Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise

Is anyone else tired of being either a witness to, victim of or participant in the level of anger that we are seeing infest our country today?

When someone is supportive of people or issues that may not completely align with your own, are you now more derisive? Are you less tolerant of those with differing opinions? Do you paint someone with a broad brush based on limited knowledge or understanding? Do you judge before knowing facts?

It seems most of us are guilty of all the above, regardless of one’s place on the vast political spectrum. My saving grace for my own lapses in understanding is that I still have an internal governor switch that stops me, most of the time, from a knee-jerk reaction that is neither kind nor helpful.

It saddens me to see people treat others with such disdain. It’s as if we are seeing people we disagree with or who may disagree with us as less than human. We’re treating others as vermin. What does it say about what is occurring within our vast boundaries when some who have firmly planted their beliefs along a certain framework suddenly are advocating for issues and behavior that is contrary to all those long-held stances?

We’re hearing the president of the United States tout abandoning one of the Constitution’s key provisions – due process. People who label themselves pro-life support warehousing children, regardless the stated reason.

Some take it a step further and say “these aren’t our children.” If the young and vulnerable aren’t our collective children, then whose are they? More importantly, who and what do these views make us?

For a generation, most of us acknowledged and confronted those countries and regimes that advocated military, economic and human rights positions that were contrary to everything America stood for, and were contrary to basic human decency. We stood for something good and larger than just ourselves. The economic investment our country made wasn’t a waste of money.

Military alliances are not a waste of money. Human rights alliances are not a waste of money. Military exercises are necessary to insure readiness and preparedness for a tragedy everyone hopes doesn’t occur.

If we don’t practice with ourselves and our allies, how will we perform if the worst happens? If we aren’t part of the group that tackles human rights abuses across the globe, then how will we perform if the worst happens?

If we don’t know who our global friends are, how do we maintain economic strength if we alienate those who have been our partners if the worst happens?

As we catch ourselves speaking unkindly, or worse, about another we need to be reminded that we’re on the receiving end of that nasty, often inaccurate, judgment. We’re branding differences as malevolent. We’re blaming, accusatory and becoming hardened to and complicit in the true suffering of others.

Where are our better angels? Not everyone is good or altruistic. But I know I’m tired of hearing, and sometimes participating in, the disdain of my fellow humans. I long for a positive vision and language to match. Anyone else tired of the anger and nastiness?

Jeanette Sekan is a columnist for the Cody Enterprise in Cody, Wyo. and a former resident of Ohio. Jeanette’s columns are published in The Highland County Press, courtesy of the author and the Cody Enterprise.