He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. –Friedrich Nietzsche
I was motivated to write this post because of something a friend of mine posted on the hell that Zuckerberg created. That’s a subject for a post in itself, but I digress…
Said friend was ‘unfriended’ by a friend of his over political differences. My friend made a comment that he was getting tired of his negativity anyway, but was trying to ‘understand’ his motivations. While I generally support the idea, as it does tend to help us get along better, usually, it also led me to ponder the Nietzshe quote as above.
It seems to me, that the political process in our country has gotten out of control. This isn’t meant to generate any “Ya think?” comments, rather I am leading up to something. This isn’t meant to be a political rant, per se, rather an observation of the process and its effects.
Politics, in my recollection used to be more civil, at least the discussions between normal people. Between politicians, it’s as nasty as it’s always been. There were times, back in the day, that fist fights erupted on the floor of the House/Senate. It hasn’t improved all that much, it’s just a lot more verbally nasty now.
Sadly, we as a people have gotten caught up in this as if we really have a personal stake in the outcome. The reality is, not much will change. Enter (anti)social media, and the concept of safety and anonymity behind a keyboard. Keyboard warriors, or as I call it, “Facebook behavior” has allowed the self isolated disseminators of chaos (DOC’s) that are usually shunned by local communities to have a much wider audience. To the dismay of us all. Yet, I believe that no matter how much we try to ignore them (the Ignore/Block button IS your friend, not said DOC’s, even if he has “Friended” you), their words and actions do have a cumulative effect. They post something offensive, we try to reason with them, correct their behavior, it turns into a s***t storm, and everyone looks bad. We’ve allowed the abyss to stare back into our very consciousness and express itself through us (I can’t come to bed honey, someone is WRONG on the internet!). That one never gets old. 🙂
I certainly don’t put myself above this, as I’ve allowed myself to get caught up in it also. To my great regret. I do try, very very hard, to not engage. I am not afraid of the Hide/Block button, and I use it liberally rather than get sucked into the maelstrom. No good will come of it otherwise.
But to come to the point of this, I think it’s important to remember who we are, rather than which candidate we think is prettier. I’ve worked hard at surrounding myself with good people, supportive friends and acquaintances. I’ve had to cull some of my social networking lists when such behavior appears, but I do so without rancor. I just don’t have time for it, and I don’t wish to hear the abyss screaming obscenities in my ear, telling me how wrong I am, what kind of smartphone I should own to avoid being an asshole…etc. I prefer the still small quiet within.
I just want to do the things that make me happy, and live my life in the best way I can. I share those things here, hoping that they will bring some measure of happiness to you as well.