Thursday, May 30, 2013

Why Divide When Addition Is So Much Easier?

In a world inundated with violence why do we choose to separate ourselves instead of draw together?

Why do we stress our differences and adamantly force our opinion or agenda on others ... as if we are always absolutely correct all the time? Why is there only one way to do things or see things?

What is the reason we want so incessantly to be Right?

In a country founded on the principals of religious and political freedom, why do we seek to supplant someone else's vision and cling so intently to our own?

I find myself, today, asking questions and pondering the reason we human beings seek so cruelly to call attention to our differences instead of celebrate our uniqueness. Nowhere do I see this more frequently stressed than on Facebook. The very Social Network initially designed to connect us to friends far and near now serves as our platform to stress how Right our opinions are and how Wrong other opinions must be.

Friendships can be strained by a haphazard remark ... a "comment"... a Like. Since interpreting the intent behind statements and banter is largely based on non-verbal cues and tone of voice -- and Facebook allows for none of that -- the written word can light a fuse or bond a friendship. Usher into a "Comment-based" discussion and your thoughts, ideas and perspective is preserved out there for the masses to view. Make the right choice or you could be "unfriended." 

Math is used inappropriately in homes as well. Couples ... families ... all divided by differences in interpretation of texts, emails, voice mail messages ... even casual comments at the dinner table can erupt World War III. Did you ever stop to consider how easily a comment or action could be innocently misinterpreted based on someone else's slanted viewpoint or misunderstanding. In college my professors called these the "tapes" we hear over and over in our minds that tell us what is right, wrong, acceptable, unacceptable etc. Today's generation probably refers to them as "CDs." But these recordings are based on "programming" that occurred during our formative years -- growing up with the opinions of adults and friends. These viewpoints were created before the couple met or family formed ... before you befriended that person who votes for the "wrong" guy or upholds the "wrong" Constitutional opinion.

I'm naive perhaps. I get that a lot. I'd just prefer to see other viewpoints as that ...  other viewpoints. I like to hear them ... they give me stuff I wouldn't get if I hung around people who only shared my specific opinions.

Me, I like to be super busy, juggle projects, write, and work out early in the morning. Don't pass judgment on that and I won't pass judgment on your preferences and choices.  I like to flirt, and laugh and snuggle my kids and give hugs  and hang out with friends. I like to debate stuff and discuss crazy things over a Blue Moon or one martini. I like to perform on-stage and write. I like to watch Scandal marathons alone and drink wine while I do so. I treasure spending time with the special people in my life I have chosen as my dearest friends. I like to watch a movie and discuss it. Text. Talk and then not text or talk. I like to be alone. And other times I like to be with people. What does that say about me?

It just says I'm Jenni Carmichael Clark ... and I'm good with that. The good, the bad, the quirky, the silly, the crazed, the dramatic ... all of it. My choices. My opinions. My mistakes. Me. Heck ... if I like to dress up as Batgirl and bake cookies, it's my choice. (Not that I DO, but I'm just saying I could if I wanted to!) It's my life ... let me Add up all the wonderful aspects of it and leave Division to those who want to place blame, pass judgement or just choose to be unhappy. 

"We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights ... that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." People define that Pursuit of Happiness differently. That doesn't make them bad. People see things differently. That doesn't make your viewpoint right ... or theirs either.

Separation. Division. Insistence on one way of seeing things. That's not in our Declaration of Independence.

Please don't write it in.
                                                                                                                                -- Jenni