I am going to look for what I like in you

PUTNEY — What is othering? This is the destruction of our understanding of the basic connectors of humanity.

We all are familiar with the old strategy “divide and conquer,” yet why do we fall prey to it over and over?

Things seem to be really falling apart. Our economy is hurting. Those who already can't compete are doing worse than before. Why should we have to compete simply to partake in life honorably? Why is the economy about competition - why can't it be about something better? What role does the news play in our othered experience of one another?

Is the one who is afraid of Covid - the one who takes the vaccines, the boosters, the tests, and who wears the mask and still gets a bug - thinking clearly when they blame the unmasked or unvaccinated? If those things worked, why are they blaming me?

Why is blame such a go-to standard of behavior? Blame this or that party, blame Biden or Trump. Isn't the act of blaming itself unproductive? Does it not reflect poorly on one's spirit?

Is this not what this two-party system does? Blame? It's Putin's fault, it's Trump's fault, it's Biden's fault. It's not our fault, of course.

This is easy to alter. Happy, loving energy emanating from the community is our job. Recognizing the blame game and walking away is our responsibility.

We must let go of that which we cannot change. We will not change a person's ideology, no matter how much we think it is wrong.

I am not going to convince you that Covid is a result of careful pharmaceutical profit planning. Nor are you going to convince me to trust Pharma, the CDC, or the FDA. Am I going to convince you that the vaccines are not at all safe? Or that private gun ownership is preventing dictatorship? Or that mass shootings take place in high gun-control areas for a reason? No! So I won't try.

I, too, have been manipulated to be angry, hateful and othering towards you. I have been blaming you for folding before a false Covid threat and for surrendering our freedoms, in fear of a virus that is preventable by cheaper means than vaccines. This is my truth. I know it is not yours.

Instead of directing feelings of blame toward you, I am going to look for what I like in you. I will focus my mind there. I am going to mindfully spend my thoughts on “togethering.” I am going to fall asleep at night picturing our community loving one another again, overcoming our ideological differences, no matter what the news says.

I know you are a good person who means well, even if you seem to be making no sense to me. I know you are doing the best you can. That is all I can ask. I can do better to love you, not blame you.

I want to be part of a loving community. That means I have to stop the blame game, too.

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