Letter: Everyone responsible for political strife

From: Tom Lane


This has been one wild ride in our social dance of elections. The ups and downs of whomever you favored put people on the offensive and defensive. We have a conclusion to all that now, and it is one that does not sit easy with some folks. And it does confirm the beliefs of many, especially in our Hoosier state.

My point is not at all about who was right or who was more despicable. It is about how we humans work. We were presented with some of the most disturbing images, data points, innuendos, accusations and direct conversations that created one of the greatest divides I have ever seen in this country. We chose sides, we hunkered down, we put up our walls, we protested, we called others names, we demeaned our potential leaders in ways never seen before. And now we are supposed to coalesce around our new leader.

I want to take this to another level. Underlying all this public display of animosity is the simple fact that we humans are responsible for how we made this all up. Yes, we made this all up. We want to believe that all that has happened, and our reaction to it, was caused by some external thing. I do not care which side you were on. It does not matter. People did stuff, and we reacted from our history. That is how it works.

This is so important because we need to let go of all that history. Every moment in life is new; none of this has ever happened before. That is a total fact. We humans do not want to experience the newness of that. We want to perpetrate our past, as if that was even a possibility.

And now we start to make up the future based on that past. Some of us are making up grand scenes of “making America great” and some are making up “the end is near.” Neither is right. We do not know what is going to happen. We need to grasp that we all need to begin to show up present to this dramatically changing world. We have never been here before. I do not know what is going to happen, and neither do you.

We need to take a collective breath, slow down, reflect on how we were in this and decide if that is the way we want to relate as we go forward. We make it all up as we go, based on our personal history. We can make it up in ways that work for everyone or make it up in ways that create stress and disruption.

We create our own reality. We can create something that works for all of us, or we can create division and hatred. It is your choice, even if you do not know it. The only thing we really control in this world is how we react to things. Stuff happens; we decide how that makes us feel and how it makes us act.