Weather and FeathersA couple of maxims are taking up space in my head. Fair weather friends, and birds of a feather.. and it's fairly obvious, in these days of division, that both are pertinent.
I'm single, and currently dabbling in dating, but not really. My marriage was one of unlike minds and during the debut and meteoric rise of talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, and the hating Rush wannabees, we left the arena of support and traveled a path of mockery for my ideals. This is not a good recipe for marriage. Mine did not survive it.
I grew up in a home where unlike minds (politically), got along well, enjoyed the debate and exchange of ideas, and supported differing ideals. It was, perhaps, a bit unusual for husbands and wives to be like that in the 50s and 60s... I have no other marriage of that era to compare it to, but it worked, for a long time, in my family.
Personal norms and in-the-world norms are different birds.
In this heyday of America polarity, dating is sketchy. Especially if your background includes a bomb crater like mine. I don't have it in me to step around ideals that appall just to make it work, and I resent the inference that I'm the one that has to step. In this newly charged atmosphere, it'll be a time of long deserts and short oasis.
Which, frankly, cheats everyone.
The avoidance of strife means there is no seeking of the middle. Without that movement, the new and bitter stereotypes of what one's politics equates to in terms of their belief system is never tempered with gentle discussion and listening. Stereotypes are built off behavior extremes and easy labels; they do a colossal disservice to being a better human.
Beyond dating, I sense a drawback from friends and acquaintances that I suspect is wholly politically driven, and this sucks. These are the spaces where the best conversations, ones that promote thinking and contemplation, middle ground and growth, happen. It's sad that they're leaving, but they can if they need to. Friendship is valuing another's essence. It doesn't require one of the parties to chase and change in order to stay friends. Love, friendship, and simple human interaction are not political acts; you can pollute them with that... but their true form is based on love and appreciation of the individual.
I'm choosing to remain thoughtful, fully liberal, and loving. I don't know how to be anything else. But I will not tamp myself into someone else's mold, nor will I embrace fear over love, or practice mockery and derision. I know the pain of that path, first hand.
WYSIWYG, in all things, including weather and feathers.