Lets say a particular belief is one you stand upon. No force of nature or facts to the contrary will ever topple you from it. The notion is held tightly, and to let go of it or consider an opposing belief would cause you emotional harm. Those that do not hold this belief are misguided or simply wrong.
Absolute truth. It is rare in modern society because facts and data scream at us daily to reform update our opinions. Mass marketing is all about staking claim to that mental real estate by booting something else from it. And yet, there are still a few things we hold fast to.
It is the holiday season. My own beliefs are softened this time of year precisely because of the virtues that represent what I see in Christmas. I try to be more welcoming of others' views because the guy we talk about at Christmas comforted the afflicted no matter what they held as irrefutable truth. Peace and love were not reserved only for the ones that followed.
But here we are. Like sailors bound to the mast of a ship in the middle of a hurricane, all of us are holding fast to what we believe while everything to the contrary attempts to tear us away from is. It has resulted in a broken political system, an inability to debate freedoms merged with responsibility and even how we treat one another. The winds are strong, but the storm is of our own doing.
A community in the northeast lives in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy that we as Americans have grown all but complacent toward. It is an unspeakable act that is a familiar, painful refrain. But when the nightly news has a recycled graphics package waiting and experts on speed dial to talk about how this contributes to a national debate on gun control, it is hard not to be cynical and chased into your own belief corner.
It is our own weakness that finds us there.
Loving one another unconditionally is a directive that everyone I have ever met, ever will meet and most especially I myself, fails at. Hurt and hate spill openly in a fear-filled world. Talk about an outbreak of gun violence and divisions instantly emerge among friends. Add taxes, religion and politics to that list and you have a recipe for conflict and passive aggression. The "things you don't say in polite company" rule comes from this knowledge. But it does not have to be this way.
Debate and compromise. Finding common ground for a greater good. Listening more than you speak and considering many different points of view. These are not solely the responsibility of our elected leaders; We have an obligation to one another to do these things ourselves.