The political atmosphere we are living in is intense and permeates just about every issue in our daily lives. We all struggle every day to navigate these troubled waters as best we can. But …
The political atmosphere we are living in is intense and permeates just about every issue in our daily lives. We all struggle every day to navigate these troubled waters as best we can. But now, we have reached a point where many people are afraid to associate themselves with anything that may put themselves in jeopardy. And for good reason. There are people out there who can hurt you because of your political beliefs, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. You can be hurt physically and emotionally. Your reputation, your business, your career, your possessions and, especially, your children may be in harm’s way.
I find that humor and all the art forms can be vehicles we can use to try to navigate through these treacherous waters. But even humor and art has been politicized and can often be misunderstood. So what is left? Is there no way to communicate to each other anymore? In a small town, is there no way to air out policy priorities that may differ with each other without such dire consequences? The fear is palpable and real. Yet we must find a way through this so that complicated problems can be solved.
I am the first to admit that my words or rhetoric can be judgmental and insensitive. I need to work on that and I will. But we all need to work on this. It is the human condition that each of us, in our own way, through both our shortcomings and talents, tries to contribute to the betterment of our community. But an atmosphere of fear and intimidation is not conducive to community problem solving or even the concept of a community.
So, my wish is that we all lower the temperature, starting with myself. People have been working on these problems for a long time and, from their perspective, they are acting in good faith, too. This is a hard lesson to follow because we all think we are right and that our point of view is the correct road to follow. We are all following our truth as best we see it.
But in that truth, we all need to follow a collective truth. We need to unite in our efforts to make our community safer, healthier and more sustainable. Despite our differences, we need honest conversations that cut across our sometimes starkly different perspectives. It is through these necessary conversations that we can transcend our differences for a higher purpose: our love of community, our children and our future. Together, we need to call on our better angels to secure this brighter future.
Vito DiBiasi lives in Dingman Township, Milford, PA.