I Like String

I’ve realized that I’ve been writing less lately because I’m worried how my thoughts will be received by others. I’ve also realized that unless I write, I will never find out. I’ve been very concerned about current events—the presidential and other elections in particular—because our lives are in the hands of people who seem to think that squabbling is the best way to peace.   I’ve found it interesting that politics seems to involve people working against their own interests in support of their own interests.

Tomorrow will be the American Election, and it has been an interesting (and alarming) study in contradiction. The essence of a democracy is that the people make a choice. The majority has to agree on a decision before it can become fact or law. Thanks to the anonymity of social media, people seem more willing than ever to comment on the quality of life at this pivotal time in American history. People are saying, more than ever, that they’re sick of the whole thing and can’t wait for it to be over.  Decisions are being made by means of emotional violence rather than persuasion.

The PTSD pages have many postings about how triggering this time is. Members are feeling the need to break ties with old connexions, or at least, stop following them, because of the chaos political opinion presents. The prevailing idea that unity and peace may be achieved through division and discord, rather than persuasion and agreement, is very agitating. Generally speaking, people (with and without PTSD) are alert to others being out of control, and when they see it, they want to run.  To be exposed to such intense tumult in the name of national unity is terrifying.

There is a young woman whose career as an award-winning actress and poet I have followed for years. In the last few months she has become crude, militant and objectionable in her political arguments and points of view. I feel very sorry for her, because she has become the very thing she claims to hate.

The ‘divide to conquer’ fallacy operates in other fields of endeavour. Emma Watson has been working for and speaking about gender equality for some time. She is at the head of UN campaign, ‘HeforShe’, which encourages men to advocate gender equality. Despite her efforts to unite, some (female) followers have been adamant that gender equality can be achieved without men. Diversity, whether of race, gender, religion, or political ideology, is a necessary component of equality.   Without diversity, to whom are you equal?

The fabric of society is being allowed to unravel. We are doing it. People support cruelty for its entertainment value, comment and decide on issues about which they know nothing except its social popularity value. This is especially prominent at present. They vilify hateful behaviour so intensely that they become hateful and hate-filled themselves. What a terrible time!

This whole situation makes me long for simplicity, and I appreciate simple things. I like string. String is wonderful for bring things together. It is a flexible and workable filament that ties, binds, contains, and yet never loses itself. It has many uses, and fulfils them all well.

Society is woven from individual strings, and these strings are most effective when they work together.

There is no unity in division. Consider this well.

Paul TN Chapman
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