Competency and Cowardice

I’ve seen a recent resurgence of pro spiritualism in my Facebook feed, and by that I mean the current election has a strange kind of middle-ground liberal/conservative stepping out of the shadows. The kind of person that states the importance of Love, which seems lost on just about everyone with a media mouth. Love doesn’t sell advertisements. Love doesn’t make headlines. Love seems to be the middle-of-the-road. It is the way of media, of course. It is the way of shock communication. Unfortunately it is also the backbone of every society, and I think a lot more people, at least in America, live in this middle-ground than live on the fringes.

Which brings me to my post for the day: ignorance. Media has never represented society evenly. It hasn’t dedicated millions of dollars to developing Love stories–and I don’t blame them. They shouldn’t be expected to cover everything equally, especially if the topic doesn’t get viewers. We are ultimately capitalistic, and worshipping the dollar is condoned. This is the world I live in.

Yet ignorance, or the willful stagnation of informed decision-making for the sake of preserving culture, a way of life, or a religion is damaging to society. Media tells me I have to fall somewhere between the intelligent and the ignorant: intelligent being those pushing society forward and the ignorant being those who dig their feet in. Polarization in media has always been the strongest form of drama. All topics require you to  take a side: Are You In, or Are You Out?

I enjoy seeing the sedentary middle-ground group, a huge portion of this American culture, begin moving. Those who have been content to live and let live, who have personal views but don’t hawk them like merchants, who work their tails off for a living–or not–and don’t complain about people owing them. There are many good Catholics, Muslims, Wiccans, Jews not pursuant of polarization and labeling. Many, many, many. Many more than the outspoken few aggressors. There are many ex-military who have seen violence and still respect those who would do away with war. Who come home to loving families and go to church–or not–without a violent, militant opinion on their life choices.

I’ve heard a lot of questions surrounding, “Why is America So Great?” Larry the Cable Guy made a vague reference to it in a recent commercial, some News Room tv show pounded it home in an interview, and of course all the politicians are screaming down my throat (not my ears, mind you) about what makes America great. Connecting to this idea comes the groundbreaking incentive program concerning science, math, and teachers: we don’t have enough of them. Engineers, IT Techs, and physicists are a dying breed. Doctors are being sued out of practice. Teachers are scared to teach. The infrastructure is dying. America is so great because it led the curve on science and tech, on research and free thought. Now it is so great because, well, it supports our sagging bodies.

Too often people love reading about tough or inflammatory news, but don’t like making it. They prefer to sit and critique instead of stand and work, fight, stabilize. Just because one is in the middle ground, the obscure area where all those politicians are trying to cut, partition, and divide, and living in respect, love, and dedication, doesn’t mean one can’t fight.

I can’t wait to see a shift in cowardice and a (perceived) rise in competency. I can’t wait for more people to start busting tail, noses to grindstones, elbow grease dripping off… elbows.

America is great because I make it so. Duh. Apple pie has nothing to do with it.


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