Mirror, mirror on the wall

Dan ArpPowell

Who is the fairest of them all? Well, certainly not me. These are the times that try our souls. Polarization seems to be at an all-time high.

Without disclosing my political and ideological position I freely admit that I am entrenched in my area. I find myself intolerant of persons who do not see the truth that I believe in. I can think of numerous occasions where I was very vocal when others expressed things that I knew were unequivocally untrue. I am well aware of the concept that its futile to try to correct persons who I feel are totally wrong. I understand that these “wrong” persons feel the same way about me.

That being said, how do I and we navigate through the storm?

It’s nothing new. As long as there have been differing opinions there has been strife between individuals and groups. I yearn for the ability to disagree in an agreeable and civil way. I seek the wisdom to know when to bite my tongue.

Recently I had an encounter where I behaved badly. Later I chided myself for it. I reached out to two valued sources for advice. One was a very dear friend. The other my eldest son. My friend told me that he follows the old and true maxim that it’s best not discuss politics or religion. I know this is true. Knowing and doing…

I then spoke with my son. “The child is father to the man.” His wise words were similar to my friend’s. He has gone from a period where he stayed angry much like me to a time when he realizes it’s futile to angst over things over which he has no control. Since then, his world has become more peaceful. Now he just tries to make differences within his reach.

I want to stay informed about the world I live in but want to avoid being embroiled in the stew. I try to avoid the social media circus. I look for sources that back up what they say with documented evidence.

I remember writing many research papers in high school and college. I recall filling out copious note cards with information gleaned from many, many books. Pre-Google. Then when the information from my note cards was turned into text it was essential that footnotes were added to confirm the validity of my sources of information.

I would very much appreciate any comments that would help me, and maybe others, who are in a similar situation.

Dan Arp is retired and lives in Heiskell.


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