Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Reality is... depressing

Reality, yeah, sometimes life
Ain't all that it's cracked up to be
So let's take a chance and live this fantasy
'Cause everybody needs to break free from reality

These lyrics have been rolling around in my head for the past few days because I could certainly use a break from reality.

I've been quiet here because I'm feeling like if I don't have anything nice to say I just shouldn't say anything at all. Of course, if I keep that up there's no point in having this space, as I don't see much nice coming up any time soon.

Everywhere I look these days I just see more and more negativity and sadness and people being rude or mean or flat out hateful.

It's rampant in politics, which drives me nut. And drives me to alternate between paying attention because I really do care and want to and being so disgusted I end up yelling at the tv while watching news coverage. I'm a shades of gray person. I think of myself as liberal, but any political quiz I take labels me moderate. I think people, for the most part, are genuinely good and well intentioned. Yes, politicians included. I think (again, for the most part) they are truly fighting for what they believe is the right thing to do. I can respect that, even when I don't agree with their views. But what I can't respect is that we've lost the ability to compromise. To empathize.

There's so much partisanship and rhetoric it's hard to understand what's really happening and what the true intent is behind actions. It's hard to even find information that doesn't have a spin to it. It's really sad.

But what's worse, and even more surprising is that this mean, negative, hateful attitude seems to be becoming more and more pervasive in other places.

A few weeks ago I saw a "fan" lash out at one of my favorite musician's on Facebook because he was trying to raise funds to do a world tour via Kickstarter, a super common platform for creative funding. This woman was mean and hurtful, all because she didn't take the time to read the very clear description of the project and just jumped to conclusions, and attack.

I was at the cafe at Barnes and Noble over the weekend and some patrons a few tables over caught my attention. I missed the beginning of the argument, but it seemed that there was some confusion over who was holding some seats and a father with his young son thought he had a seat saved, but a group of four elderly people ended up there instead. The father argued with the elderly man, raising his voice to attract the attention of most of the cafe before storming away. Moments later he walked back through and very loudly called the older man a very bad word. Seriously?!? It is really worth getting that worked up over? And is that really the kind of example you want to set for a child?

A friend was telling me about a blog where parents from her daughter's child care center are sharing concerns. What started as concerns about the center's operation turned into parents lashing out at each other over their parenting skills and values.

This world we live in isn't easy. And I know that I'm fortunate and that the problems I face really are of the first world variety but still, all of this negativity just makes it harder. On everyone.

The old throwback cliche comes to mind, but it's cliche because it's true.

Why can't we all just get along?

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