A lot happened this past week and I don't want to repeat the various sides of the headline stories. I do, however, want to share a few comments about something I saw and experienced.
People I talked with about various social and political happenings (TPP, Affordable Care Act, Marriage Equality, etc) came from the extreme right and left, as well as moderates and even those who don't care anymore what happens. Some were for the Supreme Court rulings. Some were against these rulings, and for the most part, folks were pretty passionate about their stances, even when they were declaring they had no position.
I was also just as passionate.
For me, it was the Trans Pacific Partner fast track proposal. I believe the big secret is that this agreement gives corporations powers that have been delegated to governments: Power to sue a nation if they perceive a decision (food labeling, for instance) might affect the corporate bottom line; power to design and advance environmental regulations (or lack thereof); power to shift jobs around to the lowest bidder, with no regard for the impact to local employment and economies, to name but a few.
There are those who gathered in the streets to celebrate marriage equality, and those who gathered in their churches wondering what the country was coming to. Those who, having never read the Affordable Care Act, were sure it would bring down the health system, and those who were just grateful they would still have their insurance. So many rallying around the flag-symbol of their ideology, and so many seeing that same image as one more block to our coming together as one human family. Many sides to the many issues.
If we allow it, can this past week also illuminate for us the common-ness that we all share? We all felt a gain and a loss somewhere in the chaotic events. But how can we see that we are all in this process of change? While we may not agree 100% with one another on the issues and event, there is the opportunity to come together in the grounds that are common to us.
Some of my friends who study trends and series of events tell me that we are being encouraged to focus on our differences and mistrust opposing viewpoints, even to the point of declaring anyone who has a different perspective the enemy.
There are those who would say this divisiveness is spurred on by some pretty powerful people "out there" and that its purpose is so we are too distracted to focus on the real issues facing us as a species and as a planet.
When we have our conversations about what direction the country is going, maybe we could check our accusations and rhetoric. Maybe we could have a conversation from diverse perspectives without regarding the other in a way that lacks respect.
Just a thought.