What a Mess

What a week and what a mess. It’s enough to make you want to run and hide.

My role in my job changed recently and I don’t like it and I feel a little lost, I was accused of sometimes overreacting by a family member, and, at work, my opinion on something (in which I could be certified as an expert) was solicited but only adhered to after the opinions of two other people were solicited. It strongly felt like I was only correct in my advice because two other people concurred.

This may sound a little whiny but it was a rough day and such days make you feel stupid, underappreciated, and targeted. It’s one of those days where you wish that you could go on vacation– by yourself–to lick your wounds.

Today reminded me of the Kavanaugh hearings and the fallout. We have seen Senate decorum become obsolete, respected members of Congress targeted, and opinions replacing facts. Both Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford have had their names and their families dragged through the muddy world of politics. I’m sure both families wish they could hide for a week just to get away from the cruelty that seemed to abound.

People with strong opinions have expressed those opinions loudly, crudely, and destructively. Many conservatives have been taken aback by this behavior because, well, it’s not what “normal” people do.

Everyone has had an opinion, from the neighbor to co-workers but how do we fix it? How do we take a step back from Defcon 1 and take it down a notch or two.

I am reminded of some rules I learned when competing on my college debate team:

First, human lives trump all other issues. We are not anonymous handles on Twitter–we are all living human beings.

Second, opinions are not facts. If it doesn’t have a citation (primary sources are best), it is only opinion and does not advance an argument or become a fact.

Third, we should not engage in ad hominem attacks. Verbally abusing people who disagree is not helpful and can incite anger and violence.

Unfortunately, it can feel like yelling in a forest–only the squirrels are listening.