“Hate is like acid. It can damage the vessel in which it is stored as well
as destroy the object on which it is poured.”*
Once again our presidential election season is upon us. Is it just me, or does this campaign seem more vitriolic than usual? Every four years we, as a nation, go through this process and each time accusations and insults fly like feathers at a chicken fight.
During the years when news traveled by weekly newspapers and letters that could take months to arrive, the writer usually took time to evaluate the consequences of his or her words before putting pen to precious, expensive paper. Some of their letters were quite pointed. Volatile arguments have continued through our history.
Perhaps one difference is that now we have instant media and many more media outlets, so we are more aware of what the candidates and their supporters are saying. This allows those running for office, and the rest of us, to spout opinions without thinking about the potential effects of their/our communication.
We may want to take a few minutes to examine our thoughts before sending them out to the world. Have we studied what we heard or thought we heard? Have we considered if there might be another aspect to that story? Have we considered how the words we send into the ether may affect the candidates or other voters?
Is this good for our individual well-being?
We are destroying the best part of ourselves and our nation by pouring the acid of hate upon those with whom we disagree. I must admit that I also participate in this destruction. I classify candidates by how I think they should act and occasionally make a statement to that effect. I can feel what these thoughts are doing to my internal self and know that others must be feeling the same. I’m concerned that many people are placing the blame for their irritation on the various candidates rather than the acid they are pouring on themselves.
We ask that you guide us to evaluate our thoughts and words so we might not pour hate on anyone or anything, including ourselves. We know that guilt adds to the acid bath, so we ask you to show us how to be kind to ourselves as we become aware of our thoughts and actions as we debate the issues.
And, so it is.
* Warner, Carolyn, Treasury of Women’s Quotations, Prentice Hall, 1992, page 40
© by Sharon D. Dillon, January 23, 2016
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com.