Where is Aretha when we need her? People are so angry and polarized it seems just about impossible to have an intelligent conversation about a disagreement. The problems we are facing now in the world and in our society in particular are not unique but what we are going through may be. I mean that our ability to problem solve seems to have dissipated in a white noise of media encouragement to feel the anger or feel the fear. I honestly think that the lack of personal contact and relationship, along with a political-media complex, has so polarized our society that we are risking a breakdown of civility. Turn on one cable station and all Moslems are violent, evil people. Turn on another station and all people who criticize Moslem extremists are violent, evil people. How many people watching these shows actually know a person who is Moslem, let alone have a personal relationship with one?
It’s not just about religion either. Trump is a Nazi, Bernie is a Communist and people who support either one want to destroy the country! All Michigan fans are arrogant and all Ohio State fans are thugs. It’s pervasive in our society and if there is one thing that could destroy it, it is the extremism of the media. Try turning off cable news and meeting people you may disagree with and just hang out for a bit. Don’t talk politics, religion or anything other than things and experiences you share in common. Show some respect and get to know the person. If isolating in your house in front of a television is the petri dish for fear and misunderstanding, then personal contact and familiarity is the salve for fear and misunderstanding.