Peace Be With You -- But Not You

UCC Roseburg. Planned Parenthood Colorado Springs. San Bernardino. Donald Trump. ISIS. Laquan McDonald

Is the end of days now upon us? It sounds like it with all the death and despair we see and hear in the media. So much of the news has been focused on the negativity going on in the world. I get it, "If it bleeds, it leads" someone said. All of this dissonance is sadly drowning our national spirit of hope and compassion.

This poison is also killing the "holiday" vibe during this most wonderful time of the year. Things around me feel different; like changing a television channel from one carnage filled disaster film to the next. This is supposed be a season filled with joy and good will toward men (women too of course). But sadly the world has been shown the true horrors of humanity. Fueled by inane discussions for the need to possess an AK47 assault rifle, religious extremism (domestic and from afar), egomaniacal politicians and the awakening of long simmering racial tensions that have many people finally opening their eyes.

I'm not naïve and I know we are now living in a very different world than even just a year ago. My root concern has to do with the levels of intolerance toward individuals that are "different." Some segments of our population are quick to distrust and even hate those that are different without even knowing all the facts. Fear has forced us to assume the worst of anyone who doesn't look or sound... American. Shouldn't fear force us to live smarter and more vigilant lives in the pursuit of our futures rather than clinging to an antiquated list of proposed rules to protect and more often, divide us?

I guess it's not all bad. California is finally getting some needed precipitation and there's snow in the Cascade mountain ranges in the Pacific Northwest. I'm not alone in my lukewarm feelings of the holidays this year. Several folks I know have been experiencing the same thing. I think a lot of us are just feeling emotionally overwhelmed. I'll be honest, I sometimes feel helpless and mad to the point that I want to scream! Other times I just want cry, not the quiet whimpering type of crying, but one of those red-eyed-messy- sloppy-nose-running crying fits from all the "Cray-Cray" that's been going on right now. I say enough!

This is the time of year when we unite in our diverse cultural celebrations of the season (religious or not) and reflect on the soon to be old-year, while looking ahead to a prosperous and more positive new-year. Instead, the focus has been on whether or not it's okay to allow a certain religious minority into our county to ensure a perception of safety, or whether only Black Lives Matter, or All Lives Matter.

We've changed; for better and for worse with no turning back. No matter the time of year, our humanity, dignity and patience can help move us forward. We have only one planet and must to find a way to coexist in the name of evolution. To quote the late Rodney King, "Why can't we all just get along?" The answer is simple. We need to think about our actions first and their potential impacts, rather than dealing with the consequences of our actions later.