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Do We Even KNOW how to listen?

One should always believe in what one espouses. Of course. Unlike certain recent leaders (and Presidents), to espouse any belief (however heinous) and not believe just to provoke attention and falsely gather supporters has led this country down a path that is anathema to very fabric of who we are.

Yet it is also crucial that our ears are open--clean!--and listening. For what we believe is not always what is true, nor is it necessarily a match-up with the caring society we supposedly wish to see. If people really can't afford to take care of their children, put food on the table, pay medical expenses, and get to their jobs affordably (due to both fuel and road conditions), then doubtless there is something wrong. These are matters that deserve our attention as participation in a large group--American society--and one cannot cherry pick only the issues that serve oneself, for what serves one applies to all and to benefit as an individual, one must make sure the group as a whole thrives. This is neither socialism nor capitalism, but realism.

Those who block matters moving forward need to consider whom they represent and whom they hurt with their actions. If you are a representative, it is the constituents you serve, regardless of whether some financial interest has paid for your campaign and your power (and perhaps even your lifestyle). Extremists on both sides of the spectrum have to recognize that when clinging to an absolute results in no action at all, then the job is not getting done, no matter the inspiration behind your position. If the only service that interests you is self-service, then you have no business being an elected representative.

As for those who choose to think they run things when, in fact, no one elected them, you have a voice certainly--but are not entitled shout out voices less noxious than your own. Those who feel that they have no obligation to the systems we have in place--defying courts, Congress, and the overall will of the people--should be punished for their violation of these systems. However imperfect, there are systems in place. Vote to change the system, if you must, but respect that which is the current law of the land. That is patriotism--not storming the Capitol and violating a space and a process that has seen us through many years of representation. That there are those still dismissing the attack of January 6th, 2021 is beyond absurdity--it is downright disingenuous.

Finally, no one is above the law--that is the very root of Democracy. We do not have kings or royalty by design and those who believe otherwise should be re-examining their citizenship status. And though we may not like it when we don't win every issue, the beauty of a system like ours is that we get to try again. No one wins every election, every time, nor should they--and term limits are a very real and needed discussion no politico ever seems to want to hear. But to declaim a certified election false MONTHS after is has been verified by both parties and certified by sworn election officials from both camps is merely denial from those who don't accept their own full participation in our society. Such denials eat away at the fabric that gives us a place to live in, together, that we have built over many generations.

It is time for grownups to come to the table. We won't get what we want every time--that's just how it is--but without real discussion and real listening, we as a nation will continue to stagnate and fall apart.

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