We Can Never Agree So We Must Meet In The Mire

We can still reconcile, even if we don’t see eye to eye

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Thanks to Daniel Morris on Unsplash

We all have an inner swamp thing, so let’s step out of the morass of muck to clean up and find our better shade of glade angels.

Trump supporters, (as we herein record in the longest November ever), in spitting protest, want to stop the stealing of Election 2020.

Biden supporters, are ready to accept that Republicans tried to steal the election, but didn’t. Or will they?

The truth is a slippery, exhausted toad, who just wants to get away from all the crazies and slide back into the swamp.

Swamp. Now, there is another word wholly open to separate, and often opposite interpretations.

To some of us the swamps, wetlands, bogs, fen, and mangroves are places vitally necessary to protect our planet from catastrophic global heating tipping points.

In other memes, swamps are those things you must drain to kill off the slime monsters who would, if they could, steal not just your election, but your country and your very values. In some versions the “drain” fanatics are on the right. In other versions, they are on the left. This is what creates the ripe, and funky habitat for misunderstanding. We all try to preserve some parts of the swamp, usually futilely with ideas like putting in solar/hang-glider/bat-mobile dehumidifiers, or going in with flags, grenades, guns, assault weapons, and a really fervent death wish for dragonflies.

Sigh. There are many of us, paying far too much attention, who just want one decent night’s sleep. Oh. But those invasive species croaking coquis will never allow it.

Getting a good night’s sleep is just another lie. Impossible. Unlikely. We are all going to slowly heat up and die before it’s too late, just like the proverbial frog in the pan of warming water.

Just letting the truth get out there, as I have learned researching it for a decade, would help a lot.

But there are patterns and obstacles that I am not sure our species can overcome until we really expand our knowledge:
-No one wants to accept the truth, even truth diggers
-Truth is only beneficial if you craft it into useful intel
-Truth becomes power only if you stay alert and active

The first one, no one wants to know the truth, is part of our human condition. We all have biases, but also defense mechanisms. The first one is by far the hardest thing we can overcome.

When your alternative facts tell me that my tribe is the problem, my alternative facts will tell me that your very mistaken belief, in fact, displays that your tribe is the problem.

The truth is never perfect and always has warts.

In group and marriage counseling, the question is always asked: “Do you want to be right, or do you want to preserve the relationship?”

Everyone, if presented with this question will say that they fervently want to preserve the relationship. That is the first clue I have that they are lying.

Well, not lying entirely, part of everyone really does want to fix broken things. But we are born with a predilection for false belief. In our modern world false belief is rampant. We burrow into bubbles — let’s call them swamp air pockets — deep in the mud.

We just want our beloved to comprehend our truth.

Without getting the whole truth, we will always struggle to try to defend our side, our perception. No two people have the same perception on everything. Our need for psychological validation — a sure sign of our belonging, or being cared about — will creep in and undermine your protective mud pocket. Your mud wallow struggle is both internal, and external, and eternal.

In our modern times of heavily nuanced racism and sexism, we often receive the clues to keep wallowing, unconsciously.

Social media, by the way, is Godzilla gone bonkers in the bog.

The only answer to curtail our confirmation bias, and therefore, drain a bit of the mental swamp (But not the actual peat bogs and mangroves!) is to have constant, unrelenting awareness. This is too exhausting, as many of us have learned in Trumpster Swamp and Fever Fire year 2020.

Like a burning peat bog in Okefenokee Florida, our self-destructive tendency to feel the burn, and instinctively throw combustible lies at our enemies, keeps us all on fire.

But there is a middle path.

Like people sleep-walking through vast tracts of their family and friendship swampy minefields of bog gas, we have to be civil at all times, even when feeling defensive at some times.

Yes, this too, is a kind of lying. Call out culture is designed to stop us from pretending that we agree with racist Uncle Mike, or pious Auntie Paula, or lib tard brother Lawrence. But we don’t have to call out every transgression with outrage and cruelty.

We can be more subtle. More like a persistent mosquito than a troublesome snapping turtle that bites off people’s heads.

Meeting in the mire is hard. For once, I am coming out of my shell and won’t lie: I too, can be nasty to those I am seeing as bigots, because I too, need human voice and validation. Also, it’s so much more creative and productive to ridicule ideas than it is to storm their hard to find one-percent-wealth holding, gated villas. You know, the one’s poor Trump voters can only dream of in their resentment fevers.

Those high security mansions are usually, physically anyway, on high hills far from the low-lying morass of quagmire and crime.

We can let call out culture, and protest, too, go too far. People will ineffectively burn a police car or loot a Target. They actually have their rational reasons to do so. However, it only serves to perpetuate an ugly stereotype of the anti-law and order lowlife leeches. See?

I am not saying that we should never speak or express our discontent. Quite the contrary, we have to learn to talk to one another.

We have to humor the hater so we can also humble ourselves. We have to subdue the enemy, because in this case they are our moms, dads, neighbors, siblings, employers, workers, food producers, customers, health providers, civil servants, and more.

The hardest truth to swallow is that we of Earth are our worst, and most persistent, mud-slinging enemies.

We ignore all other vital organisms because we are so focused on mud wrestling in the muck.

As an optimist, I believe that the Big Bogey Bog monster, although sasquatch like, is not our destiny, but merely an interim slog stop in our journey toward finding our humanity.

We have to conquer, each of us, every day, our own inner swamp thing.

To identify her, or him, or Ki, look in the mirror. Ask yourself,

Do I have any complaints about the state of my world circa 2020?” If you do have discontents, you are an emergent swamp monster ready to pounce, or stealthily slither in for the kill, as soon as you find a deserving scapegoat/glade goat.

As hard as it is, you have to do the mature thing and initiate a thought experiment in which you put yourself in the other creature’s claws, or mud boots, for a moment. Do they have discontents?

Well, good. That at least gives you something to start with in your long haul out of the mud and into a better habitat for social land-dwellers.

Written by

Ecopsychologist, Writer, Farmer, Defender of reality, and Cat Castle Custodian.

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