DIvision

And not the kind you learned in Math classes.

We walk every day at the local park because without two walks a day, Maverick is unbearable to live with. I adore him. I am old and he is not. He needs more exercise than I can give him and the 2.5 miles around the park combined with endless sniffing of every blade of grass and tree, seems to take the edge off that energy to the point where I can actually enjoy his company in the evening.

(Except when he barks like the hounds of hell are outside my front door, which he’s been doing tonight, thank you very much)

(No, there is most likely not an axe murderer out there but can we be sure?)

I digress. We meet the same group of people at the park pretty much every day. Some want to pet Maverick, some wave, some scurry by as if he’s a holy terror. Sometimes we stop and chat with a particularly friendly sort.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen a young girl pushing her child in a stroller while listening to something through earbuds. She’s a chatter, she loves to pet Maverick, doesn’t mind when he jumps up, has a lovely Irish lilt and has always seemed very pleasant.

Till tonight. She mentioned that she loves to read, and since I do as well, I asked what type of books she reads. She said nonfiction, and then commented that she has a degree in Political Science. I said, “you must be enjoying yourself these days” because it seems to me that anyone with that interest would be fascinated with the things going on.

She replied that she “didn’t think Biden was the right man for President, but he was infinitely better than Trump.”

When someone says something like this, I ask them this question – “do you like Biden or do you hate Trump?” She reponded that it was both, and then said, ‘not one of Trump’s supporters voted for his policies, every one of them voted for their cult leader.”

I was taken aback. I said, “that’s not true.” She demanded to know if I supported children in cages? Did I not realize that he’d been inciting violence for four years? Did I not know this was the cleanest election ever held?

Every time I started to speak, she talked over me. Several times I said, “Please let me finish my sentence” to no avail. At one point I said I wasn’t an idiot, and she responded that yes, I was.

I told her to go look up the interview where the Lt. Governor of Texas talks about why they didn’t use Dominion voting machines, and we walked away.

First, she will never pet Maverick again. You don’t call me an idiot and then expect to love up on my dog.

But deeper than that, I walked away and started thinking about the divisions in this country. According to her, it’s all Trump’s fault, all the fault of his supporters. This is not the first time I’ve tried to have a conversation with someone who hates him. In every single case, I have been shouted down, talked over, and eventually called names. I don’t claim to be perfect, and if I did, I’m sure there are many who would offer evidence otherwise. I do, however, try to listen to people. I’m one of the youngest of a very large family, and I’ve experienced more than my share of being talked over and interrupted – it’s something that I hate so I try very hard not to do it to others. I’m also aware that there’s always more than one side to every story so I may not agree with you, but I’ll hear you out and try to reason with you. I’ll never call you an idiot for your views (unless it’s about flexi-leads and then there’s just no holding me back. Or doodles. Don’t get me started on high priced mutts)

I have many friends on both sides of the fence. When my conservative friends get together, the conversation is almost always the same as what I experienced tonight. We are shouted down, talked over, told we’re idiots or better yet, Nazis. (Here’s a clue, if there were really 75 million Nazis in this country, I’m betting you wouldn’t be talking over me at the park, or even free to walk in that park)

And yet we’re responsible for the division. When did it become okay to stop listening to anyone, to think that he who shouts the loudest is the one who gets to be right, that it’s okay to just yell over anyone you don’t like and insult them?

I don’t know how to fix this. I’m going to start walking away from anyone who interrupts me. Will that do any good? Probably not but I won’t have to be annoyed that they’re talking over me.

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15 Responses to DIvision

  1. Except when he barks like the hounds of hell…

    Could I perhaps interest you in a new product? It’s a bark collar that translates barks so you know what your pet is feeling. Made in South Korea by fine Koreans who care. Let me know and I can hook you up. Only $99 plus tax and shipping.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Words escape me but I don’t think there is a fix. The next four years will definitely be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kristi says:

    This is an excellent post and the way people are so divided is sad. But you know what scares me most?? The refusal of people to engage in real conversation with actual listening (something that girl didn’t do 😡) and with less emotion and more logic! I love you and Maverick…growl at her tomorrow!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just might! And honestly, it really bothers me that no one listens anymore. I might come away from a discussion thinking “well that person is an idiot” but I’d like to have the damned discussion anyway!

      Like

  4. Bitey Dog says:

    I’ve found the same thing you have. Yelling and insults have replaced information and debate. I have had to take a break from friends who claim to be apolitical yet slam only side over and over.

    Hopefully Maverick will find a friendly new pettin’ budddy at the park. 🐶

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am on the opposite side of the fence and would LOVE to have a grown-up, mature conversation with you where we both can be open to listening to each other with open minds and ask appropriate questions. I’ve been shouted at, called an idiot, and have been threatened by family members to “disown” me for having a different point of view than they. I’ve also had one person continue to ‘prophesize’ about how everything will play out – starting with the prophecy that Biden wouldn’t even be alive by the tine the election rolled around – and continuing with prophecies that Trump would be declared the President for the next four years. I once asked her a question, and she didn’t yell or shout at me, she simply patronized me with innuendos of sympathy because I was so misled.

    Both sides are guilty of letting this division become wider and wider. To be honest, I’m surprised there hasn’t been another terrorist attack on our country like 9/11, because we are the weakest I’ve ever seen the country be. I’m all for all of us pulling up our big-girl/big-boy panties and moving forward!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve had a few conversations with people about politics that have actually been rational discussions, it just seems that lately that happens less and less. Both sides are guilty of spewing out talking points from whatever media they follow – I place so much blame for all this on the media. I also know that a lot of people voted for Trump in 2016 not for him, but against Hillary. If people actually talk, they find that both sides have a lot in common. I’m sorry this has happened to you too, I just hope that somehow the temperature can be turned down and people can stop being so terrified.

      Like

  6. May I offer a virtual hug to you:) This is what I see every day. My husband and I have insulated ourselves because so many people we come in contact with have the same attitude.
    I believe we have been separated by design. We will devour each other without the involvement of others.
    As a human with a brain I chose for vote for a businessman over a political hack. We’ve had plenty of political hacks and it was time to try something new. I think the last four years have been good for the country and the world: more peace and normalized relations with many countries (Israel and North Korea). The media from before day one have torn down Trump. They don’t report anything positive his administration has done (I point out the Secretary of State’s Twitter. So many good things!Also Trump has donated his salary every quarter so he’s taken all this abuse and working hard for $0.00.) Everything is orange man bad. Hollywood has jumped on the bandwagon too. All the while Trump has been the little engine that could: Promises made promises kept.
    You can’t judge people who are brainwashed by CNN. They have been fed a steady diet of crap. No one has held Biden accountable at all. He never is asked a difficult question. I don’t think he could handle it. I feel bad for him because it’s obvious he has lost ground mentally and people in his life are just using him.
    Keep up the good thoughts, vibes and prayers. There is still time before noon on Wednesday:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually don’t think Biden will be in office for more than a few months. He just doesn’t look well to me. You’re right about the questions, he never gets anything but softball “what’s your favorite ice cream?” stuff. I’ve tried to see the other side, and I know there are people who are trying to see both sides, but it’s harder to find. One of her comments was that Trump wasn’t quick enough to respond to Covid, he said it was nothing to worry about. I replied that so did Dr. Fauci and she said, “we didn’t know what we were dealing with then!” Okay, Fauci didn’t know but Trump somehow miraculously did?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. yarnmama10 says:

    I agree totally. I mean it’s expected to have different points of view and ideas about how to address issues, but when only one side is allowed to speak it’s not a good sign. We are being shut out of the conversation on almost every public forum.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ReginaMary says:

    I am so sorry for the experience you had. I don’t know what the answer is, but I feel the problem is fueled by extremes on both sides of the discussion. How can anyone not be filled with love when they see Mavericks’ face, c’mon!!

    Liked by 1 person

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