It's an election year and times are hard, so of course, emotions are running high. And there is finger-pointing and name-calling and a whole lot of passing the buck. Nothing new.
And yet I feel it--this thick cloud simmering, rumbling, wickedly permeating. It is seeping into my breakfast as I scan the news. It is enveloping my soup at lunch as my co-worker asks "Have you heard..." It socks me in the stomach as I watch that YouTube clip and it nibbles my ear as I wait in line at the grocery store.
And it scares me and it messes me up a bit because I know that sure, I can turn off the TV and put down the magazine and who really cares what that person said on Facebook anyway?
Freedom of speech and all that, and if there is anyone who understands that double edged sword, it is someone who grew up in my hometown--the home of that infamous hate group that I will not mention lest I actually give them more traffic to fund their horrible protests across the nation.
But you see, I can't just walk away because if I do, I just say "oh well!" to that guy that sits next to me at church who spouts off something downright hateful on the way out to the parking lot and I say "doesn't matter!" to the cringe-worthy comments at Thanksgiving and eventually, after you say "it just isn't worth fighting for" so many times, well, suddenly, you start to wonder...what is?
And the very hardest part is admitting that the anger that I see so prevalently all around me--the anger that I see as so completely unproductive and frightening and hurtful and totally distracting us from actually finding solutions--it is in me too.