Dream on

“Male writers will always stumble over female characters if they approach them as women first and human beings second.” John Long in Writer’s Little Book of Wisdom

Today against my better judgment I engaged in a Facebook exchange with a supporter of the President’s proposed budget. I typically avoid doing this kind of thing; even face-to-face discussions can readily devolve into shouting matches. However, the comment that set me off had to do with charitable giving—something to the effect of “If you think Meals on Wheels is so important, donate money to your local distributor.” Fine and dandy. But charitable giving will not support the NIH, the CDC, the State Department, the Energy Department (which, by the way, is in charge of the safety of our nuclear arsenal). All of these are set to see significant cuts in their budgets.  I just felt the need to respond.

So, how does the above paragraph apply to the quote from John Long? I approached the commenter as a supporter of the Republican President first, and as a human being second. She is, of course, entitled to her opinion wrong though she may be. And in this age of incivility in our discourse, we would all do well (me especially) to remember that the person with whom we are engaging is a human being first. If we lead by example, if we treat each of our fellow citizens as people with hopes, dreams, and fears, maybe, just maybe, we can achieve real communication.

I await the day that we truly live the American Dream.

 

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8 thoughts on “Dream on

  1. I’ve been staying away from Facebook because of all the opinions that are posted and argued. That too is my right, whether it is right or wrong. But I will say that your last sentence summed it up for me: I await the day that we truly live the American Dream.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Diane, this is a very wise post. It is so hard, when we are so passionate about our beliefs and values, to stop ourselves from just reacting. I was outraged just thinking about cuts to programs such as Meals on Wheels. You are right – there is a human being behind every opinion, and we all have opinions. It’s just so hard to see what is happening right now. I can barely watch the news. The American Dream? It seems to be evaporating into thin air. I am swallowing hard right now….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this thoughtful post, Diane. I have been avoiding getting into political discussions, but I often wonder if that is doing more harm than good. We need to hear both sides and hash it out in a civil way. I wonder, too, if there is a universal American Dream, or perhaps if everyone has their own version of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think more people should be writing about what is happening. It seems to me that people are avoiding, and by avoiding we say that WE AGREE. We all know that there is nothing agreeable about HB610, PA SB3, Trumpcare, the budget, Neil Gorsuch, senators who refuse to hold town hall meetings, Russian collusion, LIES LIES and more LIES. Nothing. And so, if you don’t engage, as respectfully as possible, then you say that you AGREE. Engage. Resist. Call out the bigotry and misogyny. Call a spade and spade and know you are making a difference. For it is only in using your voice, as a writer you know all about that, that you will be heard and we will win the fight of our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for your necessary, important comment. The stakes are too high to ever stop trying to communicate. We do have to respect each other as human beings and maybe, if we can find a thread of commonality, we will be able to hear each others differences and work together to stop the insanity that is daily escalating.

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