Where does the culture war take place? Where are the battlefields? They are everywhere. The family living room, the office break room, and anywhere people get political. Not everybody is consumed with hate, but everyone senses at least some of the systemic induced hatred. Following is an illustration.
Tuesday night we had our annual homeowner’s association meeting at the condominiums where I live. It was a pleasure. Lots of people attended. We talked, laughed, applauded each other, watched a slide show, and held our election. It was full of good memories, up to the end, waving goodbye to everyone and walking home.
Wednesday night was the homeowner’s March meeting for the larger association, which controls a 320 acre development. The people at those meetings are angry, have taken sides and see each other as enemies. They have strict standards for how to do your gardens and what colors you can paint your house. Everyone bullies each or flouts each other, possibly to make up for childhood deficits.
At the greater association meetings, what I see is a lot of people who deep down inside love each other. However, they have built up stereotypes, profiled each other, and closed the doors to love. I have been a witness to the contrast between the dual associations for several years now. Our sub-association gets better and better, while the other one becomes more tense.
The point is that it is within our power to cultivate love and work together. Strife is not inevitable, it’s a bad habit. To break a bad habit, think about the good habit you want to develop to replace it. Perhaps we could build the good habit of getting to know someone as an individual, reserving our judgments.