“Remember we’re all in this together.” That phrase is one that I’ve used for over ten years when
ending these weekly chats with you. It’s a gentle reminder for not only you but myself as well that we indeed are all going through things in our lives and we just need to remember to cut each other a little bit of slack. But lately, it seems as though people are ignoring this simple reminder.
I’ve dealt with it on three different fronts this week and that is without turning on the television to be reminded of the division in this country. It first happened at work this past week on one of those days when it was raining and we were not making as much progress as we really could have been making. With harvest looming sooner than we will be ready for I came out from underneath the piece of machinery that I was doing maintenance on when I was met with a temper tantrum being thrown by a co-worker which ended with a lightly veiled threat of taking his grudge all the way up the leadership ladder if we didn’t work faster, even though we were doing the best we could with the conditions.
Then it came in the form of an email in a group that I’m associated with. There is a long term issue that the group has been trying to find a solution to and it has taken months of study and careful and thoughtful conversations to try to determine the best course of action. In the email the author, obviously unhappy that the authors view wasn’t being considered as law of the land, not only restated what he felt was the only solution he could think of but noted that if we didn’t all step in line a fit unlike any seen would be thrown at our next public gathering.
Finally it happened in a meeting that I attended over the weekend. During a meeting over a sometimes confusing and somewhat divisive subject I listened closely as opinions were expressed and thoughts shared. When the vote was finally taken, the most outspoken of the group loudly quipped “Look at all the traitors”, obviously speaking to the people they felt should have voted with them but instead voted a different way.
Perhaps you have seen it as well within your group of friends and acquaintances when the discussion of the presidential election comes up. I’ve actually seen people stop talking to each other and the vilest words spoken on what is simply a difference of opinion.
Now I’m not so naive to believe that we all must agree on every subject and I have always felt that in any argument there are usually more than two sides and a pleathera of solutions to problems, but in all of these situations besides the complete lack of professionalism that was displayed was something more disturbing, and that is that we’ve no longer maintained a tolerance for other people’s opinions that differ from ours and we haven’t learned to lose an argument with dignity and sportsmanship. Is this a product of the culture at this moment in time, or have we started to be this way as a society? Is this the example we are teaching our young people? That throwing a fit will get you what you want and if it doesn’t then you should submit to name calling and threats?
If we are not reminded of the fact that it is proper and respectful to act with decorum and civility in all situations, then we should at least remember the golden rule shouldn’t we? I guess we all need to be reminded of that over and over again until it sticks, and to make sure we are passing that on. So as you think about things this week, remember that your actions and words are a direct representation of the person you are and the values you have. And if that doesn’t work, just remember, we’re all in this together.