blood pressure! I personally stay off social media entirely but my wife is on face book to keep track of our grand children and great grand children andd she sees some of the nasty stuff in passing. We were discussing weather the Vietnam war and integration disruption of our high school and college years were as bad as the current crisis.She thinks the current situation is worse because of the social media. Still I wonder with that age including two Kennedys and Martin Luther King assinated and Nixon resigning. Then we had the cold war ongoing and now we have terror instead. We have riots now with sensless damage but there were riots then plus Kent State. What do you think?
I know for sure im sick of ALL of it too, so much so that i dont really even like reading alternative media any more, wont listen to any news of any sort wont listen to NPR, and dont really want to talk to anyone about anything that has anything to do with government or opposition or anything,
It has gotten real old, and i just dont care, have been puting all my energy into work and the farm and research for new cultivation techniques im going to try,
People have gone mental, im not interested in mental
Honestly, at this point I don’t care anymore. My compassion capital is spent. My love ones are consumed by frivolous pursuits. Chaos is coming and the suffering will be of Biblical proportion. Oh, the poor children who depend on these parents…
I prepped for them but like the saying goes, ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail.’ Realistically they will never make to our survival homestead. I can’t save them. BUT I can help those families who are trying to prepare. And that’s what I did, and I did it BEFORE chaos hits. Much of my LT food storage was for others. It has been distributed to prepper families who APPRECIATED its value and will be good stewards. What a relief.
That is how I found peace in a hostile world.
Thank you Daisy, I am grateful for your insight and your point of view. Yea there are other sane people out there !
I often remind myself that there is a Hand on the controls and I need not stress over the direction we are heading. Someone else is taking care of it all and the destination is certain.
I do keep informed. I believe its critical. Events are occurring too fast not to keep up. “Knowledge is power” is a true statement and it can also be a life saver. We can’t just tune out. If you do you may become road kill resulting from unnoticed events you were not aware of and should have been.
“Lions are not concerned with the opinions of sheep”. I try to live by that saying. All the sheep these days have opinions they want to insist you listen to and those opinions are most often grounded in propaganda repeated by the willfully ignorant. I just try to sluff it off, recognizing it for what it is. I feel I have a good handle on what the agenda is, and I know there is nothing I can do about it personally, so don’t stress over it. I may not be successful every time, but its a good touch stone to go back to.