Trying But Not Succeeding
Dear Aunt Bossy,
I am at my wit’s end trying to figure out what is going on in the world, but every day, I get more confused. What can I do?
Dear Feeling Frustrated,
Join the group. I think a lot of people feel this way.
We are bombarded with so much conflicting information from people in academia, medicine, law enforcement, government, the media, including entertainment, that it is almost impossible to sort it out intellectually. Most people have decided to sort it out based on their feelings.
What to do?
First, it is important to read across the political spectrum. As always, I recommend realclearpolitics.com for articles and essays from across the world, as well as across the political divide. There are many good publications from all political leanings, so you have to be certain you are not focusing solely on the publications with which you already agree. It is important, too, to read beyond the headlines.
Contribute a small amount to each political party so you receive their mailings and find out what they are saying. I also recommend reading “Daily Kos” for a view from the left, and “American Thinker” for a view from the right. I don’t watch TV because it doesn’t require you to sift through as you listen and watch. Reading is more interactive.
Unfortunately, it has become almost impossible to discuss conflicting ideas with friends, family and acquaintances because so many assume another’s whole worldview on an opinion of a single issue, and become unable to see beyond that. I can’t tell you how many times people have accused me of being a liberal or a conservative based on one rather benign idea I have expressed, or even a question like “Why does so and so keep changing his opinion about mask wearing?” which is a neutral question.
Asking yourself “Will this move us closer to the goal of —-?” is a good way to assess a belief or recommendation. Follow up with asking yourself why.
There are some questions that can’t be answered by assessing movement toward the goal, but most of them can. We still don’t have enough info on some subjects to figure it out, which is why people turn to how they “feel” about it.
It is really important to associate with people from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds, including race, color, creed and beliefs about life. You may not be able to discuss issues with them in these perilous social times, but you can benefit from paying attention to them, seeing how they live, treat others, and how their beliefs impact their lives. Someone did a study that showed that the more statement stickers you have on your car, the angrier you are, no matter where you are on the social/political spectrum. Interesting.
This is a tough situation. The people who aren’t struggling with it are not going to be the source of solutions.
Always be sure to ask yourself, “What if I’m wrong?” If you are absolutely positively certain you are 100% right, you are most probably wrong, so take a deep breath, and distract yourself by doing something fun and/or frivolous. You’ll be a happier and better person for it.