The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

A modest proposal: let’s tone down the rhetoric for the holidays

Here’s a thought: we’re plagued day in and day out with opposites involving such subjects as racism, sexism, control of wealth, healthcare, refugees, violence and the environment. Many experience them daily in their lives and, whether we do or not, there’s an endless tsunami of words and pictures on Facebook, Twitter and blogs to remind us of them.

During the holidays, I wonder if we can look more to the Middle Way, a moderate path that doesn’t embrace the polarized extremes of our usual focus on how to fix what’s broken in the world. Personally, I think the rhetoric from “both sides” is like preaching to the choir at best and inflammatory at worst.

I’m not suggesting we bury our heads in the sand during the holidays and pretend that the problems don’t exist. My thinking here is that if we look at these opposites in the spirit of the season rather than fighting each other about them, perhaps we’ll find some fresh perspectives. Taking polarized positions and yelling about them clearly isn’t helping and is making unity harder to achieve.

No “winner” is possible as long as “each side” thinks its beliefs and attitudes represent the only possible answer to the issue it’s passionate about. While we should always try to transcend that view, the holiday season when we’re talking about love and kindness and the way of the spirit seems like a wonderful opportunity for putting on the cloak of the Middle Way and seeing how it fits.

–Malcolm

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