Sisters and Brothers,
I recently heard a news report that spoke of the political divide that seems to be wracking our country. Some argue that it is worse now than ever before. Well, considering that we did have a civil war, perhaps it isn't quite that bad... yet! But, we are experiencing lots of tension these days. And I have to wonder if that tension isn't starting to spill over into other areas of our life - where we feel like we have to pick sides on every issue and that we must fight on every point.
This report claimed that rivalry is in our very DNA. It spoke about how in "the good old days," folks had healthier ways to express their rivalry - back when folks were more involved in bowling, baseball, and other team events. We could proudly support our team and compete in ways that allowed us to fulfill this primal need without it becoming toxic.
The problem we have these days is that we are less engaged socially than we used to be. This means that social media and other avenues allow us to pick a fight or lob a criticism bomb that demonizes or dehumanizes others safely from our computer. No need to look the opponent in the eye, no need to engage them in person, just blast them with words and criticism and move on.
It is also so easy these days to make up one's own interpretation of facts and make assumptions. This is especially easy when one does not take the time to process the information or engage with another. Trust me, I may have some strong opinions about things, but I find it much harder to maintain a hard line when I think of the things someone else may be going through and consider all the facts involved. Maybe you might find that is true for yourself as well.
We can find other areas to express our primal need to fight. We don't have to do it with those we love - whether that be family, friends or fellow members of our faith community. Let's find ways to fulfill our team spirit by pulling together as the beloved ones of St. Jerome's.
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