No one has ever said change comes easy and when it comes to the major issues of the day, finding common ground is virtually impossible. While millions are spent daily attempting to influence our thoughts (think political ads), few of our opinions are swayed. Countless more millions are spent to compensate the celebrity pundits who fill mindless hours of television, radio and website content with their incessant babble. Most, if not all of this information is consumed by like-minded individuals hoping to validate their own world view. Few progressives tune into Fox News and conservatives are unlikely to flip to MSNBC to catch up on the day’s headlines.
Less than a week ago, what has now become a somewhat regular occurrence in America, we all witnessed a mass killing of senseless proportions. The media machine immediately went into overdrive on queue with its onsite coverage. As always, the talk show hosts invited guests to reinforce their viewpoints on the merits of more or less gun control.
When it comes to the very important issues of our time (Climate Change, Gun Control, War, Healthcare, Taxes, National Debt, Woman’s Issues, etc,) why as grown-ups do we have such a difficult time having adult conversations and finding common ground? Will finding a sensible middle ground always play a distant second to the unwavering ideologies of our two party political system and the red and blue divide it has created?
I was first stuck by the epiphany of climate change issues back in 2007 when gas prices soared to the four dollar range for the first time. My $37 weekly fill up soon morphed to $65 and my environmental consciousness blossomed because of the pain I felt in my wallet. The Brady Bill advocating tighter gun control was in-part initiated by “the heart” of a Press Secretary from a Republican Administration. It always has and always will take an impact to an individual’s heart or wallet before anyone can hope to see change.
I wonder how many of the family members of the victims of the Aurora massacre will lobby for less gun control in the years ahead. Might some of farmers in the nation’s heartland be reconsidering their position on climate change this summer as their crop and livelihoods wither in the sun?
Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?
Henry David Thoreau