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Outrage, News Cycles, and Personal Impact

This morning I made the mistake of opening up Instagram… and spending 15 minutes getting sucked into the vortex of content on @BayAreaStateOfMind (no need to follow them). I was shocked and strangely entertained at the dramatic, inane behavior of real people in a part of the world I call home. There was another part of me that was angry - call it outraged - at the maddening things happening around me. Stores being vandalized, side-shows gone wrong, and other behaviors devoid of any respect for human life.

I closed the app, grabbed my computer, and began to write… this blog. I’ve been meaning to get to this topic for awhile, and this seemed to be an appropriate time.

Love Your Enemies

Arthur Brooks (a Harvard professor, PhD social scientist, #1 bestselling author, and columnist at The Atlantic) published a book in 2019 that was released at a critical time in our nation's history. Love Your Enemies is a book that challenges the polarization of American politics, but I believe it also speaks to our daily challenges of reconciling with one another in everyday society.

Brooks says this:

“We don’t have an anger problem in American politics. We have a contempt problem. . . . If you listen to how people talk to each other in political life today, you notice it is with pure contempt. When somebody around you treats you with contempt, you never quite forget it. So if we want to solve the problem of polarization today, we have to solve the contempt problem.”