I go through days when I can’t stand politics, and I do whatever I can to avoid it. Other days I eat it up like chocolate during that certain time of the month.
One of my political craving days happened during President Trump’s inauguration. I perused Twitter afterward, and I tweeted this:
Fascinating how people listening to Trump’s speech are having such opposing reactions and all based on political leanings.
As a writer, in order to create believable characters, I have to study human nature. This includes studying myself. Time and again, I discover that in many ways I am not unique. I have the same automatic responses to stimuli – both mental and physical – as everyone else.
Part of our humanity demands acceptance of our peers. We need to be loved and understood. It’s written into our DNA as a matter of survival of our species. Strength in numbers, and all that.
We all learn that discrimination is bad, but that isn’t always true. We discriminate when choosing our friends, and most especially our spouse (or significant other depending upon your chosen verbiage).
Whenever we’re thrust in the middle of a crowd, we will – often subconsciously – look for people similar to ourselves. Why? Because if we surround ourselves with like-minded people, we feel that much more safe, and understood. It’s not necessarily about race or gender, either. In a crowd, I will seek out older people to converse with rather than a group of teenagers, because the chances of me having more in common with the older folks is greater. Plus, those teenagers might look at me a bit askance wondering why an old woman would choose to mingle with them. It’s not because I hate teenagers, but more to avoid any awkwardness on both our part. It’s much easier to be myself around those similar to me, just as it is for a teenager to be more relaxed around people his/her age.
To step out of our comfort zone is never easy. That includes politics.
I find myself spending more time on political sites that agree with my own leanings than those that don’t. I don’t delve into politics much on Facebook, but I do on Twitter. If you look at the people I follow, I share similar political views with about 80% of them. When I see a post (both on Twitter and on Facebook) contrary to my political an/or religious leanings, my eyes unfocus and I scroll past as fast as I can.
We’ve all heard the phrase that the truth is somewhere in the middle of two extremes. By spending all my time on like-minded sites, and with like-minded people, I may be getting a skewed, flat, and biased version of the truth.
To put it more simply let’s say I see a flat square in front of me. If I don’t step out of my self-created cage and see the square from a different point of view, I’ll never discover that it’s really a cube.
I have to remind myself that life is far more interesting in three dimensions, and the whole truth is far more complicated than a flat piece of paper.
Everything we hear is an opinion. Everything we see is perspective, not the truth.
– Marcus Aurelius
The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from the motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.
– Elizabeth Cady Stanton