Tempers and emotions are high. I have received notes indicating people think I am in a position to control what is happening in our country. I am not in that position. We can only control the two feet we each stand on. The goal here is to help us to think, not take on the opinions of others as our own without study or lay blame and shame at the feet of others who hold a view different viewpoint. That’s not common sense. I offer the following, which I wrote on January 7, as food for thought. Thank you for being here and participating in Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. ??
It’s a sad time in American history. I probably had the same reaction you did when I saw the news. Shock. Disbelief. The Capitol is a place I love. What happened on January 6, 2021, is something I did not expect or anticipate. Let me be clear: I support the 1st Amendment provision for peaceful protest. I do not ever condone violence, unlawful behavior, and certainly not the desecration of our Capitol or any federal property. I do not promote these heinous, illegal, criminal actions against Congress and the American people. Call it an insurrection, a coup, a takeover, or whatever description you choose. The sights that we heard and saw are an offense to every American. Even now, we grieve. The rule of law was disrespected in the most grievous way.
Here at Common Sense Civics and Citizenship, we stand for the rule of law and equal justice under the law. May those who breached the Capitol, causing havoc and destruction, be brought to justice.
One of the first things I noticed as the events unfolded was the proliferation of texts, messages, and emails sent my way. Maybe you experienced the same volume. Accusations began to fly. Emotions ran high, and people assigned blame and shame. Let’s take a look at the appropriate American response when tragic events beyond our control happen.
What we want to do:
What are the likely results:
Swift rush to judgment
What to avoid:
react- emotional lashing out
regret- feeling justified at first, then later feeling remorseful
What is needed to heal:
- to admit that my response to tragic events beyond my control may not be justified
- to apologize to those whom I may have wronged by naming, blaming, shaming, accusing, judging, and ruining others before I have the facts
- to consider treating others the way I want to be treated
- To listen and let them tell their side, not expecting them to agree with you. Listening doesn’t make them right. It makes you polite. (Hard for me to do!)
We Americans are not expected to heal this time. We are expected to divide and turn on each other. We can defy the expectations by monitoring our reactions, not copying the responses of the media. Remember, media is a business. You are the product.
It’s time for national reflection. We need each other at a time like this. We especially need those closest to us.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. ??