Bringing Out the Worst In Us
Sitting with some very dear friends recently, I overheard a man say, “Looking at the election results, I have to say I was wrong.” Good start, I thought.
“I had no idea there were that many stupid people in America!”
Oh boy, I thought.
Do I say something, or do I just let it go? This is a recurring theme for me. Usually, it happens while I’m sitting in Starbucks, but that’s not the only place I run into the opportunity to say something. I tend to vacillate between two extremes: either I say nothing at all or I over speak.
I tried to say something. “I’m not sure the people who voted for the other guy are stupid. Maybe they’re naïve or something. Maybe they just have a different perspective on the issues. I know some very thoughtful and intelligent people who voted for him, and so do you.”
The guy looked at me and said, “You’re right. Stupid may be the wrong word.”
Good start, I thought.
“Maybe a better word is idiots!”
What is it about political discussions that so easily brings out the worst in us?