The Lost Art of Nuance

Most of the criticisms I receive on my posts are from good intentioned folks who have bought into the cultural milieu that has been seeded for decades now. Today we are seeing the harvest. The content of the criticism is often due to my refusal to “condemn” the “right people”, or to “excuse” the “wrong people”. Nuance is a lost art in this age of division and extremism. We are all better than this and we should aspire to better. But as long as we continue to “choose our news” and simply confirm our beliefs instead of challenging them by holding them up to the light of scrutiny and inquiry it will be more of the same. Biases should not keep us blinded to the truth. I have a bias to favor chocolate Ice-Cream. But I don’t deny the existence of vanilla. Or God forbid Neapolitan. Nor do I deny people the right to buy it and eat it. When will we choose to return to collaboration and compromise in efforts to solve our conflicts? Those are the values that shaped our nation into the beacon of liberty and justice, not these counterfeits of extremism and dogmatism that refuse to budge. You think you are defending America with your rhetoric, your extremism, your partisanship? You’re killing America. According to Bill Bishop, “We now live in a feedback loop, hearing our own thoughts about what’s right and wrong bounced back to us by the television shows we watch, the newspapers and books we read, the blogs we visit online, the sermons we hear, and the neighborhoods we live in.” Bishop continues, “In 1976 less than 25 percent of Americans lived in places where the presidential election was a landslide. In other words, we lived next door to, and attended school and worshiped with, people who held very different beliefs than ours. We were ideologically diverse. In contrast, in 2016, 80 percent of U.S. counties gave either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton a landslide victory. Most of us no longer live near people who are all that different from us in terms of political and social beliefs.” I had a relative ask me today if I deleted them because of something they posted on this thread, I said “No I never delete anyone.” The only time I would consider it and in a rare occasion I have done it is when the rhetoric becomes abusive or dehumanizing. All are welcome to express their thoughts here. But sadly, it seems that even social media is becoming a place where we only listen to those who walk, talk, think, believe, and vote like us. How sad and boring is that? Celebrate diversity and cultivate community! For more check out the book by Brene Brown “Braving the Wilderness.”