January 12, 2011


What if Sarah Palin simply apologized? Something like, “While I am certainly not responsible for the reprehensible acts of violence in Tuscon, I am horrified that anything I have said or endorsed in the past could possibly be construed as inciting violence. I am deeply sorry. I pledge to use intelligence and dignity as my future guide in making my point…and I call on my colleagues and supporters to make the same pledge.”

What if, after a moment of silence, Obama and political leadership and media signed a pact which declared a beginning of a new civility. A civility which respects debate, dialogue and differences without the ignorance of hateful language and a call to “second amendment” remedies?  What if leadership paused, reflected and created a code of conduct which reined in the divisive and focused on the truths of “one nation…indivisible…liberty and justice for ALL”.

What if citizens turned away from mind-numbing consumption, entertainment which glorifies violence, “news” which reads more like Jersey Shore than objective and intelligent journalism? What if we held each other accountable for our disrespectful ways? What if knowledge: philosophy, religion, history, literature held the network contracts for reality TV? What if our church leaders and school teachers, civil servants and parents lived by “seek to understand” with compassion as the response to problems in our communities and the desperate need for social justice?

Does the speaker become less passionate about his point if he is not shouting? Is he less dedicated to his cause if he allows that his may not be the *only* way? Is he less effective as a leader if he follows a code of conduct which holds honor, respect, dignity and thoughtful questioning as tenets of truth?

Wake up call after wake up call: September 11, Katrina, the economy, environmental degradation, endless wars, assassination attempts–feeding our super-sized addiction to violence and extreme.

Am I living in idealism to wonder? I don’t know. I can’t hear you over the din of hatred we have accepted for too long.

This post is courtesy of my new FB friend, Susan White.  For more on musings, observations and reflections from the river by Susan:  WiseTrout Blog.

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Maureen Miller  |  Contribution: 4,815