Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A contentious world begets contentious activity

I would like to post about contention. Does it have a place in our world and in our hearts? Our country has been in an advanced contentious mindset ever since 9/11/01. Most of that contention has been directed towards Al Quada and specifically Osama Bin Laden. Now we have a president named Obama who set the Navy Seals on Osama and now we no longer have a primary outlet for our national contentious spirit, bummer.

Wonder where it is going to be directed now? Will we take on a kinder aura now that Osama has assumed room temperature? Do you think they will disband the Seals? Somehow, I don't think that is in the offing. It is just a matter of time that we all direct our innate contentious leanings towards something or someone new. Gas prices, illegal immigration, same sex marriage, taxes, etc. Those are most likely all worthy targets. But we usualy need to vent more specifically on a person. It looked like it was going to be Charlie Sheen for a while. I suppose that there are all sorts of likely candidates.

We just live in a contentious world. I don't know about your job but most people work where there is contention, either overt or mitigated. Office politics is a classic medium for contention. There is always someone who is a little less extraverted than others and may have some quirky mannerisms. They become irresistible targets. Why it even spills over into our schools even down to elementary schools. Little children bully one another. It is so bad that state legislatures intervene with anti-bullying laws. Enforceable? Hardly so. I remember when I was a kid, and I am now 65, there were always bullies around. Somehow you learned to deal with them. You either handled them yourselves or got some friends to help you handle them. It was sort of like in the wild west.

One overt symbol of our addiction to contention is our fascination with reality television. If we can sit down in front of the one-eyed monster and witness people yelling at one another we are deliriously happy. Just check out the ratings when you get a moment.

So what is the antidote? I think it is pretty simple. We need to make a resolution in our own minds that we are going to treat one another with kindness and civility. We need to inculcate some positive vibes from somewhere along the way. Reading a good book, meditation, spiritual pursuit of some sort, taking a friend to lunch and having a nice visit. I am not so sure the answer is golf. I find that to be a very demeaning and yes contentious activity. The war is between you and that infernal little ball and an inadequate swing. Well, that is another post for another day.

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