Rent, broken, torn. Our society is fighting itself. Our immunity is down. Resistance to antibiotics is rampant. Not in the way you would read this, but our human collective resistance to a massive propaganda attack is not being supported in any way by antibiotics of moderation and wisdom. We do not know moderation. Only excess. Be that excess social media, digital media, food, drugs, exercise, pretence, or extremes of our belief system. We have the rise of the ‘superbug.’ The posturing mostly male guys touting their bullshit in such bucket loads we simply cannot discern what might be true, if anything at all. They play the game of smoke and mirrors with the finesse of a master magician, and we are lost to their spell. Propaganda, fake news, alternative facts…this is our world. What is real?
This last week I found myself caught so deeply in the game it was shocking.
Like many people, I have fallen HARD down the rabbit hole of the travesty of our global political system. Addicted have I become to the news feed. Each day I awake wondering, as my first thought…what has happened in the world while I was sleeping? What has he done now? Who shot who? What act of terrorism has happened? What careless atrocity has now been unleashed on the most vulnerable?
This! My first thought!
Oh..lordy…am I possessed by this sickness.
The hit, yes the hit…the rush…of the news feed. The empty feeling when it is not filled with more lunacy, horror, breakdown. (That line is worth re-reading. I just said that when the news feed is not filled with some disaster, some idiocy, some terror, I notice a feeling of lesser stimulation.)
I noticed that I want to feel vindicated for my righteousness every day. Idiots ruling the world. What have they done now? I want them to fall on their swords. Hard.
And then, as grace would have it…I was given an opportunity to experience just how this sickness has taken hold of me, like it most probably has with millions of others. Maybe even you?
I was in a conversation with a client. It became apparent that our political views differed. I noticed my anger. My righteousness. “How could you believe this crap?” my inner voice was yelling. “Are you friggin mad?”
The rage stayed with me…this was a client. A human. And I was sitting in my personal stew of anger and rage over political difference. There, right there, in that moment, was the fracture that has split the world. And we, we are the pawns on the board playing and being played.
But to add vinegar to the story, my client was more enraged than I. Far more. And fired me. Because our political views were misaligned. From this place she could see no crossable bridge back to human to human connection, to a place where a field can be held that allows difference within safety and respect.
Even though I came to my senses and reconnected with her humanity, created a field of love big enough to hold her entire personhood. Even the parts I did not agree with.
Yet here, in this microcosm of our world, I saw the whole ugliness being player out. I saw just how far we, the human pawns in the big game, had become fractured. How we are perpetuating the very darkness that we are seeking to break from.
That our own violence of opinion, our own stubborn and angry point of view, our own addiction to righteousness, addiction to the news feed hit, has brought us to this place and world that has squeezed beauty out.
Ugly, ugly ugly.
How ugly we have allowed the process of human governance to become. How ugly we have allowed our own responses to difference to become.
I have been contemplating how we arrived at such a fractured state? How these divisions in our society have become the grand canyon. How we have lost threads to the very things that unite us. Love, care, kindness, compassion, respect, beauty. Yes beauty.
I have been contemplating the aged art of debate. The theatre sport where a position is made and two sides get to debate opposing positions. How in many debating circles the debaters have to prepare to respond to both sides of the argument, because the rules state that you will get to draw from a hat which side you will be arguing from. That in the preparation of the debate, which is a game to win, for fun, you steep yourself deeply in the entire matter, in all its shades, from all angels, no matter what you actually believe.
And how in the process your opinion is brought to a more whole perspective.
Oh do we need this now. So much so that I am deeply contemplating how to bring this back, this noble art of debate.
I know I have to stop. I have to get off the addictive cycle of the drama news feed. That does not mean I put my head in the sand and turn off the news. But I do have to get my adrenalin rush from a more healthy source. Not a source that fires my belly with daily added coals of division, coal by coal, so slowly I do not even notice the smouldering until the full blaze of my anger is unleashed. Leaving even me gasping for oxygen.
The superbug, immune response metaphor is a valid one. We are surrounded by powerful superbugs. They have been keeping us toasty on a diet of slow steady antibiotics (propaganda). Their actions in the world have eroded our immune system. They have been raising the temperature (literally) in the pot, so much so that we have started a war with each other, which of course keeps distraction levels high.
Trouble with Mother Nature that most superbugs have not figured out, she is far smarter than any of us. Superbug city with all the food sources destroyed (that would be us) means superbugs have to turn in themselves. No one wins. (Of course most of the superbugs food sources die first.)
And then we start again.
But…perhaps, just perhaps, we can break this cycle. Maybe, after many many goes around the same game, we have learned.
We gotta love each other. No matter what.
We gotta build a bridge across the grand canyon. We gotta see that the superbugs, like anything in the world, lose all their power in the face of love.
And that we, me, you, I, have always held this power…to choose love, or not.
We can say no to the superbugs. By all means. And while we are doing that, we gotta reach out, and love.
Photo Credit: Kaleb Nimz