How Are You Handling All the Bad News?

Aug 17th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Frankly, in both mood and content it seems that most of what is seen, heard and experienced these days is shouting, negative, and full of mean despair.  “This ain’t lookin good, Charlie,” said our little 7 year old nephew, Max, to his brother.

He  was point on. The misery of our times among the millions unemployed and running out of unemployment compensation, the escalating numbers facing the loss of their homes going into foreclosure, the multiplied numbers of persons calling on the services of food banks and other helping agencies, the angry, uniformed and downright scary attitudes of mobs whose misinformation guides their behavior, all are reaching epidemic proportions. 

Left to the devices of base human emotions and inability to reason, the situation will likely grow worse.  Suspicion and paranoia are like swine flu, difficult to control, perhaps impossible to cure.  Today’s festering animosity, particularly in crowds likely manipulated by some with mean and demeaning intentions, can grow into a tumor.  Perhaps, in some quarters it already has.  Militias are on the grow, evidence of name calling, rude and unruly behavior, disrespect for common discourse all lead to rock throwing and degenerating social intercourse.   We can’t communicate, if we won’t listen.  And we can’t listen, if we won’t converse civilly.  When we are reduced to who can yell the loudest, who can be the most profane, who can hold the biggest sign, while cursing those across the way, then our chances for calm and reasoned dialog is destroyed.  The “rights” of people in a democracy can turn into “wrongs.”  Wrongs turned against each other, aimed at those elected to try to manage and assist our country to choose sanity and common sense and moderation above contentiousness. 

If one can believe what is being portrayed on the news, many of the citizens who are showing up at rallys and town hall  meetings are motivated by emotion instead of reason.  Any society, reduced to the manipulations of some and the angry unreasoning of others, will sink into the abyss of mob rebellion.   If our society recognizes the need for some effective and well guided change, that can come without the revolution of misguided hate mongers.  

Discourse is what is needed to calm the atmosphere.  Dialog will help us challenge the rumors and untruths so readily being propagated.  Receptive listening and careful communication will give us a chance to demonstrate respect, restore the honor of being a group of people who choose to use civility in our common exchanges. 

Like any disease which affects the body, this one, spreading so rapidly out of control in our culture, may do damages difficult, if not impossible to quell.



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  1. I read a few topics. I respect your work and added blog to favorites.

  2. Thank you for your kind words. We always appreciate helpful feedback. Hope your day is rewarding.

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