Well, …maybe sometimes it IS what you look at, because that’s also a choice that we make daily.
And if you don’t want to completely lose what’s left of your sanity, you might not constantly watch the NEWS shows.
But depending on which NEWS channels that you DO watch, is likely how you tend to mentally frame the world around you. So sometimes even within the world that we ALL inhabit, we individually may perceive different versions of reality by how a particular news channel’s news-worthy events are presented to the viewing public.
And even within my regional locale, I can witness “skewed versions of our shared reality,” and I find that fact absolutely mind blowing. How can this be?
I ask myself: “How can you NOT see what I am seeing?” And, “Why can’t I see what YOU are seeing?” Some of this makes NO sense to me—that huge amount of variance in perspective and opinion with people who live blocks apart.
I have neighbors and local friends of whom I love and trust—people that I know I can count on if I needed help or assistance—people I’ve known for years—that I know NOT to make ANY comments about the state of the nation or the world, or even comment on the governor’s current handling of the pandemic, because we are NOT of the same political inclination. So if you don’t want to lose the good relationships you’ve established over the years, then you just DON’T talk politics or even randomly comment on some administrative action, or you’ve just blown the good vibes that you once shared with them.
And that is VERY sad—especially with people you’ve known for a decade or longer.
But the bigger question really is: How can people—friends even—who live within a mile of each other have such different views of what is happening around them and who or what is responsible for it?
It’s true that we are all self-interested and that we tend to lean towards the view that best fits our own beliefs and our own economic benefits, but sometimes it’s a deeper issue of how we consider the world around us as basically “a good place” or basically “not-a-good place.” It’s a lot like that overused “feed-the-wolf-you-want-to-see-and-be” analogy.
If you want to believe that the world is basically a good place, then you feed the ‘good-wolf’ belief and you’ll see only well-intentioned but misguided efforts to bring about a better world for ALL people; and if you want to believe the world is a cut-throat, bad place where you must constantly fight for your survival, then feed the ‘bad-wolf’ belief and that’s what you will see in your world—where everyone’s mission around you is to take you down.
I know that sounds a bit paranoid, but honestly, some folks do believe this ‘bad-wolf’ scenario—even folks that I personally know.
And I keep wondering: “How can you believe this? What are you seeing that I’m not seeing?”
The really erroneous thing about the good-wolf/bad-wolf analogy is that wolves are pack hunters—they exist in groups. So the ‘lone wolf’ image is more a misnomer than accurate in real life. Wolves in a pack need each other to survive, so what affects one, affects ALL.
The pack works together, hunting for the survival of ALL members of the pack; meaning that if you find yourself as the “lone wolf” in this real-life wolf-scenario, then you’ve been ostracized from the pack for a pretty good reason. Sometimes the reason may be a difference of ruling opinion or an ego-battle for supremacy and leadership of the group, but overall ‘lone-wolves’ don’t usually survive for long on their own in the natural world, which is why it is in everyone’s best interest in the pack to find a way to get along with each other—because you NEED each other.
I will admit that over the last few months I have stopped ‘following’ some of my Facebook friends because frankly I don’t want to know their political leanings, even if they are similar to my own. What they often post are selective views that substantiate their own opinions and devalue the opinions of others—it’s simply “US vs. THEM” stuff. Basically I think that “Which side are you on?” stance is deleterious to our shared vision and our unified efforts to create a better world for ALL of us.
Most of the offending statements I’ve encountered are FEAR-driven, even if they are merely automatically reacting to a FEAR-driven action or comment by someone in power. FEAR is FEAR. If you let that sense of “fear of the OTHER who is NOT US” rule your life, then all you do is feed that bad-wolf inside you, and you keep driving yourself further and further from the possibility of rejoining the pack.
It’s a strange time in our world right now—a time when we really need to work together to survive it.
So my suggestion is to maintain that ‘good-wolf’ viewpoint and work together for the best interest of ALL and for the survival of the total pack.
Please keep in mind that the world is what you make it, NOT what someone else tells you that it is. And so is your neighborhood.
Care, share, and stick together! And if you want good neighbors, then BE ONE.