Fighting the Wrong Fight

I have a weakness.

Well, to be fair, I have lots of them, but one in particular is rearing its head again. I am an instigator and I do it in the worst sort of ways. I throw out sentences, posts, images, articles, just to get some sort of reaction. Often, I really don’t have solid, thought out opinions or information about what I am sharing, just an inner demon pushing me to light a fire under people. It’s an addiction, the urge.

Fortunately, I am finding ways to curb it, feed it outside of social networking, where the only result of the instigation is anger and annoyance of friends and family towards me and what I allow to be the perception of my political or moral beliefs.

The culprit, the motivator for my current urge is the inability of the current US congress to pass a budget. The sound bites, photo ops and outright disgusting displays of faux concern currently at my fingertips are almost too numerous to count. Individuals on both sides (insert ‘same side, different names’) of the argument are making fools of themselves left and right, down the middle. Its the kind of horror show from which I can’t easily look away. I must watch. The despicable nature of privileged, wealthy, self important men and women as they preen about, arguing with one another, putting on about how one side is to blame, while they are blameless, if it weren’t so absolutely tragic, if it didn’t affect real people in horrible ways, I would wish it to last forever.

But my entertainment is not reason enough for me to poke and prod at people I care about.  I have already today posted, deleted, linked then unlinked at least ten different instances of political moments that I know would ruffle feathers, start arguments. Lucky for me, I have not posted any of them and won’t have to make apologies.

This is not to say I don’t encourage discussion and debate. I love a good conversation, the sharing of ideas and even the highly charged disagreements that leave little room for understanding, and never really change any opinion. They are the essence of good discourse and can be the catalyst for change and collaboration.  I just know my own heart, my own intent, and more often than not, I just want to push a button.

So while I wholeheartedly believe our congress is failing, that our government is in a dangerous and dire place, and while I would love to discuss the topic with any of you interested, I’m going to try and fight the right fight, not the one that angers or instigates, for the sake of instigation.

Love and light.

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About fenster

There are some who call me, Tim?

3 responses to “Fighting the Wrong Fight”

  1. Aaron Kammerman says :

    Very well said; and you perfectly elucidate some of my feelings on the topic of political discussion. However, where you admit your weakness is pushing buttons just to instigate, my weakness is something different. You see, I’m a jerk when I think about politics. I begin to have thoughts and feelings towards others that aren’t nice. Therefore, I know if I begin a discussion, my talk will betray my feelings towards them–so I don’t talk. But you see, I don’t want to feel that way, and I have to coach myself out of those destructive thought patterns. Reading about John Adams (among other things) has helped me. He was deliberate in his dealings to leave passion out of his political conversation and arguments. He sought to argue with facts and reason; and some of his dearest friends were those with whom he vehemently disagreed, as it related to politics.

    I am learning to talk politics friendly-like. It’s easier than I thought. I think keeping the opinions bottled up actually created a festering bitterness for me, as though the bottled up ass (my jerky political ego) grew larger while remaining silent and he was that much bigger when he decided to rear his ugly head. Talking helps me realize that things and people aren’t as black and white as that jerk inside of me would have me believe. [Most] people are generally good, and they want good things for others.

    Oh it’s still frustrating to disagree. But I am learning to recognize, not embrace that frustration. Just notice it. And move on. Oddly enough, having my beloved football team lose to our rival four years in a row has given me ample practice in this regard!

    When all is said and done, I know my greatest contribution to America is to be a good father. I always come back to that. But it’s fun to talk politics for me. And so I am happy that I am finally learning to do so like an adult.

    • fenster020 says :

      I think all of us argue with the straw man we make others out to be. It is very easy to label others, give them beliefs and ideas, even make them say things (in our heads) that confirm exactly what we think of them, then argue the idiocy of those beliefs.

      I have a constant debate within myself over the nature and existence of God, the reasons why I believe or don’t believe, and what either of those choices ultimately mean for me and my family. I used to think I had it all figured out-All of you who believed were foolish and blind. I have never been more wrong in my assumptions. All the characteristics I ascribed to people who believed in deity were stereotypical and shallow. No one I actually knew thought or espoused any of the things I applied to them in my head. It took years and many moments of being humbled by experiences to finally get my head on straight. I still have doubts and I still question, but I no longer accuse others of any blanket philosophy.

      This is not to say I never stereotype or label. It is human nature to quickly categorize experiences, people. What we do after that initial moment is what matters.

      Aaron, I am grateful for your willingness to talk about these things, explore ideas and communicate what you’re learning. It is never easy to break out of habits or comfort zones. It helps me to read about your thoughts and experiences. I welcome the dialogue and the debate.

      • Aaron Kammerman says :

        You took one sentence to say what it took me a paragraph to say (your straw man sentence). Hopefully, my writing will improve as I keep at it. Thanks, I enjoy our conversations as well.

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