It’s been so bewildering lately. Society is more polarized than ever. From sports to patriotism to children, there seem to be subjective views on how society, as a whole, should behave.
If we choose to take a step back and watch the interactions, the way people are behaving today seems dangerously close to mean playground behavior. And we, as a community, seem to be reacting in similar ways to playground behavior: we clearly state what we believe is right (in absolutes), we say the other “side” is wrong, and we mock them for being wrong. Instead of understanding why we are reacting, we resort to name calling, threats, and finding whatever insults we are able to throw at each other for maximum pain. We don’t like someone who has opposing views so we insult not only the person, but the party they connect with, their family, and their entire existence.
Can you see a parallel? In school, kids may see a kid who may not fit in, they may mock them and call them names. In current times it seems normal. On the playground that’s never acceptable.
It’s a challenge to step back and evaluate ourselves but in a time where it so easy to belittle and mock others are we courageous enough to be different? We teach our children to be inclusive, to be fair, but do we apply the same rules ourselves?
As long as we permit it, media will continue to cater to the lowest common denominator so if we allow ourselves to lower our standards to what we see on TV/internet we are lowering the potential for our best selves. Politicians and celebrities will say what they think we want to hear. Memes will continue to mock and names will be called. It’s on each of us to stop the hate and start showing care for others.
I recently read an article about eagles. Not the sports team (go birds) but, rather, the actual eagle in nature. It seems that when storms come an eagle has a tendency to get as high as possible so when the storm is at it’s worst an eagle is able to soar above the storm and remain above the winds/damage that can come its way. How wonderful if we, as a society, could take that same approach?
If you are hoping to soar as an eagle here are some tips for being able to stay above the storm and work towards your best self:
I know it’s easier said than done. And it’s tough to stand alone when a group is misbehaving. And when we watch the press, celebrities, and government officials feeding into the frenzy it’s easy to get caught up. But just as our wish for our future generations is to be better, so must we, as adults, practice what we teach.
As crass as it sounds, the choice is simple… We can lie in the mud with pigs or we can soar above as an eagle. Human beings are hard wired to care for others. We are pack minded. Caring for others is in our DNA.
Let’s all work to leave the playground and be the example our society needs.
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