Why Does It Have To Be This Way?

We in this nation, around the globe in fact, are so divided that families have crumbled, friendships dissolved like a candy in hot water, marriages and even parent-child relationships gone in a blink of any eye.  Is this really who we are, or are we being led toward one side or another by those whose self-interest far outweighs their concern for us.

While yes, I know there are ideological differences between people based on their ‘order of values’, but beyond those relatively minor details, it seems that it should all be so simple.  For example … I cannot imagine a single human on this planet who wouldn’t grieve for the 19 children murdered in Texas last month, who wouldn’t do anything in their power to stop such a thing from ever occurring again.  And yet … we are so divided on who can own what types of guns and how many.  Seems pretty simple if you had a child, grandchild, niece or nephew at Robb Elementary School.  What is there to argue about?  And why?  And how many more must die before we lay down our own arms and join hands to preserve the lives of our future?

Or consider the issue of women’s rights as personified by the abortion rights issue.  Now, granted about half of the people in this nation are males and therefore might not have as complete an understanding, but here’s the thing, people.  If Roe v Wade remains the law of the land and we women retain our rights to determine what happens with our own body, when or if we ever have a baby, and more, that does not force anybody who doesn’t believe in abortion to have one!  It would be rather like banning lemon cookies because half the nation doesn’t like the taste of them, when nobody is forcing anybody to eat a damn lemon cookie!  Why must we be so divided on this issue … why can we not agree to just live and let live.  If you don’t choose to have an abortion, then fine … don’t have one.  Have a baby and I hope you are in a position to take the best possible care of that baby.  But remember that not everyone is.

What about the LGBTQ community?  I have many friends who are LGBTQ and they are, without exception, great people.  What’s the big deal?  Again, why can’t we live and let live?  Who I choose to love, to spend the rest of my life with, is frankly nobody else’s business, just as who you choose to love is not my business.  Why is that a divisive issue in this country and so many others?  Are we really so small-minded, so closed-minded that we cannot accept that not everybody looks, acts, and thinks just as we do?

I think two things have propelled us into the divisions that are destroying not only this nation, but much of the world today:  religion and political greed.

On the topic of religion, I understand that some religions do not believe in such things as inter-racial marriage, same-sex marriage, abortion, and more.  And so, here in the U.S. of late, we seek to condemn those things, in some cases to make them against the law.  WHY?  Other religions don’t believe in eating pork or drinking alcohol, yet I haven’t heard of any motions to make pig meat or alcohol illegal, have you?  If you identify with a certain sect or religion, then fine, but … why can’t you accept that not everybody shares your beliefs?  What about that term “freedom of religion” which is one of the founding principles of this nation, one of the reasons the nation came to exist.  Why must we always be trying to mold people into clones of ourselves?  Because church leaders tell us to do so, they tell us that there is only one right way and everybody else is wrong!  Not so, my friends.  The world is made more interesting for the variety of thoughts, cultures, beliefs … and no one religion can or should ever dominate the others.  Go to your church, worship as you wish, but don’t come and try to push your ideas on the rest of us.

And as far as political greed, well … do I even need to say more?  It’s real simple … politicians come in two brands – those who want to change the world for the better and those who want to change their own world for the better.  The politicians who are so heavily invested in their own fortunes that they have forgotten the rest of us are dividing us with intent … the intent to solidify a base of people whose minds they can control.  They tell their base what they should want, what they deserve, and how to get it, and like lambs led to the slaughter, the people largely buy into it.  They tell them that ‘the other side’ is evil, and they believe it.  So, if a person’s son or friend happens to be on that ‘other side’, say a different religion, different beliefs on topics like education, guns, voting, or a host of other issues, they will push those people out of their lives … sometimes forever.

What divides us is not a question that has a simple answer, for there are many things that divide us, and religious leaders and politicians play on those issues every single day to widen the gap of division.  So, the question becomes, how do we fix this problem, for if we fail to do so, we will be hastening our own demise.  We all share this planet and its resources, but we are destroying each other as well as the planet.  How do we learn to talk to each other again instead of fighting, name-calling, and using physical violence to make our points?  Or can we?  Are humanity, compassion, and caring lost causes?

Let’s try to start by remembering the world ‘tolerance’, but accepting that we are all different in so many ways, and reminding ourselves that it’s okay to be different.  It’s okay for me to have an abortion and for you not to.  It’s okay for you to eat pork and me to shun it.  It’s okay for you to own a gun, as long as you are a responsible person, pass the background checks, and keep your gun out of the hands of children, and it’s equally okay for me to declare my home a ‘gun-free zone’.  We don’t have to agree on everything, but we’re going to have to find some areas in which we can at least open non-hostile discussion!  And on that note, I will hush … for now.

57 thoughts on “Why Does It Have To Be This Way?

  1. Another blogging friend wrote about ‘Braver Angels’ this week; have you ever heard of this group?
    She told of a recent workshop event of ‘red/blue’ folks – staggered red/blue/red/blue around the table – and she stated, “…I don’t believe any minds were changed. But hearts were. Everyone in the room recognized the humanity we share;… ”
    Encouraging…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good evening Jill and fellow bloggers, here’s some good news for once:

    “The House of Representatives just passed major new gun control with H.R. 7910, “Protecting Our Kids Act” of 2022. Provisions include regulating purchasing, age to buy, so-called “ghost guns,” building homemade firearms, undetectable firearm components, gun storage, bump stocks, and high capacity magazine (normal) restrictions. This new anti-gun law has many provisions and represents some of the most major gun control that the gun-grabbers have only dreamed of. The Armed Attorneys Richard Hayes and Edwin Walker break down the new gun law that is making its way to the senate.”

    1. Must be 21 and pass comprehensive background checks before purchase
    2. No more “gifting” of firearms unless to immediate family members, no more “strawman purchases”
    3. No more homemade firearms, must be registered and licensed
    4. No more ghost guns (without serial #s)
    5. No undetectable firearms, made of plastic etc
    6. Guns must be locked up in house, keep away from unprohibitive persons
    7. Outlaw bump-stocks
    8. Limit magazines to 10 rounds, guns using more than 10 are now illegal, except law enforcement
    9. Serialize all high capacity magazines

    Now let’s hope this bill will pass the Senate!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY ? |jilldennison.com | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  4. Overall, I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. I tend to think it’s because both of us believe in personal independence. We simply don’t LIKE being told how to live our lives by people who think THEY know what’s best for anyone and everyone … and who then try to force their way on others.

    I do take minor issue with your discussion on the LGBTQ community. It isn’t just about who a person chooses to love or live with. It’s also about individuals who want to change their sexual/gender identity. I personally have concerns about the issue, but bottom line, it’s their life and if it’s done with medical approval, who are we to judge?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Nan! Yes, we are both independent thinkers and people of at least a degree of intellect.

      Well, to each his own on the transgender issue, but personally I see no reason to be concerned. As long as someone doesn’t come up to me and say that I must change my gender, I’m cool with it all. I may not always understand why, but it doesn’t harm me or anyone else, so … live and let live.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “Live and let live” has never been the way of nations. Not in the past, not now. In this country, we don’t have laws against eating beef or pork, but other countries do. There is a lot of “ethnic cleansing” going on all around the world. Despite constantly reminding each other how many nice people are out there — and there ARE a lot of nice people, including us — there are just as many or more NOT nice people. Those not-nice people have a funny way of also being the people who seek power and believe violence is the only answer to everything. Maybe evil is somehow linked to a passion for power.

    Religion has become for too many people not a faith but an excuse. Praise the Lord and let’s murder anyone who doesn’t agree with us. Somewhere along the path to today, I’ve lost my faith in the inherent goodness or even intelligence of humanity. I so deeply believed Americans would NEVER shame us the way the have. Regardless of the poetry on the Statue of Liberty or as hypocritically promoted in our Constitution, tolerance has never been our chosen path or as far as I know, the chose path of any nation. For all those nice, good, caring people we like to tell each other are “out there,” we never talk about how many people are cruel, intolerant, racist, bigoted, violent haters.

    I don’t know why it’s true, but it is. That’s how we wound up where we are. It’s why we are not collectively bowing our heads in shame while trying to make things right.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Praise the Lord and let’s murder anyone who doesn’t agree with us.” Boy-oh-boy! Ain’t that the truth!! Too many of today’s “Christians” make up their own rules … and then CLAIM it’s “God’s will.” 😠

      Liked by 2 people

    • ‘Tis true that ‘Live and let live’ has never been the motto of nations, but bringing it down to a smaller level, why cannot people … families, friends, etc., learn to accept others for who they are rather than trying to impose their own will and beliefs on everyone they encounter? This just seems like such a simple concept to me. I don’t think of myself as too naive, or a fool, but I am stymied by this concept, that people cannot even agree on the simplest of things anymore.

      While I am a non-believer, I understand the desire of so many to believe that there is somebody in charge, that there is a higher power, something to bring light out of chaos and give them hope for something at the end of the tunnel. But to force that belief on others … to start wars on the basis of religious intoleration … is simply beyond my comprehension.

      I agree with you, but I must admit that I still believe most people are good at the core. I believe that simple ignorance is to blame for many of the acts of violence and stupidity that we see. If you look at some of the studies of who Donald Trump’s avid followers are, the numbers bear me out … most are not college-educated and not known for being deep thinkers. I still have hope that we can salvage this nation, though my hopes dim by the day. Sigh.

      Thank you, Marilyn, for visiting and for your very thoughtful comment!

      Like

      • Well, we certainly aren’t solving the college-affordability problem, currently… nor the idea that not going to college (but indeed finishing high school) makes one a narcissistic ignoramus.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You’re right, and student loan debt can be overwhelming! I went to college in the 1970s and 1980s and, due to my circumstances, got a lot of financial aid. My daughter, on the other hand, graduated with a nursing degree in 2010, accompanied by over $100,000 student loan debt. Thus far, we haven’t successfully addressed the issue, in part because anything that helps ordinary people is not popular with the Republicans in Congress, and in part because corporations would like to keep staff in debt and thus not free to seek new challenges or tell a minimum wage employer where to put it!

          Like

  6. Heck Jill, sorry about this reply, it just grew a bit. You know me and The Triggers:

    Oh, to be sure this is a question and one half. I was tempted to pass it by because…well you probably know what the answer will be anyway and who wants to read guy that brings out ‘The Tower’ mentality?
    Still, some questions are trigger questions are they not? Apologies Jill and anyone else which reads this comment and the harshness of the tone. It is how it is.

    To repeat. It is this way, because we Humans are flawed folk. Of course, we can cite Greed, Religion, Ignorance, Politics and so forth for ‘The Cause(s)’. The thing is, those are, when you come down to it, well, estimates to use on other folk. And it depends on what you want from your society. Because you have to remember folk are ‘flawed’. You cannot trust ‘The Whole’ to behave, and play ‘nice’. There is no ‘Dawning of the Age of Aquarius’. There never was. Nor any Good Old Days, only degrees of Imperfection, some tolerable. Anyway, let’s focus on what we like to call ‘The West’, just for brevity’s sake.

    In hard practical terms, it depends just what you reckon is tolerable. Not what is desirable or hoped for. If you are resident in the USA, you can see that once the folk who do not wish to pay nice, who are shorn of decent behaviour are allowed to run free, then, well you get where you are now. True, some might say, from history, The USA has always had a more edgy relationship with stability than say Europe, (when it wasn’t at self-destructive war, that is) However when folk who spout downright Hate, Lies and Racism are becoming daily occurrences and not in just one demographic part of the nation, then a tipping point is getting closer.

    If this was a European state, they being smaller and able to recall more authoritarian forms of government, from the paternalistic restrictive democracy to the outright one party police state. Yes, in a crisis, an efficient crew could lock down the station and aside from a few riots stifle the opposition, until things calmed down.
    USA, well you have a different history and cultures and you are very big, very, very big and varied too. Three basic choices.
    Firstly. Let things stumble on until communal violence is a common occurrence and the Right are suddenly whining…’It’s not fair. They are shooting back. WE have to shoot some more. Oh no, they are shooting more. And we dare not go into that town, we won’t come back,’ and so forth.
    Secondly. You turn a blind-eye to what your present federal government might start doing, and de facto join their side. Report on your neighbours. Take legal civil action on some as was done with the vile Alex Jones. And hope everything calms down.
    Thirdly. Folk start to say. ‘Ok. USA. Nice idea while it lasted. Let’s start divorce proceedings, and try not to let it be too messy. We’ll be lots of separate nations with our own NATO and EU and stuff like that, and Washington and The President can be symbolic,’
    Any of the above would be the alternatives based on the Long Walk of History. Nations rise, they prosper, the strains start to show, they decline, they fall, or They Weren’t The Place They Used To Be. That is the way Humans work. That is the way it has always been, and based on events around the world (widening the lens a bit) that is how it looks like it is going to be for a while yet.

    I suppose there are other alternatives. Maybe sunnier ones. If anyone can come up with a convincingly practical one that can be applied, like now, please tell me. I am happy to be proven wrong.

    Sorry for the grimness folk, I started to seriously worry about the USA back in 2014 and hoped it was just me being ‘moody’ and too many books on European Warfare and Politics. It’s not getting better, is it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I said very much the same think in slightly different words. I didn’t read your comment first or I might not have written mine! I think those of us who read history are far less convinced that “most people are really good at heart.” I’ve never seen any evidence of that, not now, not in the past, not ever. I think the good hearted folks are the rare ones the rest are out to get whatever they can however they can. It doesn’t mean they don’t smile when the meet you. Some of the most pleasant people I’ve ever met were criminals. Many more were politicians.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, indeed
        Humanity….
        It’s complicated.
        I think (he says very slowly) most folk tend to the better side of our Natures but will ditch them with frightening ease….I know I do.
        And then you get the paradoxes of the person who is ‘wonderful’ to the public eye and most unpleasant in their private life…. or the opposite. History is full of examples like that.
        The key words for our lives should be Compassion. Respect. Tolerance…..Sadly we will ditch them all when provoked or think we are provoked…or to suit our agendas.
        Humanity…Flawed.

        Liked by 1 person

    • If you hadn’t commented, I would certainly have understood, but know that I ALWAYS appreciate your comments, your take on things from a historical perspective, and your passion. So, don’t apologize for your comment!

      I cannot argue or disagree with anything you say, but … I still find it unacceptable that there is no peaceable solution, that we humans cannot set aside our vileness, our anger, and work toward making this nation what we all once thought it could be. I’m a stubborn wench and I cannot stop thinking that somewhere, somehow, there is a way to narrow that great divide. Yeah, I know, I’m looking for that “Dawning of the Age of Aquarius” or that “Kumbaya” moment. I try not to be naive and to see people for what they are, but then I think that somewhere under all the filth and fluff, there MUST be a good heart lurking, just needing to be brought out of the mothballs. Sigh.

      Of your three potential scenarios, I think the third one is the most likely. Perhaps the messiest, but also the most likely because it has been talked about already and because we cannot stay on the present path too much longer before all hell breaks loose. I keep hoping to avoid this, but … in addition to being naive, I’m also a realist and know that this divisiveness must sooner or later explode.

      Now, Sir Roger, stay OUT of the Tower, please? I would not forgive myself if it was my post that sent you back there!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Jill. (Ahh troubling times. Remember it was not so long ago I was telling you I would not be around on your posts….The news just draws you in)
        I haven’t been back to The Tower, it’s just The Tower perspective. If that makes sense.
        Anyway, I was just exchanging thoughts with Marlyn over this subject of Folk / Humans.
        As you know my solutions tend to the authoritarian on account of my perceptions on the Irresponsibility streak in populations.
        Take this candidate for one of my Gulags, the creep who claims to be a Christian and yet wants to kill all gays. In the USA thanks to a Written Constitution the slime can slither away. In the UK with our Unwritten tangle based on Law, Precedence and Legal Rulings , he would be ‘nicked’ (arrested) by the Old Bill (Police) and ‘Up Before The Beak’ (in court facing a judge) and likely Banged Up (In Prison) under Hate Legislation, which some claims infringes Freedom to… (Awww too bad).
        Two nations going different ways, and at times the USA’s system seemed better than ours, but it has been abused by Hate-Mongers, Opportunists, and out-right Loons. It’s not working. Nice folk might have been able to have pushed back, say 30-40 years ago, but we rarely see that far ahead, and now you are where you are. Trying to put an evil genie back in a bottle.
        I know it would be a better outlook to Hope that folk will have a change of heart just by stopping and thinking. Sadly being wrapped up in the ‘Realistic’ (aka by some as the Pessimistic / Cynical) school of thought I can only see the way out as either to use The Divorce Path, or accept there is going to be another Civil War (likely upon that Northern Ireland scenario I go on about).
        Though I would be only too happy for Keith and folk of his ilk to prove that I was very wrong to think this way.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think that most of the people in the US are stupid and they are being controlled by the News that they watch on TV, like FOX News, or the posts that they read on Facebook. They blindly follow others and do what they are told like sheep being led to a slaughter or lemmings jumping off a cliff.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Reblog: Why Does It Have To Be This Way? – This, That, and the Other

  9. I have been on a self-imposed absence from twitter and political blogs for a while and I find it quite refreshing. I wanted to drop in on this post and say that there must be something strange going on in the cosmos as I am in total and complete agreement with this post. I think it’s sad when friendship and relationships dissolve because of ideological agreements, after all, we are more than our ideas. Religious and political affiliation make up but a tiny fraction of the whole person. I accept responsibility for the parts that I have played in giving into lower impulses and being a part of the problem and not the solution. Perhaps my absence from twitter, with the exception of following some artists, should continue as said absence has allowed me to look more reflectively at myself and come to the sad realization that I really haven’t been at my best regarding past interactions with you and some of your readers. I hope you’ve been doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Scott. I appreciate you accepting responsibility, your reasonable words, and I’m glad that your break from social media has relaxed you, and perhaps given you a calmer perspective. These are tough times, and we cannot always agree on everything, but when the name-calling and terribly rude comments start, it only adds fuel to the fire. I’m doing alright … not great, but hanging in and hoping to survive the heat wave coming this week with our a/c on the fritz. Take care.

      Like

  10. When reading the news about the Jan 6 Insurrection Committee I saw a Tweet from Bill Kristol which gave me pause. Kristol said something to the effect of: “lots of counter arguments coming from conservative media, but no evidence.” It stopped me to consider that, yes, there is an overwhelming amount of conservative news media out there and they are not reporting “news” per se. It is almost entirely opinion and, as such, they can “report” anything they like or, conversely, not report what they don’t want their audiences to hear. Nowhere is this more evident that with Fox News. Tucker Carlson actually lies to his audience daily and they drink it up and come out knowing exactly nothing true.

    Remembering the election of 2004 Bush v Kerry where seemingly out of nowhere came the divine debate about gay marriage. All one could see and discuss were not the important presidential issues but a made-up social issue, gay marriage. Now it’s transgender equality/rights/civil support, etc. It does seem as though someone is in the background cooking up this nonsense making – keeping – us fighting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve long respected Bill Kristol and what he said is true. You won’t see the reporting of facts on outlets such as Fox, for the facts don’t exist to support their opinions. But the bigger problem is that so many people, probably a third of the people in the nation, believe what people like Tucker Carlson and other conspiracy theorists say, and they are easily convinced that they are right, even though there aren’t any facts. They don’t seem to want to have to engage their minds to think about whether what they’re being told makes sense or not.

      Your point about the Kerry/Bush election and the distractions of gay marriage is a good one. And today, when we’re trying to address serious issues, the distraction is the price of fuel and food. Anything to keep people from focusing on what is important at the moment.

      Like

  11. Jill, your last paragraph is a hopeful plea. If people will talk and listen to each other, they will see we are not so different. If people will stop believing and start questioning fear mongers, we will start the healing process. A key is that old quote – we have two ears and one mouth, we should use them in that proportion. We must use those ears and that thing in-between to not only hear, but comprehend.

    We could start with stuff espoused by sources that are not known for truth telling that is obviously untrue. “Sandy Hook is a hoax” cost its speaker a lot of money in defamation and court costs. It should have as this untruthful radio commentator took parents and spouses of 27 murdered children and teachers through hell. “The Big Lie” has sent many a believer to jail who acted on it and stormed the Capitol. Its speaker instigated, invited and incited this insurrection on a branch of government. Full stop. Neither of these speakers of these quotes is known for truth telling, so why they are still believed is truly beyond me.

    It is more than fine to have different opinions. But, violence, denigration and bullying are not the answers. Neither is lying, in general, but also to deceive or garner votes.

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Keith! Yes, we really need to open corridors of communication, but there is so much anger that it’s very difficult to do. You’re right about using the two ears and one mouth in proportion, but how many do? I think far too many people speak before engaging their brain, else they just like the sound of their own voice. I have a philosophy … if I have nothing relevant to say, I say nothing. That said, though, I am guilty of sometimes engaging my mouth before my brain. 😔

      Yes, Alex Jones went beyond cruel with his conspiracy theories about Sandy Hook that so affected parents grieving for their murdered children. He deserves to be sitting in a prison cell, in my book, but he’s free and even had the gall to weigh in on Uvalde, saying it seemed ‘convenient’ or some such thing.

      No, violence, lies, and bullying will solve nothing. Sigh. If only people cared enough to start with one small issue and learn to speak to each other again, to see the other person’s views. It isn’t easy, but it must happen!

      Like

  12. Pingback: Why Does It Have To Be This Way? | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  13. Tolerance is one of those basic things every child should ne taught from birth but unfortunately what is taught depends on parents tolerance levels. So being tolerant yourself does not always mean you will receive the same amount in return. All the God Squad followers should accept that God has made people diiverse according to
    his will and that should accord everyone a high level of tolerance.
    Cwtch

    Like

  14. Oh, Jill. If only you and your readers could read the email I received today. It is from someone who is on the “other side,” the side of intolerance. The fact is I opened and read his email just before opening and reading this post. What a contrast! Here is a sample: “You keep talking about finding truth inside yourself. The one thing you haven’t yet found inside yourself is God, but that is exactly where He exists.” Tolerance. What a lovely word; I forgot it even existed. Intolerance is all around us these days. I will give the writer of that email the acknowledgement he truly believes what he says, only he is so convinced it is Truth I am supposed to change all my beliefs because he said so.
    I sent him on a quest to find something that does not exist. I wonder how he will respond to that?

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s