Lately I've been feeling overwhelmed by the negativity and judgment which seems to be pervasive. I know that both of these attributes have always existed to some degree, but they seem to be gaining momentum with the government shutdown. I can't turn on the news without being inundated with nasty debates and fear mongering predictions. Regardless of which side of the aisle your allegiances lie, the situation is frustrating and is bringing out the worst in people.
I used to enjoy debating with my friends about political issues. I now find that I shun these discussions because they rarely end amicably. Basic civility when discussing opposite view points has been lost, and so many people only feel satisfied when they have "won" the debate by going for the jugular and beating their friends views to the dust. What ever happened to a spirited discussion where both parties left satisfied that they have been heard but have maintained their dignity?
Although the nasty rhetoric certainly dominates my Facebook news feed and television, there have been some glimpses of humanity shining to help those affected during the government shutdown. Robby's school has sent out an email to every parent, informing everybody that the school is willing to wait for tuition payments for those who have been impacted by the shutdown. Students will remain enrolled allowing them to maintain at least one aspect of stability. Local food banks in my area, which has been heavily impacted by the shutdown, have reported record donations. A car mechanic who mentors some of my husband's students is offering deferred payment options for repairs. The Animal Park has announced that it is waiving admission fees for everybody impacted by the shutdown. The list of good deeds keeps growing, yet it is receiving no press. I guess broadcasting yelling and blame throwing garners better ratings than kindness and compassion.
It is nice to know that in difficult times neighbors are still stepping up to help each other. My hands are tied when it comes to the government, but I control my interactions. I won't participate in political debates because the issues are too volatile and discussions often lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings. Veiled jabs on Facebook are simply unseemly, unprofessional and immature and I won't engage in these exchanges. I want my social media interactions to be uplifting and pleasant.