the state of our nation

I mowed the lawn today. I played outside with my daughter and watched a movie with my husband. I saw some friends. I wrote. I laughed. I enjoyed a truly delicious cookie. I read a book in my feather-soft bed. And I thought about the state of our nation.

The problem is: I don’t know what to think about the state of our nation.

With an abundance of information and misinformation spreading faster than it can possibly be absorbed, I feel bogged down by opinions. So bogged down, in fact, that I don’t always know what my own opinion is. Someone is always telling me what to think and everyone disagrees. I’m overwhelmed by constant political posts on social media, each disagreeing with the last, many claiming to be inclusive and willing to engage in friendly political discourse, and then quickly falling into political battle. (And do we really expect someone will emerge the victor?)

Every time I get online or turn on the TV, I have to suit up, to put on my metaphorical armor and prepare myself for the onslaught. Which friend will say something inflammatory today? Which will be cruel? Which will mock another for their beliefs? Which will shame their peers?

It’s a world I don’t want to be part of.

I don’t have all of the facts. I have pieces of information: the reactionary information carefully (or not) doled out by the media, the (unclassified) bread crumbs allotted by the government, (seriously) biased articles placed on Facebook acting as canon, but in truth, I have almost nothing at all. I try to remember this when I read this post from the left or that article from the right. I don’t know it all. I probably don’t know anything at all. So I do what I shouldn’t and I try (unsuccessfully) not to think about it at all.

Because I’m afraid to.

Because what if I’m wrong? What if my real thoughts ruin our friendship? What if I don’t know what I’m talking about? What if you don’t know what you’re talking? And, worst of all, what if I just wind up contributing to the problem?

So I don’t talk about it. Not much. Not unless I’m in the mood to be crucified. Instead, I make dinner. I dance in the kitchen with my family. I cuddle with my daughter. I work on my novel. I talk to my husband. I laugh with my sister. I sing “Mermaid” as a little one’s eyes close. I fold my hands as I lay in my feather-soft bed and I pray about the state of our nation.

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3 thoughts on “the state of our nation

  1. The worst political news in Canada usually does not compare to the worst of the States, but I’m with you Michelle. I don’t follow politics, mostly because other things (family, writing, reading, friends) interest me more. Admittedly, these things are maybe not as “important” as the things I choose to focus on, but it keeps me happy. It keeps me from wandering too far into that grey “who-am-I-offending?” territory. I don’t talk politics. I don’t have all the facts. I don’t worry about it. And it doesn’t bother me in the least.
    It’s okay to be that person.

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    1. Thanks for that! I think about it a lot and follow as best I can (probably not enough), but I feel unqualified to make a lot of statements so I try to refrain. Of course I have opinions, I just don’t choose to broadcast them because I love my friends and family! Haha.

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  2. You are not alone! You know life was much more pleasant before 24 hour news and the internet. We were actually doing all those things you described. Unfortunately those who would take advantage of us and betray us were hard at work, slowly changing our society. Now we are all aware, and it’s overwhelming, and yes, we do not know who to believe most of the time. So we pray and leave it in God’s hands.

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